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Friday, 8 May  2009  Working life

Meet some working Australians. They're going to tell us about their jobs.

SARAH: OK. I just work in retail as a customer service I guess at a little $2 shop called Cheap as Chips and yeah. So basically it's just working at the counter, putting stock out, keeping the shop floor tidy, obviously being - yeah, customer service to customers, showing them where things are and stuff like that, yeah.

I firstly just started when I was starting University down here, so I just handed my résumé around at any other shop that I could find and then I just got a phone call from them asking to come in for an interview and they just asked questions such as, what was my prior experience, what sort of qualities I could bring to the job

PETER: Yes certainly. I've been working for Telstra virtually since I left school, so it's 37 years ago now. But in various forms I went through and did a lot of technical training and then with the change in the workforce and changing technology, they didn't require the physical work to be done any more so I eventually went to a couple of different positions and then finally finished up transferring to the area I'm in now which is effectively, as I say, it's desk-bound most of the time, so I'm sitting in front of the computer looking at financial type things. But it's using a lot of the experience I gained through the years and the technical side initially, but it's been now about 5 years since I had any technical work, but that laid the foundation to get the job I'm working on now.

IAN: A normal day at my job's in the night. Actually I work night shift and I'm a nurse, an enrolled nurse at a War Veterans' Home. I now work in the hostel section of it and look after 70 residents ex war veterans, mostly from World War II now but we've got one or two Korean War Vets and Vietnam War Vets as well, and I sort of look after them during the night. Most of them I don't even see really because they sleep well and no problems, but I just sort of oversee the 70 residents, yeah.

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English Bites - Working life
story notes

Retail is the activity of selling goods to the public. So a person who works in a shop, or a store, are said to work in retail.

A counter is a surface or table from where people are served.

 putting stock out
Stock refers to the goods for sale in a store.To put stock out means to bring more items out into the shop and put them on display.

 shop floor
A shop floor is the area of the shop seen by customers.
We could also talk about the shop front, which is the part of a shop that faces onto the street.

Tidy means neat and clean.

 customer service
Customer service refers to serving customers. It involves answering their questions, helping them to find the thing they’re looking for and then selling and maybe packaging the item.

A customer is someone who buys goods.

A résumé is a summary of a person’s academic and work history. A résumé is usually written out as a list with headings about employment, education and other achievements.

The noun interview means a meeting where people ask questions. Interview can also be a verb. To interview someone is to ask questions.
In a job interview, you are asked questions to find out if you are suitable for a job. You are usually asked questions about your experience and qualifications.

 prior experience
Prior experience refers to things done in the past or experience you’ve had working in similar jobs.

Qualities are characteristics or features of a person. A person might say that their best qualities are honesty, friendliness and good manners.

Workforce refers to the group of people who can work and who are available to work in a society.

Here, position means job.

Transferring means moved from one job to another.

Desk-bound means restricted to working at a desk, rather than being more active. Peter has to sit at his desk all day.

 night shift
Night shift is the shift of work that runs through the night.
Here, the word shift refers to the period of time that a person works in one day. You could do the morning shift, the day shift or the night shift.

What's a résumé?

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