HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT STATISTICIAN
Ø 1) Before reading the text answer the suggested questions:
a)What does a statistician do?
b) Does your organization have a position of a statistician?
c)What are his/her qualifications?
d)What is the role of a statistician in your organization?
e)What are the qualities of his/her personality?
Ø 2) Look through the text and say what each paragraph is about.
(1)The word “statistician” creates an image for most people. They picture someone carrying a slide rule, calculator, or computer, spouting off formulas in an attempt to explain things that are incomprehensible to a normal person. Statistics scares many people. It is a subject that is clouded by people’s anxieties about math, in general, and is greeted with fear and loathing. Overcoming this negative association is difficult but very important if the Deming philosophy is to transform an organization. Statistics is applied in more fields than any other technical discipline, so the role of the statistician takes on a broad perspective. The statistician’s task is to assist others to solve their problems.
(2)There are three types of statisticians: mathematical, theoretical, and practical. Mathematical statisticians focus on advancing statistical theory, working generally in mathematics departments of universities or “think tanks.” Theoretical statisticians use statistical theory to understand the assumptions and limitations of the methods they apply in practice. They are found in industry, demography, biology, methodological research, etc. Practical statisticians use statistical methods without understanding their underlying assumptions and limitations. To implement the Deming philosophy, an organization needs a theoretical statistician who understands the philosophy and can assist top management in putting it into action.
(3)Selecting the right statistician to guide your organization is vital to the transformation process. The American Statistical Association has developed a list of the characteristics of an effective industrial statistician that can help you in your search for a statistician. This individual:
· is trained in the theory and practice of statistics,
· can effectively solve problems,
· has good oral and written communication skills,
· works within the constraints of the real world,
· understands the statistical literature,
· understands the realities of statistical practice,
· has a pleasant personality and is able to work with others,
· gets highly involved in the solution of company problems,
· is able to extend and develop statistical methodology,
· adapts quickly to new problems and challenges, and
· produces high-quality work in a timely fashion.
(4)In addition, the statistician should be a motivated person with a high energy level. He or she should be someone who can relate well to people at all levels of the organization. The statistician should be able to work on several problems simultaneously and perform well under pressure. The statistician should be confident, outgoing, optimistic, enthusiastic, tactful, organized, creative, inquiring, resourceful, skeptical, and willing to listen.
(5)A statistician who is going to guide an organization in the implementation of the Deming philosophy must also have a good understanding of human behavior, group dynamics, organizational behavior, and the process of change. This is necessary because much of the initial work is behavioral and requires environmental change that may take several years before the organization is ready for the statistical work. If the statistician does not come with this background, he or she can be trained within the organization, through outside courses, or by working with an organizational development specialist in the company.
(6)Statisticians should be able to communicate well with top management, union officials, vendors, customers, Board members, etc. Statisticians must act in a professional manner that encourages confidence in their ability to lead the pursuit of never-ending improvement of quality. They should follow the Code of Ethics for Statisticians. They should be respected by everyone in the organization and should be trusted to follow tasks through to their completion. Sincerity, honesty, and empathy regarding the problems that inhibit the transformation process are also required. Statisticians must have patience to allow for the proper timing of implementation. Even though they may want to put statistical methods into play, waiting for the atmosphere to be ready is crucial.
Ø 3) Find the paragraph which lists professionally necessary qualities of a statistician.
Ø 4) Name the paragraph which describes the kind of statistician that can put the Deming’s philosophy into life.
Ø 5) What paragraph gives the main directions for looking for the right statistician? What are they? Which of these directions seem the most reliable to you?
Ø 6) Make up a list of additional characteristics of an effective industrial statistician.
Ø 1) Look at all the headings of these short texts and decide what kind they are: newspaper articles, adverts of goods, vacancies of various positions.
Ø 2) Scan the texts and define their structure.
Do you want to be involved in all aspects of software engineering, working as part of a team in a challenging environment? You should have a degree in Computer Science, Engineering or a related discipline. In addition, we would like you to be proficient in one or more of the following skills: Unix, Windows/NT, SQL, C, C++, OO Analysis and Design and Web development. Knowledge of Billing Systems or mobile technology would be an advantage. Good communication, time management and interpersonal skills are essential. Ref: 201
TEST ENGINEERS / SENIOR TEST ENGINEERS
Are you a test engineer with at least 2 years experience in structured testing? Are you interested in working as part of a team in a fast-moving multi-project environment? Ideally you will have a degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or a related discipline. If you have a different degree with a postgraduate qualification in IT, we are also interested in hearing from you. Ref: 202
SUPPORT ENGINEERS / SENIOR SUPPORT ENGINEERS
Do you have experience working in a customer support role? Are you excited by the challenge of working on different projects in a changing environment whilst being totally customer focused? You should have a degree in Computer Science, Engineering, or a related discipline. If you have a different degree with a postgraduate qualification in IT, we are also interested in hearing from you. Proficiency in one or more of the following skills is desirable: Unix, Windows/NT, SQL, C, C++, OO Analysis and Design and Web development. A knowledge of Billing Systems or mobile technology would be an advantage. Ref: 203
Are you a technical writer with experience in writing effective user documentation and/or on-line help systems? You should be proficient in two or more of the following software packages: Microsoft Word, Frame Maker, CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Director. Familiarity with HTML and Web interface design would be an advantage, as would familiarity with software and documentation development processes. Ref: 204
Are you highly motivated with an aptitude for innovative thinking? We require IT professionals with at least 3 years experience in business process analysis and data modeling, and a degree in Computer Science, Engineering or a related discipline. If you have a different degree with a postgraduate qualification in IT we are also interested in hearing from you.
You should have excellent customer interfacing and account management skills. Knowledge of business analysis and modeling using CASE tools would be an advantage. Ref: 205
SENIOR MARKETING EXECUTIVE
Are you a highly motivated sales and marketing executive with knowledge of the software industry? We are looking for a marketing professional with an understanding of the telecommunications software industry and marketplace, and with at least 4 years experience in competitor product analysis. You will be responsible for positioning our products and for the design and implementation of Accuris sales and marketing initiatives. An appropriate degree or postgraduate qualification is required. Excellent customer, communication and interpersonal skills are essential. Ref: 206
Are you a system administrator with experience in Digital Unix and networking? Are you a good trouble-shooter? Would you like to work as part of a team in a fast-moving and challenging environment? We are looking for someone with a degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Engineering or a related discipline. In addition, you must also possess excellent customer interfacing, communication and interpersonal skills.
All the above positions carry an attractive and competitive salary package and offer unrivalled opportunities for career development in the telecommunications software arena. Applicants should forward an up-to-date CV, quoting the appropriate reference number, in strictest confidence, to our recruitment consultant Jacqui van Teutem.
Ø 3) Answer the questions:
a)What positions require more than two degrees in related disciplines?
b)Is practical experience necessary for all positions?
c)How about communication and interpersonal skills? What positions require them?
Ø 4) Imagine you have a degree in Computer Science. What position would you apply for? Why?
(EXTRACT FROM “THE FIRM” BY J. GRISHAM)
Ø 1) Before reading the text answer these questions:
a)What’s your job? How long have you been at your job?
b)Do you remember the interview before you were hired?
c)What kind of organization do you work for?
Ø 2) Look through the text and name the paragraphs containing information on or a definition of:
a)why Mitchell Y. McDeere chose Harvard for studying;
b)a dossier on him from ex-CIA agents;
e)requirements of moral qualities of those the firm hires;
f)his sudden change in the mood and a strong desire to be hired by this firm;
g)the most profitable way to operate;
h)the productive lawyers.
(1)The senior partner studied the resume for the hundredth time and again found nothing he disliked about Mitchell Y. McDeere, at least not on paper. He had the brains, the ambition, the good looks. And he was hungry; with his background, he had to be. He was married, and that was mandatory. The firm had never hired an unmarried lawyer, and it frowned heavily on divorce, as well as womanizing and drinking. Drug testing was in the contract. He had a degree in accounting, passed the CPA exam the first time he took it and wanted to be a tax lawyer, which of course was a requirement with a tax firm. He was white, and the firm had never hired a black. They managed this by being secretive and clubbish and never soliciting job applications. Other firms solicited, and hired blacks. This firm recruited and remained lily white. Plus, the firm was in Memphis, of all places, and the top blacks wanted New York or Washington or Chicago. McDeere was a male, and there were no women in the firm. That mistake had been made in the mid-seventies when they recruited the number one grad from Harvard, who happened to be a she and a wizard at taxation. She lasted four turbulent years and was killed in a car wreck.
(2)He looked good, on paper. He was their top choice. In fact, for this year there were no other prospects. The list was very short. It was McDeere or no one.
(3) The managing partner, Royce McKnight, studied a dossier labeled “Mitchell Y. McDeere - Harvard.” An inch thick with small print and a few photographs, it had been prepared by some ex-CIA agents in a private intelligence outfit in Bethesda. They were clients of the firm and each year did the investigating for no fee. It was easy work, they said, checking out unsuspecting law students. They learned, for instance, that he preferred to leave the Northeast, that he was holding three job offers, two in New York and one in Chicago, and that the highest offer was $76,000 and the lowest was $68,000. He was in demand. He had been given the opportunity to cheat on a securities exam during his second year. He declined, and made the highest grade in the class. Two months ago he had been offered cocaine at a law school party. He said no and left when everyone began snorting. He drank an occasional beer, but drinking was expensive and he had no money. He owed close to $23,000 in student loans. He was hungry. McDeere was their man.
(4)Precisely at two-thirty someone knocked on the door. Lamar looked at the partners, who slid the resume and dossier into an open briefcase. All three reached for their jackets. Lamar buttoned his top button and opened the door.
“Mitchell McDeere?” he asked with a huge smile and a hand thrust forward.
“Yes.” They shook hands violently.
“Nice to meet you, Mitchell. I’m Lamar Quin.”
“My pleasure. Please call me Mitch.” He stepped inside and quickly surveyed the spacious room.
(5)Lamar grabbed his shoulder and led him across the suite, where the partners introduced themselves. They were exceedingly warm and cordial. They offered him coffee, then water. They sat around a shiny mahogany conference table and exchanged pleasantries. McDeere unbuttoned his coat and crossed his legs. He was now a seasoned veteran in the search for employment, and he knew they wanted him. He relaxed. With three job offers from three of the most prestigious firms in the country, he did not need this interview, this firm. He could afford to be a little overconfident now. He was there out of curiosity. And he longed for warmer weather.
(6)Oliver Lambert, the senior partner, leaned forward on his elbows and took control of the preliminary chitchat. He was glib and engaging with a mellow, almost professional baritone. At sixty-one, he was the grandfather of the firm and also handled the recruiting, and it was his mission to sign Mitchell Y. McDeere.
(7)“Are you tired of interviewing?” asked Oliver Lambert.
“Not really. It’s part of it.”
Yes, yes, they all agreed.
“May I ask a question? “Mitch asked.
“Why are we interviewing in this hotel room? The other firms interview on campus through the placement office.”
“Good question.” They all nodded and looked at each other and agreed it was a good question.
“Fair enough. What kind of firm is it?”
“Tax. Some securities, real estate and banking, but eighty percent is tax work. That’s why we wanted to meet you, Mitch. You have an incredibly strong tax background.”
“Why’d you go to Western Kentucky?” asked Oliver Lambert.
“Simple. They offered me a full scholarship to play football. Had it not been for that, college would've been impossible.”
“Tell us about your family.”
“Why is that important?”
“It’s very important to us, Mitch,” Royce McKnight said warmly.
(8)They all say that, thought McDeere. “Okay, my father was killed in the coal mines when I was seven years old. My mother remarried and lives in Florida. I had two brothers. Rusty was killed in Vietnam. I have a brother named Ray McDeere.”
(9)“Mitch, our firm is in Memphis,” Lamar said. “Does that bother you?”
“Not at all. I'm not fond of cold weather.”
“Have you ever been to Memphis?”
“We’ll have you down soon. You’ll love it.”
(10)Mitch smiled and nodded and played along. Were these guys serious? How could he consider such a small firm in such a small town when Wall Street was waiting?
“How are you ranked in your class?” Mr. .Lambert asked.
“Top five.” Not top five percent, but top five. That was enough of an answer for all of them. Top five out of three hundred.
“Why did you select Harvard?”
“Actually, Harvard selected me. I applied at several schools and was accepted everywhere. Harvard offered more financial assistance. I thought it was the best school. Still do.”
“You’ve done quite well here, Mitch,” Mr. Lambert said, admiring the resume. The dossier was in the briefcase, under the table.
“Thank you. I've worked hard.”
“You made extremely high grades in your tax and securities courses.” “That’s where my interest lies.”
“We’ve reviewed your writing sample, and it’s quite impressive.”
“Thank you. I enjoy research.”
(11)They nodded and acknowledged this oblivious lie. It was part of the ritual. No law student or lawyer in his right mind enjoyed research, yet, without fail, every prospective associate professed a deep love for the library.
(12)“Tell us about your wife,” Royce McKnight said, almost meekly. They braced for another reprimand. But it was a standard, no sacred area explored by every firm.
“Her name is Abby. She has a degree in elementary education from Western Kentucky. We graduated one week and got married the next. For the past three years she’s taught at a private kindergarten near Boston College.”
“And is the marriage -“
“We’re very happy. We’ve known each other since high school.”
(13)“What position did you play?” asked Lamar, in the direction of less sensitive matters.
“Quarterback. I was heavily recruited until I messed up a knee in my last high school game. Everyone disappeared except Western Kentucky. I played off and on for four years, even started some as a junior, but the knee would never hold up.”
“How’d you make straight A’s and play football?”
“I put the books first.”
(14)Oliver Lambert cleared his throat and decided to get personal again. “Mitch, our firm frowns on drinking and chasing women. We’re not a bunch of Holy Rollers, but we put business ahead of everything. We keep low profiles and we work very hard. And we make plenty of money.”
“I can live with all that.”
“We reserve the right to test any member of the firm for drug use.”
“I don’t use drugs.”
“Good. What’s your religious affiliation?”
“Good. You’ll find a wide variety in our firm. Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians. It’s really none of our business, but we like to know. We want stable families. Happy lawyers are productive lawyers. That’s why we ask these questions.”
Mitch smiled and nodded. He’d heard this before.
(15)The three looked at each other, then at Mitch. This meant they had reached the point in the interview where the interviewee was supposed to ask one or two intelligent questions. Mitch recrossed his legs. Money, that was the big question, particularly how it compared to his other offers. If it isn’t enough, thought Mitch, then it was nice to meet you fellas. If the pay is attractive, then we can discuss families and marriages and football and churches. But, he knew, like all the other firms they had to shadowbox around the issue until things got awkward and it was apparent they had discussed everything in the world but money. So, hit them with a soft question first.
(16)“What type of work will I do initially?”
They nodded and approved of the question. Lambert and McKnight looked at Lamar. This answer was his.
“We have something similar to a two-year apprenticeship, although we don’t call it that. We’ll send you all over the country to tax seminars. Your education is far from over. You’ll spend two weeks next winter in Washington at the American Tax Institute. We take great pride in our technical expertise, and the training is continual, for all of us. If you want to pursue a master’s in taxation, we’ll pay for it. As far as practicing law, it won’t be very exciting for the first two years. You’ll do a lot of research and generally boring stuff. But you’ll be paid handsomely.”
Lamar looked at Royce McKnight, who eyed Mitch and said, “We’ll discuss the compensation and other benefits when you come to Memphis.”
“I want a ballpark figure or I may not come to Memphis.” He smiled, arrogant but cordial. He spoke like a man with three job offers.
The partners smiled at each other, and Mr. Lambert spoke first. “Okay. A base salary of eighty thousand the first year, plus bonuses. Eighty-five the second year, plus bonuses. A low-interest mortgage so you can buy a home. Two country club memberships. And a new BMW. You pick the color, of course.”
They focused on his lips, and waited for the wrinkles to form on his cheeks and the teeth to break through. He tried to conceal a smile, but it was impossible. He chuckled.
“That’s incredible,” he mumbled. Eighty thousand in Memphis equaled a hundred and twenty thousand in New York. Did the man say BMW! His Mazda hatchback had a million miles on it and for the moment had to be jump-started while he saved for a rebuilt starter.
“Plus a few more fringes we’ll be glad to discuss in Memphis.”
Suddenly he had a strong desire to visit Memphis. Wasn’t it by the river?
(18)The smile vanished and he regained his composure. He looked sternly, importantly at Oliver Lambert and said, as if he’d forgotten about the money and the home and the BMW, “Tell me about your firm.”
“Forty-one lawyers. Last year we earned more per lawyer than any firm our size or larger. That includes every big firm in the country. We take only rich clients - corporations, banks and wealthy people who pay our healthy fees and never complain. We’ve developed a specialty in international taxation, and it's both exciting and very profitable. We deal only with people who can pay.”
(19)“How long does it take to make partner?”
“On the average, ten years, and it’s a hard ten years. It’s not unusual for our partners to earn half a million a year, and most retire before they’re fifty. You’ve got to pay your dues, put in eighty-hour weeks, but it’s worth it when you make partner.”
Lamar leaned forward. “You don’t have to be a partner to earn six figures. I’ve been with the firm seven years, and went over a hundred thousand four years ago.”
Mitch thought about this for a second and figured by the time he was thirty he could be well over a hundred thousand, maybe close to two hundred thousand. At the age of thirty!
They watched him carefully and knew exactly what he was calculating.
“How many partners in the firm?”
“Twenty, active. We try to keep a ratio of one partner for each associate. That’s high for the industry, but we like it. All of our partners are multi-millionaires by the age of forty-five,” Royce McKnight said.
“All of them?”
“Yes, sir. We don’t guarantee it, but if you join our firm, put in ten hard years, make partner and put in ten more years, and you’re not a millionaire at the age of forty-five, you’ll be the first in twenty years.”
“That’s an impressive statistic.”
(20)“It’s an impressive firm, Mitch,” Oliver Lambert said, “and we’re very proud of it. We’re a close knit fraternity. We're small and we take care of each other. We don’t have the cutthroat competition the big firms are famous for. We’re very careful whom we hire, and our goal is for each new associate to become a partner as soon as possible. Toward that end we invest an enormous amount of time and money in ourselves, especially our new people. It is a rare, extremely rare occasion when a lawyer leaves our firm. It is simply unheard of. We go the extra mile to keep careers on track. We want our people happy. We think it is the most profitable way to operate.”
They watched him carefully to make sure all of this sank in. Each term and each condition of the employment was important, but the permanence, the finality of his acceptance overshadowed all other items on the checklist. They explained as best they could, for now. Further explanation would come later.
Ø 3) Point out the sentences corresponding to its content:
a)The firm had never hired a black and managed this by being secretive and never soliciting job applications.
b)Mitchell owed close to twenty three thousand dollars in student loans.
c)Mitchell has just returned from the similar interview in one of the most famous law firms in Chicago.
d)All the interviewers were greatly impressed with his resume and especially with the extremely high grades in the tax and securities courses.
e)Mitchell’s wife was also a graduate from Harvard.
f)Mitchell was interested in the kind of work he would do.
g)The firm invested an enormous amount of time and money in themselves.
h)All the partners of the firm become multi-millionaires by the age of thirty five.
Ø 4) Answer the following questions:
a)Who and what were the interviewers?
b)Why did Mitchell feel a little overconfident at the beginning of the interview?
c)What kind of firm was it?
d)How did Mitchell manage to make straight A’s and play football while at Harvard?
e)What is the attitude of the firm to the religious affiliations of the employees?
f)What is the policy of the firm towards continuous education of its employees?
g)How many hours a week do they work?
h)What is the firm’s hiring policy?
i)What was the main idea the interviewers wanted to sink in Mitchell’s mind?
(EXTRACT FROM “THE FIRM” BY J. GRISHAM)
Ø 1) What kind of benefits do people have at their jobs? Choose from the following: the high base salary, a raise in salary about …% each year, a bonus at the end of each year, low-interest mortgage loan for buying a house, a car, complete medical and dental coverage for the whole family, a retirement plan, vacations. Could you add anything else?
Ø 2) Read the first extract from the text from the beginning up to “What kind of rate?” and translate it into Russian.
Ø 3) Read the second extract from “What kind of rate?” up to “What about vacations?” and answer the questions:
a)Will there be any financial and other difficulties for Mitchell to pay for the house? Prove by the text.
b)On what conditions does the firm provide the BMW?
c)Why wasn’t Mitchell impressed with medical benefits?
d)What kind of retirement plan does the firm offer?
e)What is the goal of the firm concerning retirement?
Ø 4) Read the third extract from “What about vacations?” and up to the end and name the statements which are true:
a)The firm recognizes the value of leisure,
b)The firm provides three day vacations twice a year,
c)The firm provides the signing bonus: a cheque for two thousand dollars during three years,
d)They want the signing bonus to be spent exclusively on wardrobe,
e)They expect their attorneys to dress sharp and conservative,
f)The firm invests a lot of money in Mitchell and it expects him to be productive.
(1)As expected, the office was a power one with agreat view. It was in one of the prized corners on the fourth floor. McKnight, the managing partner, asked Mitch to have a seat at a small conference table next to the sofa. A secretary was sent for coffee.
McKnight asked him about his visit so far, and Mitch said he was quite impressed.
“Mitch, I want to nail down the specifics of our offer.” “Certainly.”
“The base salary is eighty thousand for the first year. When you pass the bar exam you receive a five thousand dollar raise. Not a bonus, but a raise. The exam is given sometime in August and you’ll spend most of your summer reviewing for it. We have our own bar study courses and you’ll receive extensive tutoring from some of the partners. This is done primarily on firm time. As you know, most firms put you to work and expect you to study on your own time. Not us. No associate of this firm has ever flunked the bar exam, and we’re not worried about you breaking with tradition. Eighty thousand initially, up to eighty-five in six months. Once you’ve been here a year, you’ll be raised to ninety thousand, plus you’ll get a bonus each December based on the profits and performance during the prior twelve months. Last year the average bonus for associates was nine thousand. As you know, profit sharing with associates is extremely rare for law firms. Any questions about the salary?” “What happens after the second year?” “Your base salary is raised about ten percent a year until you become a partner. Neither the raises nor the bonuses are guaranteed. They are based on performance.”
“As you know, it is very important to us that you buy a home. It adds stability and prestige and we’re very concerned about these things, especially with our associates. The firm provides a low-interest mortgage loan, thirty years, fixed rate, nonassumable, should you decide to sell in a few years. It’s a one shot deal, available only for your first home. After that you’re on your own.”
“What kind of rate?”
(2)“As low as possible without running afoul with the IRS. Current market rate is around ten, ten and a half. We should be able to get you a rate of seven to eight percent. We represent some banks, and they assist us. With this salary, you’ll have no trouble qualifying. In fact, the firm will sign on as a guarantor if necessary.”
“That’s very generous, Mr. McKnight.”
“It’s important to us. And we don't lose any money on the deal. Once you find a house, our real estate section handles everything. All you have to do is move in.”
“What about the BMW?”
Mr.McKnight chuckled. “We started that about ten years ago and it’s proved to be quite an inducement. It’s very simple. You pick out a BMW, one of the smaller ones; we lease it for three years and give you the keys. We pay for tags, insurance, maintenance. At the end of three years you can buy it from the leasing company for the fair market value. It’s also a one shot deal.”
“That’s very tempting.”
Mr.McKnight looked at his legal pad. “We provide complete medical and dental coverage for the entire family. Pregnancies, checkups, braces, everything. Paid entirely by the firm.”
Mitch nodded, but was not impressed. This was standard.
“We have a retirement plan second to none. For every dollar you invest, the firm matches it with two, provided, however, you invest at least ten percent of your base pay. Let’s say you start at eighty, and the first year you set aside eight thousand. “The firm kicks in sixteen, so you’ve got twenty-four after the first year. A money pro in New York handles it and last year our retirement earned nineteen percent. Not bad. Invest for twenty years and you're a millionaire at forty-five, just off retirement. One stipulation: If you bail out before twenty years, you lose everything but the money you put in, with no income earned on that money.”
“Sounds rather harsh.”
“No, actually it’s rather generous. Find me another firm or company matching two to one. There are none, to my knowledge. It’s our way of taking care of ourselves. Many of our partners retire at fifty, some at forty-five. We have no mandatory retirement, and some work into their sixties and seventies. To each his own. Our goal is simply to ensure a generous pension and make early retirement an option.”
“What about vacations?”
(3) “Book early, especially for Vail and the Caymans. You buy the air fare, but the condos are free. We do a lot of business in the Caymans and from time to time we’ll send you down for two or three days and write the whole thing off. Those trips are not counted as vacation, and you’ll get one every year or so. We work hard, Mitch, and we recognize the value of leisure.”
Mitch nodded his approval and dreamed of lying on a sun-drenched beach in the Caribbean, sipping on a pina colada watching string bikinis.
“Do you know about the signing bonus?”
“No, but it sounds interesting.”
“If you join our firm we hand you a check for five thousand. We prefer that you spend the bulk of it on a new wardrobe. After seven years of jeans and flannel shirts, your inventory of suits is probably low, and we realize it. Appearance is very important to us. We expect our attorneys to dress sharp and conservative. There’s no dress code, but you’ll get the picture.”
Did he say five thousand dollars? For clothes? Mitch currently owned two suits, and he was wearing one of them. He kept a straight face and did not smile.
“We want you happy. We take pride in our zero turnover rate, and we go the extra mile to keep careers on track. It’s your decision. The firm will soon invest a lot of money in you, and we want you to be productive.”
Mitch sipped his coffee and searched for another question.
“Anything else, Mitch?”
“No, sir. I can’t think of anything.”
THE AMERICAN DREAM
Ø 1) Before reading the text answer the questions:What is a dream? Do you have a dream? Would you like to share it with us?
Ø 2) Everybody knows the expression “the American dream.. Does Russia have a national dream? What is it?
Ø 3) Look through the text and say what ideas each paragraph is devoted to.
(1)To start with nothing, to work hard, and then to make a fortune - this is the American dream. People in the U.S.A. want more than anything to be successful. And when they make their money, they like to show it off by driving expensive cars and buying beautiful furniture for their homes. One bad result of this is that some people never start working. Some even hold two full-time jobs at the same time. This means that they have no time to enjoy themselves. The good result is the confidence that many Americans have in themselves. They feel that they can do anything, and get whatever they want if they try hard enough. It may take a lot of hard work to do well in America, but it is certainly exciting.
(2)A young man with no money and very little education decides he must get to the top. He works all day, studies at night, and looks around for a chance to get rich. He discovers that all his friends like eating his mother's home-made pizzas. He learns how to make them and starts selling them at school. Then he opens a pizza restaurant. It is a great success, so he opens another, and five years later he makes his first million dollars. He is the perfect example of the successful American businessman.
(3)Stories like this are very popular in the U.S.A. Men who started out with nothing and built up huge fortunes are national heroes. Every schoolchild knows the names of Íånry Ford, John D. Rockefeller, and Steven Jobs, who founded the Apple computer business. People like to believe that the chance to get wealthy or even rich is there for everyone however poor, who is brave, smart, and hardworking enough to take it.
(4)The American admiration for business success is as strong as ever. Americans work very hard. Most people have only a two- or three-week holiday a year, and work for at least forty hours a week. But the situation in American industry itself is changing. Old industries, like steel, textiles, and shoes, cannot keep their prices low enough. New industries, that use computer techniques, do not employ as many people as the old ones, as a result, people who worked in the factories twenty years ago are working in restaurant offices or airlines today. On the other hand, those who manage to get adapted to the new technologies find their way in the new world of business.
(5)When Kay Nolan got her first job at an engineering company in England, she was told, “You’ll never earn a proper salary because you are a woman.” Kay had a good degree in physics, but she wasn’t surprised. It seemed normal in those days that good jobs in industry were closed for women.
(6) After several different jobs, she moved to an American firm called Texas Instruments. At that time, a lot of American companies were looking for clever young scientists from abroad. They could usually offer better working conditions and more money than the British or other European firms. The stream of brilliant scientists going to America became a flood, which was called “the brain drain.”
(7)Kay and her husband, who had a Ph.D. in biology, joined it. They moved to California, which was then becoming one of the most exciting areas for “hi-tech” industry in the U.S. Kay started working at Apple Computer and traveled a lot all over the United States,to Ireland and Holland in Europe, and even to Japan and Australia. Now Mrs. Nolan is a principal engineer at the factory in Elk Grove. She is in charge of five other engineers, and it is her job to look after and repair the test equipment that Apple uses to build their computers.
(8)The key to Kay’s success is that she never stopped learning. She finished another course of study, and got her Master of Business Administration degree. Now she is earning a very good salary, and she is still moving up in her career. But when she is not working, she knows how to enjoy herself. In her free time, she sings in a choir that performs classical music. Her eyes light up when she talks about it. “Put me with ten or twenty other sopranos,” she laughs, “and I’ll have a lot of fun.”
Ø 4) Answer the following questions:
a)What does the expression “the brain drain” mean?
b)What is the key to success according to Americans?
c)What qualities of character are necessary to get wealthy in their point of view?
d)Do Americans admire success as strongly as ever?
e)With the old industries like steel, textile and others closing, what way out of the situation do Americans find to be employed?
f)How much do Americans work?
Ø 5) What tips would you take into account if you decided to get to the top?
a)Set realistic targets for yourself.
b)Be very good at your job, and the luck will come.
c)Hold fast to dreams.
d)Get totally involved in what you are doing and answers will bubble up to the surface.
e)Keep learning, especially from the opposition.
g)Be a shark: keep moving forwards.
h)Being a manager is an ongoing learning experience.
i)Learn from your mistakes.
j)Fill your time productively and profitably.