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0135 Scheduling a Meeting

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Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 135: Scheduling a Meeting.

You’re listening to English as a Second Language Podcast number 135. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

On this podcast, we’re going to learn about how you set up or schedule a meeting. Let’s get started!

[start of dialog]

I needed to schedule a meeting for the three departments involved in a new project. I called each one to find a date that would work for all three of us.

Bruno: So, Nicola, would the day after tomorrow work for you?

Nicola: No, I'll be out of the office all day. Could we do it early next week or a week from today?

Bruno: I was hoping to schedule it as soon as possible. How about the end of this week?

Nicola: Well, I think that's okay. We could meet late Thursday or Friday. I'm free Thursday from 3 to 5, and on Friday from 10 to 1.

Bruno: Okay. Let me talk to Kumi and I'll let you know.

.

Bruno: Hi Kumi, can you make a meeting with Nicola and me this Thursday or Friday?

Kumi: Oh, I wish I could but I'll be in the Boise office starting tomorrow. How about the following week?

Bruno: I think we can do it early next week. Would Monday at 10 work for you?

Kumi: Sure, that's fine.

Bruno: Let me check with Nicola. You know, I think this would be much easier on email. I'll send Nicola a note and we can confirm on email.

Kumi: Okay, I'll look for your email.

You know, sometimes, I think scheduling a meeting is the hardest part of actually having a meeting!

[end of dialog]

In this podcast, we hear a dialog about trying to schedule a meeting. “To schedule” – as a verb – (schedule) – means that you are trying to find a day and a time when you can do something. We can use this verb, for example, to schedule a doctor’s appointment, meaning a time and a day for you to go see the doctor. You can schedule a meeting, you can schedule just about any event. Well, in this case, they’re scheduling a meeting between, or I should say, among three departments or parts of a company. And the dialog begins by the narrator, Bruno, saying, “I called each one” – each of his fellow employees, other people who work with him – “to find a date that would work for us.” A “date” (date) is, for example, February 22nd is a date. And a “day” (day) is the day of the week, so, Wednesday. So, were trying to find a date that will work for all three of us.

That expression, “To work for” means that would be good for. So, if someone says to you, “Will Thursday work for you? that means is that a good time for you, is that a good day for you. Well, Bruno calls Nicola on the telephone and says, “Would the day after tomorrow work for you?” “The day after tomorrow,” of course, “tomorrow” is the next day, “the day after” would be two days, so, the day after tomorrow. And Nicola says, “No, I’ll be out of the office all day.” That expression “out of the office” means you will not be in your office. You’ll be somewhere else, working – we hope – or maybe sleeping. “Could we do it,” Nicola says, “Could we do it early next week or a week from today?” “Could we do it” here, “to do it” means could we meet “early next week,” so the following week, early next week, or a week from today. So, if today is Wednesday, the next Wednesday – seven days from or – 8 days I guess, from that day, counting the same day.

Bruno says, “Well, I was hoping to schedule it as soon as possible,” meaning immediately, as fast as I can. There’s also another expression we use, “A.S.A.P.” If you see that abbreviation or acronym “A.S.A.P” that is “as soon as possible.” Somebody says, “I’ll need that A.S.A.P. I need it immediately.” Bruno says, “How about the end of this week?” Well, the end of this week will usually be Thursday or Friday – the end of the week. And of course, the beginning of the week would be Monday or Tuesday and the middle of the week would be Tuesday, Wednesday, or maybe Thursday. Nicola says that she thinks that’s okay, to meet at the end of the week. “We could meet late Thursday or Friday,” she says. “Late,” here means later in the day, in the afternoon, 4 o’clock in the afternoon, 5 o’clock – that would be “late in the day.” Well, she says she’s free Thursday, from 3 to 5 and Friday from 10 to 1. The expression “I’m free” (free) means I’m available. I can meet at that time. Someone might say, “What time are you free?” “I’m free at 7 P.M.” “I am able to meet you or do something at that time.”

Well, Bruno says, he has to talk to Kumi, one of his other fellow employees, other workers at the company. So, he calls Kumi and asks her if she can make a meeting this Thursday or Friday. “To make a meeting” (make) means to be able to go to a movie . “Can you make a meeting on Friday” means can you go to, will you be available for a meeting on Friday. And Kumi says that “I wish I could,” meaning I would like to. “I wish I could but I’ll be in the Boise office starting tomorrow.” “Boise” is a city (Boise) in the state of Idaho. Well, “starting tomorrow” – that expression means beginning tomorrow. “Starting,” for example “Starting on Tuesday, I will not be in the office” means beginning Tuesday, or on Tuesday and the following days, I will not be in the office. So, Kumi recommends, “How about the following week?” meaning how about next week. So, if you can’t make it today, can you make it next week and if you can’t make it next week, how about the following week? So, it’s the week after whatever week you’re talking about. Bruno says, “I think we can do it early next week and again, “early” would be Monday or Tuesday and he suggests Monday at 10. “Would Monday at 10 work for you?” And Kumi says, “Sure, that’s fine.” Bruno then says, “Let me check with Nicola.” “To check (check) with someone” means let me talk to them and make sure it’s okay. Let me communicate with them to see if that is a good time.

Bruno says, “You know, I think it would be much easier on email,” meaning it’ll be much easier for us if we communicate by email or on email. You can use either “by (by) email,” or “on email.” “I’ll send Nicola a note and we can confirm on email.” “To confirm” (confirm) means to say yes or no to – “to confirm” means to make sure. For example, we set up a meeting for tomorrow at 7 o’clock and I say, “Well, I will call you this afternoon to confirm, to make sure that we are still going to be meeting at 7 o’clock. Kumi says, “Okay, I’ll look for your email.” “I’ll look for” means I’ll be expecting. I will be waiting for your email. We also use that expression when someone says, “Look for this movie when it comes to your city or your country.” “Look for it” means try to find it. Be expecting it. Finally, the dialog ends by Bruno saying that “Scheduling a meeting is the hardest part of actually having a meeting,” and I guess, that’s often true.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue this time at a native rate of speech.

[start of dialog]

I needed to schedule a meeting for the three departments involved in a new project. I called each one to find a date that would work for all three of us.

Bruno: So, Nicola, would the day after tomorrow work for you?

Nicola: No, I'll be out of the office all day. Could we do it early next week or a week from today?

Bruno: I was hoping to schedule it as soon as possible. How about the end of this week?

Nicola: Well, I think that's okay. We could meet late Thursday or Friday. I'm free Thursday from 3 to 5, and on Friday from 10 to 1.

Bruno: Okay. Let me talk to Kumi and I'll let you know.

.

Bruno: Hi Kumi, can you make a meeting with Nicola and me this Thursday or Friday?

Kumi: Oh, I wish I could but I'll be in the Boise office starting tomorrow. How about the following week?

Bruno: I think we can do it early next week. Would Monday at 10 work for you?

Kumi: Sure, that's fine.

Bruno: Let me check with Nicola. You know, I think this would be much easier on email. I'll send Nicola a note and we can confirm on email.

Kumi: Okay, I'll look for your email.

You know, sometimes, I think scheduling a meeting is the hardest part of actually having a meeting!

[end of dialog]

As always, we ask you to visit our website at www.eslpod.com. You can find the script for today’s podcast and information about our other podcasts on our website.

From Los Angeles, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next time on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language podcast is written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. This podcast is copyright 2006.

Glossary
to schedule – to plan the day and time when something will happen; to plan when an event will happen

* Rosa scheduled an appointment with the doctor for Wednesday.


meeting – an event where people get together; an event where people come to the same place to talk about something or take some action

* The company had a meeting to tell all of its workers about how much money the company earned over the past year.


department – a part or section of a company

* Harvey worked in the accounting department and Ingrid worked in the research department.


date – the day, month, and year

* The date of Alicia’s college graduation was May 15, 2008.


day after tomorrow – in two days; not the next day, but the day after that

* No one can visit Louisa in the hospital tomorrow, so we’re all planning to visit her the day after tomorrow.


out of the office – not inside the building where a company’s employees usually work

* Spencer is out of office today, but he can talk with you about the report tomorrow.


a week from today – in seven days from now; after seven days

* The appointment is on next Friday, one week from today.


as soon as possible – at the earliest day and time; quickly

* Greta left work as soon as possible so that she could pick up her son from school.


free – having the time to do something; able to meet or attend an event

* Elliot is free on Saturday so he can come to the party.


to make – to arrive at a place and time set in the future

* Olivia wanted to make it to her brother’s baseball game, but she had to work and could not go.


I wish I could – I want to but I am not able to; something someone says when he or she wants to do something but cannot

* I wish I could go to the concert, but I have to work that night.


following – next; after the current one

* Kyle took the exam on Thursday, but he wouldn’t know the results until the following day, so he plans to return on Friday.


to check with – to ask; to confirm with

* Ilene needs to check with her parents to see if they will allow her to visit her friends tonight.


to confirm – to approve of something; to learn if something is what one believes it is

* Grant received a phone call from his doctor’s office confirming the day and time of his appoitment.


to look for – to watch for; to use one’s eyes to find something one expects to find

* Blake and Lisa are going to the movies today and meeting at the movie theater, so Lisa said she would look for him outside of the movie theater around 7:30.

Culture Note
Teamwork

In the past 30 years, both schools and businesses in the United States have “stressed” (emphasized) the importance of “teamwork,” of people working together to solve a common problem instead of doing everything alone. The idea is that you will be more “productive” (get more done) and/or learn more if you work with someone else. Businesses often say they are looking to “hire” (employ) someone who is a “team player,” someone who will cooperate and work together well with others.

However, not everyone likes working with a “teammate” (a person in your group or team). Researchers in a 2011 study asked 174 people to perform a simple “task” (job). For each task “participants” (those who were part of the study) completed successfully, they would be given 27 cents. They could work by themselves or with another person, but the pay they received would be the same. About 40% of the women chose to work with someone else, but only 11% of the men did. Women clearly preferred to work together more than men did.

Why did men prefer to work alone more than women? The study found that men thought working with another person would slow them down, making them less able to get the work done quickly. Yet people who worked with others actually did better on average than those who worked alone. Men were more likely to “overestimate their abilities” (think they were better than they actually were), thinking they could do better by themselves than with another person.

So how do you get men to work with others? You pay them more. When researchers in the study said that they would pay participants three cents more to join a group, the men were just as likely to join a group as the women, with about 75% choosing to work with a partner. The researchers in the study concluded that men appear to need a greater “incentive” (reward) for working with other people than women do.