Workplace Misconduct Rising

  • Look at the cartoons below on typical ways employees misbehave at work. What do you make of them?

  • Can you think of other rules employees bend or other ways in which they tend to misbehave? 
  • How common is it for people in your country to do so?
  • Have you ever made up an excuse to miss work or to arrive late? If so, what did you say? 
  • What are the most typical excuses workers come up with in these cases? 
  • What is the weirdest excuse you’ve ever heard? 
  • Have you or has any of the people you know ever been caught? 
  • How do companies go about handling “workplace misbehavior”? 
  • What would you do if you were the employer and you discovered that the employees are bending the rules?   

Teacher's notes:

Language to exploit or integrate:

  •     Conditional 2 (what would you do if you were the employer?)
  •     Modals (MUST/ HAVE TO for employees'  obligations at work/ MUSTN'T for prohibition)
  •     TENSES: Simple Present (employee habits at work) Simple Past & Present Perfect (to talk about students' experiences)
  •      Passive Voice: BE EXPECTED TO/ NOT BE EXPECTED TO
Useful Vocabulary:

1.   misconduct
2.   call in sick
3.   nab a pen
4.   harmless
5.   mandatory
6.   kidney stones
7.   shift workloads
8.   get-well-Soon card
at a five-year high
9.   look the other way
10.                    set a bad example
11.                    spiral into
12.                    track
13.                    slacker
14.                    tracker
15.                    bend over
16.                    load (v)
17.                    trunk
18.                    do yard work
19.                    performance
20.                    spot
21.                    surveillance van
22.                    Loafer
23.                    ditch work
24.                    breakdown
25.                    cause for alarm
26.                    job-hopping workers
27.                    have a false sense of entitlement
28.                    loyalty
29.                    at will
30.                    get away with sth
31.                    day of leave
32.                    big time
33.                    join a company
34.                      plot the next move


Are Gender Myths True?


  • What do you understand by “gender myths”?
  • Can you think of a popular gender myth in your country?

Read the following myths and say if you think they’re true or false. Account for your answer

  • Women are more talkative
  • Men don’t listen
  • Women can’t read maps
  • Women are more emotional
  • Only men have Adam’s apple
  • Men snore more than women
  • Men cheat much more than women
  • Women drive worse than men do
  • Women are more cautious than men
  • Men die earlier than women

Watch the video for main ideas
Link:Are Gender Myths True? | Video - ABC News

      - What is said about the myths above?

Watch the video again and listen more in depth

Make connections between the items in group A and those in group B. Account for your answer.

GROUP A                                         GROUP B

1. Blind-folded                              a. Maize of tunnels                        
2. cluttered room                           b. slight difference
3. June Reinisch’s                          c. Drink/ smoke
4. Newly-borns                            d. Female voice  
5. Male brain                                e. Speed  
6. Adam’s apple                           f. Detailed- description  
7. Snore                                       g. risk-taking  
8. Cheating                                   h. Testosterone  
9. Safe Driving                              i. inborn differences  
10. Men                                       j. Different behavior

After you watch

  • Is there anything you've found particularly interesting, silly or strange?



Get together into pairs or small groups and in 5 minutes write down as many sentences as possible comparing men and women. You can make your comparisons more emphatic through the use of the following words:

MUCH                 FAR                 A LOT                   A BIT                 A LITTLE               SLIGHTLY

 e.g.  It is said that men are much safer drivers than women.
       Men are said to cheat slighly more than women.
       Women do not take as many risks as men do.

Transcript: http://cafe338.daum.net/_c21_/bbs_search_read?grpid=1AY2&fldid=5Ote&contentval=0009tzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz&nenc=&fenc=&q=&nil_profile=cafetop&nil_menu=sch_updw


Outsource your life

Level: Intermediate
Age: Adult learners


1. What do you understand by “outsourcing”?

2. Why would somebody choose to outsource their personal tasks?

3. If you could outsource any of the tasks below, which one(s) would you  
   choose and which one(s) you wouldn’t? Account for your answer.

  • Upgrading your resume
  • Answering the phone
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Doing errands downtown
  • Making phone calls
  • Planning your wedding
  • Doing domestic chores
  • Arguing with your spouse/boyfriend/ girlfriend
  • Doing the shopping
  • Going shopping
  • Playing with your kids
  • Listening to your boss
  • Doing your English homework
  • Booking a holiday
  • Doing the travel planning
  • Checking & answering your emails
  • Updating your address book
  • Remodeling your house
  • Retouching your family photos
  • Planning a date

4. What pitfalls can outsourcing have?

Watch and answer

1. According to Susan Koeppen, where are Americans outsourcing their tasks?

2. Where did P.Diddy post the job for an assistant?

3. What did Brian and Gisele Piepgrass outsource? What did their assistant do for them? How much did it cost?

4. How did Brian feel about it at first? Why?

5. How long has AJ Jacobs been outsourcing? What do his assistants do for him? Why is he so happy?

6. Who is Tim Freís? What has changed concerning “outsourcing” according to him? What examples does he give?

7. Where can you post your task?

8. What pitfalls can hiring someone in a different country have?

9. How much does it cost?

10. What does Susan Koeppen have her assistant do for her?

Focus on Language

Join with arrows. There might be more than one option that collocates with each verb

VERB                NOUN
  1. Post                  somebody
  2. Outsource          a deal
  3. Hire                   a task
  4. Turn to              a job
  5. Negotiate           the internet (for help)
  6. Assign

What’s the word?

pitfalls                    scam                as for             trust                 bid                    range             average         give up
  1. And it’s on the internet where even ____________Americans Brian and Gisele Piepgrass are finding good help.
  2. At Web sites like elance.com, you can post your task, everything from writing a resume to creating a Web site and people ___________on the job
  3. But hiring someone in a different country to do your work for you can have its_____________.
  4. And, __________the cost, prices can ___________from $5 to $20 an hour and it all depends on the type of job and where you hire your assistant.
  5. When Susan Koeppen’s friends were contacted by her assistant they thought it was a__________.
6.   You have to __________your assistant with a lot of personal information! 
  1. According to Susan Koeppen you have to __________some control.
Word formation

1.   Brian was a bit ________ in handing an outsourcer a task at first.    SKEPTIC
2.   AJ Jacobs’ ________had a very soothing tone of voice.                   OUTSOURCE
3.   Sites like as getfriday.com enable you hire a personal assistant on   
 an ________ or_________basis.                                                    HOUR//MONTH
4.    Susan Koeppen’s assistant, Shanaz, is college _________.              EDUCATION
5.   Susan Koeppen finds it difficult to outsource some tasks                                        because she’s a little bit of a ____                                                  PERFECTION

After you watch

  • What do you think are the pros and cons of outsourcing the activities shown in the video?
  •  Is there anything you’ve found particularly interesting/crazy ?


When P.Diddy wanted an assistant he turned to the internet posting the job on YouTube.
And it’s on the internet where even average Americans Brian and Gisele Piepgrass are finding good help. This couple needed help with their wedding.
Brian “Everything still had to be done. There was like a list of a thousand things and so we went like .. “OK, I will try outsourcing the wedding planning.”
Brian was living in San Diego, Gisele was in Phoenix, the wedding was in Milwaukee -- and they hired an assistant all the way in India,  who helped them find a photographer, book the transportation, and negotiate a deal at the hotel for the wedding guests.

Brian and Gisele estimate they spent about $300 on their assistant -- a fraction of what it would cost if they hired a wedding planner in the United States.

Brian: “I would say that I was skeptical in handing them a task at first because you sort of.. like … “this is the wedding and.. what if they don’t do it.”  
Gisele: “We had nothing to lose and.. it was great!.”

 Susan Koeppen: “When did you start outsourcing?”
AJ Jacobs: “ I started about 3 years ago and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

AJ Jacobs hired a team of assistants in India to do everything for him -- from the reasonable ..
AJ Jacobs: “ They read my emails, they answered my phone..” I started about 3 years ago and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

..to the ridiculous …

AJ Jacobs: “ I would say that the best part honestly was when I outsourced my worry and  had these people worrying for me”

Jacobs even had one of his assistants read bedtime stories over the phone to his son.

AJ Jacobs: “And word he quieted down! The outsourcer had a very soothing, …  tone of voice”
Tim Freís: "Traditionally, you associate outsourcing with Fortune 500 companies, but the reality is, now, with technology, you can do personal outsourcing."

Business guru Tim Ferriss writes about outsourcing in his new book, "The 4-Hour Workweek. He says everyone can outsource -- from stay-at-home moms to busy executives. All you need is a phone or computer so you can communicate the jobs you'd like done by your assistant, located anywhere in the world.
"If you wanted someone to do travel planning, you say, 'This is my budget. This is what I'm looking for.' Rather than spending 30 hours of your own time, you can assign it to a group of people in  Croatia or Astonia, at 9 p.m. before you go to bed and have it in your inbox at 9am."

At Web sites such like elance.com, you can post your task, everything from writing a resume to creating a Web site and people bid on the job. Sites like as getfriday.com enable you hire a personal assistant on an hourly or monthly basis.
But hiring someone in a different country to do your work for you can have its pitfalls.

AJ Jacobs: “I made a drugstore order through my outsourcers," Jacobs recalled, "and I asked for waxed paper, and they got waxed paper moustache remover for women, so my wife was a little insulted!"
And, as for the cost, prices can range from $5 to $20 an hour and it all depends on the type of job and where you hire your assistant.

Julie Chen: Ok. Tell me about the assistant you hired.
Susan Koeppen: Shanaz! Her name is Shanaz and she’s in India. She’s college educated and I got her on the website getfriday.com and she’s costing 12 dollars an hour.

Julie Chen: And what did she do for you? And did you like it?
Susan Koeppen: She found diapers on line for me, she rented a car for me, I’m having her right now update my address book so she’s contacting all my friends and family to get all of their addresses, you know as I’m sending some Christmas cards these holidays. So I’m getting lots of emails and calls from friends saying: “You have a personal assistant? What is this? Is this a scam?  
Julie Chen: But then you have to trust this person with a lot of personal information! 
Susan Koeppen: Yeah, well you have to give up some control You have to give up, you know, my credit card information so they can bill me, and also trust that they’re gonna do the job the way you want it done, which for me is a little difficult, little bit of a perfectionist! 
Julie Chen: All right Susan Koeppen, thanks so much.