Daily English
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1100 Making and Receiving a Job Offer

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Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 1,100 – Making and Receiving a Job Offer.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 1,100. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Go to our website at ESLPod.com. Download a Learning Guide for this episode. The Learning Guides are included in your membership in ESL Podcast.

This episode is a dialogue between Salima and Jake about getting a job.

[start of dialogue]

Salima: Hello.

Jake: Hi, this is Jake Nagano at Fixit Corp. How are you today?

Salima: Oh, hi, Jake. I’m fine. How are you?

Jake: Good. The reason I’m calling is that we’d like to offer you the position you interviewed for last week.

Salima: Oh, that’s great. I was really impressed with Fixit.

Jake: I’m glad to hear it. We’re prepared to offer you a starting salary of $55,000. You will get full medical and dental coverage, and vision coverage is optional.

Salima: I see. And vacation time?

Jake: Vacation days, personal leave, and sick leave accrue one day per month in your first year and then increase with your tenure with the company.

Salima: What would be my job title?

Jake: You’d be a junior specialist, and you’d be working under Monique Stansfield, the department manager.

Salima: Is the salary negotiable at all?

Jake: Well, we would consider any counteroffers, but this is a typical compensation package for new hires in these positions.

Salima: I see.

Jake: Why don’t you think about it? I’ll need to hear back from you by Wednesday. Will that work?

Salima: Sure, no problem. Just one more thing: I heard that the company has a box at the stadium . . .

Jake: Let me stop you right there. I hope that’s not a deal-breaker, because it’s taken me . . . I mean . . . it takes years for employees to get invited.

Salima: No, not a deal-breaker at all. I’m just a fan.

Jake: In that case, it would be a pleasure to welcome you aboard.

[end of dialogue]

We listen in on a phone conversation in this episode. Salima answers the phone by saying, “Hello.” Jake says “Hi, this is Jake Nagano at Fixit Corp. How are you today?” “Corp.” is a short word for “corporation,” which is another word for a company. Jake works for Fixit Corp. Salima says, “Oh, hi, Jake. I’m fine. How are you?” Jake says, “Good.” Then Jake gets to the purpose of his call, and notice how he introduces that.

In a business setting, one often uses the phrase “The reason I’m calling is that,” and then you give the person the reason that you are calling. Well, here Jake says, “The reason I’m calling is that we’d like to offer you the position you interviewed for last week.” “To offer someone a position” is to tell someone that you want to give him a job – and of course the person, if he wants the job, will accept your offer or not. Here Jake is offering Salima this position, this job for which she interviewed last week.

Salima says, “Oh, that’s great. I was really impressed with Fixit.” “To be impressed” here means to have a very positive reaction to, or a very positive idea about, in this case, the company. Jake says, “I’m glad to hear it,” meaning I’m happy that you liked our company. “We’re prepared to offer you a starting salary of $55,000.” “We’re prepared” means we are willing to give you a starting salary of $55,000.

A “starting salary” is the amount of money you get paid when you first start working for a company. “Salary” (salary) is the amount of money you get at your job, the amount of money the company pays you to work for them. Jake says, “You will get full medical and dental coverage, and vision coverage is optional.” Jake is telling Salima that the company, Fixit Corp, will pay for her medical and dental coverage. “Medical and dental coverage” refers to health insurance that will pay for your bills, your expenses, if you get sick.

In the United States, some companies pay for all of the health insurance, although my guess is most companies will pay for part of the insurance. You have to pay for part of it yourself. It depends on the company. “Vision (vision) coverage” refers to health insurance for any problems you have with your eyes. If you need glasses or you need to have some special surgery done on your eye, it might be covered – that is, it might be paid for – by vision insurance.

Salima says, “I see,” meaning “I understand.” “And vacation time?” Salima is asking how many days of vacation she gets. Jake says, “Vacation days, personal leave, and sick leave accrue one day per month in your first year and then increase with your tenure with the company.” “Vacation days” refer to the days that you don’t have to go to work and get paid for it – days that you would go on a holiday or just sit home and relax, which is what I often do on my vacation.

“Personal leave” (leave) refers to one or more days when you don’t work, not because you’re on a vacation, but because you have some other personal reason for not being able to go to work. Maybe you have to have surgery done, or maybe a friend of yours needs help and you have to call your job and say you can’t go that day. Some companies will give their employees a certain number of personal days. This is part of “personal leave.” The word “leave” here means days that you are not working, time that you are not working at your job.

Usually when you take a personal day or personal leave, you are still getting paid by the company, just as you would on your vacation. “Sick leave,” you probably can guess, refers to days that you are sick and therefore cannot go to work. These “accrue,” according to Jake, “one day per month.” “To accrue” (accrue) means they accumulate, they increase gradually. Basically what Jake is saying here is that every month that Salima works at Fixit Corp, she will get a little bit more vacation time, a little bit more personal leave. She’ll get one day per month.

Now, it’s not clear if that one day a month policy applies to vacation, personal leave, and sick leave. I’m guessing it doesn’t. That would be a lot of paid time off from your job – but who knows? Maybe Fixit Corp has a lot of money. Jake says the vacation days, personal leave, and sick leave will increase with Salima’s tenure with the company. Your “tenure” (tenure) is the amount of time that you are working at a certain company. In most companies, the longer you work at the company, the more vacation time and personal leave you are given.

Selena then asks, “What would be my job title?” Your “job title” is the name of the position that you have in the company or in the organization. Jake says, “You’d be a junior specialist, and you’d be working under Monique Stansfield, the department manager.” The term “junior” (junior) refers to someone with less experience and usually fewer responsibilities in a company. The opposite of “junior” would be “senior” (senior).

So, a “senior specialist” would be someone who works for a company, who has a lot of experience and a lot of responsibilities. A “junior specialist” would be someone who is new to the company, who doesn’t have as much experience as other people at the company and probably has fewer responsibilities in the job. Jake says that Salima will “be working under Monique Stansfield.” “To work under” someone is to be supervised by someone. In this case, it means that Monique Stansfield will be Salima’s “boss” – the person that Salima reports to or is supervised by.

Salima says, “Is the salary negotiable at all?” When we say something is “negotiable” (negotiable) we mean it’s open for discussion. It’s something that you can ask for an increase in. In many job offers, salary is negotiable. You can say, “Well, $55,000 isn’t a lot. Can I get a little bit more? Could I get $60,000? Or could I get $70,000?” Jake answers by saying, “Well, we would consider any counteroffers, but this is a typical compensation package for new hires in these positions.”

Jake says that Fixit Corp will “consider counteroffers” (counteroffers). “Counteroffers” are proposals that you make back to someone who has offered you something. In this case, Fixit Corp has offered Salima $55,000. Salima can then say, “Well, I’d like $60,000.” That is a “counteroffer.” You offer me one thing, I offer something different back to you. That’s part of negotiation.

Jake says, however, that what the company is offering Salima is a “typical,” or usual, “compensation package.” “Compensation package” just refers to the combination of the salary and the benefits that are given to someone for working at a company. It refers to both the money, that is, and in this case the insurance and the vacation days and sick leave and the personal leave all together. Those things are part of the compensation package. “Compensation” comes from the verb “to compensate,” which means to give someone something for his or her efforts or work.

Jake says, “Why don’t you think about it? I’ll need to hear back from you by Wednesday. Will that work?” Jake is telling Salima to think about the offer and that he needs to hear back from her by Wednesday. “To hear back” means to have a response from someone. If I send you an email and tell you that I need to hear back from you by Wednesday, that means you need to send me a reply to my email by Wednesday – before Wednesday. “Will that work?” Jake asks. In other words, “Is that okay?”

Salima says, “Sure, no problem. Just one more thing: I heard that the company has a box at the stadium . . .” A “stadium” is a large place where sporting games are played, such as American football or baseball. A “box” is a special place in the stadium, usually up high, that is owned by a rich company or person that is sort of like your own little suite, your own little room, where you can sit and drink and eat and watch the game. You don’t have to sit down in the main part of the stadium.

If a box is owned by a company, sometimes the employees of the company get to go and use the box – go and see the game. Jake says, however, “Let me stop you right there,” meaning “Let me interrupt you.” “I hope that’s not a deal-breaker, because it’s taken me . . . I mean . . . it takes years for employees to get invited.” A “deal-breaker” is something that would make it impossible for two people to reach an agreement, to make a deal. A “deal” (deal) is an agreement. So, a “deal-breaker” is something that would prevent you from reaching an agreement.

Jake is basically saying here that even if Salima is hired by the company, it will take years before she will have enough “seniority” – that is, she will have enough experience at the company – to be invited to this box. Salima says, “No, not a deal-breaker at all. I’m just a fan” – a fan of whatever team plays at this stadium.

Jake says, “In that case, it would be a pleasure to welcome you aboard.” The expression “to welcome someone aboard” (aboard) is usually said when you are on a big boat or a ship. “To go aboard” means to go onto a ship or some other sort of large transportation vehicle, but it can also be used metaphorically, as it is here, to welcome someone to a new organization or to welcome someone to your company.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Salima: Hello.

Jake: Hi, this is Jake Nagano at Fixit Corp. How are you today?

Salima: Oh, hi, Jake. I’m fine. How are you?

Jake: Good. The reason I’m calling is that we’d like to offer you the position you interviewed for last week.

Salima: Oh, that’s great. I was really impressed with Fixit.

Jake: I’m glad to hear it. We’re prepared to offer you a starting salary of $55,000. You will get full medical and dental coverage, and vision coverage is optional.

Salima: I see. And vacation time?

Jake: Vacation days, personal leave, and sick leave accrue one day per month in your first year and then increase with your tenure with the company.

Salima: What would be my job title?

Jake: You’d be a junior specialist, and you’d be working under Monique Stansfield, the department manager.

Salima: Is the salary negotiable at all?

Jake: Well, we would consider any counteroffers, but this is a typical compensation package for new hires in these positions.

Salima: I see.

Jake: Why don’t you think about it? I’ll need to hear back from you by Wednesday. Will that work?

Salima: Sure, no problem. Just one more thing: I heard that the company has a box at the stadium . . .

Jake: Let me stop you right there. I hope that’s not a deal-breaker, because it’s taken me . . . I mean . . . it takes years for employees to get invited.

Salima: No, not a deal-breaker at all. I’m just a fan.

Jake: In that case, it would be a pleasure to welcome you aboard.

[end of dialogue]

Dr. Lucy Tse has many job titles. One of them is scriptwriter. Thank you, Lucy, for your wonderful scripts.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast was written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2015 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
starting salary – the initial amount of money that one receives when first working for a company, with the expectation that the amount will increase over time

* Pharmacists, engineers, and computer programmers have some of the highest starting salaries for college graduates.

medical and dental coverage – health insurance for healthcare for general medical needs and tooth-related care

* The company offers good medical and dental coverage, but it is only for the employees, not for their spouses and children.

vision coverage – health insurance for eye- and vision-related care, including eye exams and prescription lenses

* The vision coverage includes one free eye exam each year and a $200 allowance to buy new glasses or frames.

vacation day – a day when one would normally work, but is allowed to be away from the office and still receive pay, generally for travel, relaxation, and enjoyment

* All the employees want to use their vacation days in the summertime, but we have to make sure enough staff members stay in the office to keep everything running smoothly.

personal leave – one or more days when an individual would normally work, but is allowed to be away from the office for an unspecified reason and still receive pay, often to take care or a family member or deal with administrative paperwork

* You’ll have to use personal leave to go to court for the traffic ticket.

sick leave – one or more days when an individual would normally work, but is allowed to be away from the office and still receive pay, because one is ill or needs to see a doctor

* Jerry has already used up all his sick leave for chemotherapy treatments, but he still needs more sessions.


to accrue – to accumulate over time; to increase gradually, one at a time, over a long period

* Justin loves to see the interest accrue in his bank accounts.

tenure – the length of time that one has held a particular position or worked in a particular organization

* Parking spaces are awarded based on tenure, so new employees must plan to use public transportation or park elsewhere.

job title – the name of the position that one holds; one’s position in an organization

* A title like, “Director of Marketing,” sounds impressive, but she was managing only a $3,000 budget.

junior – not senior; with less experience and fewer responsibilities than other people in the organization

* Most of our junior consultants get promoted to the senior level within five years.

to work under (someone) – to be supervised by someone; to report to someone in one’s job

* Working with Li is really hard, because he isn’t a very good communicator.

negotiable – open for discussion; flexible; able to change because a final decision has not yet been reached

* The landlord said that the rent for this apartment is not negotiable.

counteroffer – a response where one does not accept the other person’s number or proposal, but instead offers a more favorable number or proposal

* The owners are trying to sell the home for $275,000. The buyers made an offer of $255,000, but they’re expecting the owners to make a counteroffer.

compensation package – the combination of the salary and benefits that are given to a person in exchange for working in a particular job

* The company is offering a generous compensation package, but the job would require moving the family across the country.

to hear back – to receive follow-up communication from someone

* If we don’t hear back from you by tomorrow, we will give you a call.

deal-breaker – something that makes it impossible for two people to reach an agreement, because they are insisting on opposite positions

* Any home we buy has to have three bedrooms. That’s a deal-breaker for us.

to welcome (someone) aboard – to indicate that one is pleased to have someone join an organization, especially as a new employee

* The president always welcomes each new employee aboard.

Comprehension Questions
1. Which of these might not be covered for all employees?
a) Seeing a doctor.
b) Teeth cleaning.
c) Eye exams.

2. What does Jake mean when he says that Salima’s leave will increase with her tenure with the company?
a) She’ll have more leave once she fills out the right forms.
b) She’ll have more leave once she has been working for the company for a longer period of time.
c) She’ll have more leave once she has demonstrated exceptional job performance.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
tenure

The word “tenure,” in this podcast, means the length of time that one has held a particular position or worked in a particular organization: “It can be very difficult for schools to fire teachers who have tenure.” A “tenure-track professor” is a university faculty member (teacher) who does not yet have a permanent position, but is expected to earn it in time: “The university has a lot of tenure-track professors, but only the ones who do significant research and teaching will receive tenure.” Finally, when talking about the law, “tenure” is the legal right to use a piece of land or live on a property for a period of time: “This document gives us tenure for 100 acres of agricultural land in western Nebraska.”

to hear back

In this podcast, the phrase “to hear back” means to receive follow-up communication from someone: “Have you heard back from any of the universities that you applied to?” The phrase “to hear (someone) out” means to hear everything another person has to say, without interrupting: “Please stop interrupting and hear me out. I have some important things to tell you.” The phrase “to have heard of (someone)” means to know of something or to be familiar with the name of someone or something, and have some familiarity with it: “Yes, I’ve heard of the actor, but I haven’t seen any of his movies.” Finally, the phrase “(one) could hear a pin drop” means that it was very quiet: “The audience was so well behaved, you could hear a pin drop in the theater.”

Culture Note
Salary Negotiation Tips

When accepting a new job, many people believe it is a bad idea to “accept” (agree to) the first offer. They “advise” (recommend) making a counteroffer to try to improve the compensation offer. Of course, just asking for more money is probably not the best strategy. Salary negotiation “tips” (ideas; guidelines; advice; suggestions) include uses of the power of “persuasion” (trying to get others to share one’s opinions) to make the employer believe one would be an “asset” (something that has a lot of value) to the organization.

When making a counter offer, it’s important to show that one has done research. Present information about “typical” (average; common) salaries for similar jobs with similar companies in the same geographical area. Then demonstrate that one is well-qualified for the position, “emphasizing” (giving added importance to) special “skills” (abilities to do certain things) and qualifications that other “candidates” (people who are being considered for a job or opportunity) might not have. It can also be helpful to emphasize one’s “enthusiasm” (excitement, interest, and passion) for the job and the organization, as well as one’s ability to start “right away” (immediately), “if that is the case” (if that is actually true or applicable).

It’s also important to pay attention to the “entire” (whole) compensation package—not just salary. Some candidates focus only on the “salary” (amount of money received in one year), but “fail to” (do not) consider the value of other benefits. For example, a job that has a high salary but does not offer health insurance may not be as good as a job with a lower salary that includes excellent health insurance.

Comprehension Answers
1 - c

2 - b