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Describe a time when you were friendly to someone you didn't like

Part 2

This episode's vocabulary


  • Efficient (adj.) - working or operating quickly and effectively in an organized way.
  • Knowledgeable (adj.) - knowing a lot.
  • Nonetheless (adverb) - despite what has just been said or done.
  • Mercifully (adverb) - in a way that makes you grateful because it stops something unpleasant.
  • To play nice - to behave yourself
  • To get by - to manage or continue to exist in a state or situation where something is lacking.
  • Therefrom (adverb) - from that or from there; from a thing or place that has been previously mentioned.
  • Demeanor (noun) - a way of looking and behaving.

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Questions and Answers


M: Roro, Mr. Rory, are you ready?

R: Yes.

M: Could you start speaking now, please?

R: Well, I think I'm going to have to completely make this one up. Since I have no idea when the last time I did this was. And people always know where they stand with me, I'm quite honest. So there we have it, it's just going to be a complete fabrication on my part. However, let's crack on. We were in one of the studios where we used to record the podcast and this must have been about, oh, I don't know, a year and a half ago, before we found the place that we really liked. And we've been recording there ever since. However, this was back in the dark times. The place that we originally went to, the place I'm speaking about now, it was located close to the center of Moscow in one of those older apartment buildings with a courtyard. It was quite easy to get to, which is perhaps one of the main reasons that we chose it. So we could just go there, do the job, and then leave. Anyway, one of the technicians wasn't exactly the most efficient person in the world, nor the most professional. And I found him really frustrating to work with. He was like, quite slow, and impolite and didn't actually seem terribly knowledgeable about the equipment we were using. I think like at one point it seemed, even I knew more than he did about it, which is never really a good sign in terms of the people that you're looking to work with. Nonetheless, it was the only studio that would host us and we had to play nice in order to get by. Mercifully, that was the first and last time we had to do anything like that. And we found this really great place. And we're, well, quite happy working therefrom, and we have been, from that point on, apart from when I left. And when we get back together, we'll have the same better place to go back to so I'm really excited about that. And hopefully, we'll be doing it sooner rather than later.

M: And why were you friendly to him?

R: Because it's what the situation demanded. And I had to maintain a professional demeanor.

M: Thank you very for your polite answer!

R: Very polite!

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Discussion


M: So what a topic, dear listener, describe a time you were friendly to someone you didn't like. So it might be quite tricky to imagine this situation on the spot. So now you should think about it and make up your story. Okay? Or remember a situation, if you had something like that.

R: I find it really difficult to believe that this would appear. There's supposed to be sensitive topics. How many people openly speak about times when they dislike people?

M: Yeah...

R: Like, publicly. Obviously, everyone has moments when they're like, oh my god, I hate this person.

M: But when in real life, we have to be friendly to people we quite dislike? So it's like a social situation. For example, you are at work and at a party. Right? And you have to talk to somebody you don't quite like and you are polite, right? Or when you are in a lift. Yeah?

R: You're gonna talk about that for two minutes? I think it's better to say to the examiner nah, I'm just gonna make this up because this is crazy.

M: Yeah, we are starting a new trend, dear listener, with this like, you can start telling a story like...

R: Lying?

M: Oh, yeah. And you tell the examiner that you're gonna lie about it. Right? So why not? So I think I'm going to have to make it up, make it up, like, create a story, right? So lie. Oh, you know, that's a difficult one. I think I'm gonna have to completely make this one up. Since I have no idea and then you explain that, well, this is a crazy topic. I don't usually have such moments in my life. But to be honest with you, I think we do, I think we do this on everyday basis. Like I have to be polite to my concierge. How do you say this? Concierge?

R: Concierge. But like you don't dislike your concierge? You're just being polite because that's just being polite.

M: No. I dislike her.

R: Why?

M: Yeah, she drinks stuff. She smokes all the time. She looks unpleasant. And like she can't react to my requests as a an effective person. So you see, but this is like a social situation, also like taxi drivers. There you go. If you dislike a taxi driver and you're unhappy about what they're doing, but you want to be polite because they are driving you somewhere. Yeah? And it could be dangerous not to be polite because this taxi driver can freak out. And then yeah, some things can happen. You see? So, like, choose one situation. Right? But then it should be a story, right?

R: I think you've completely lost your mind.

M: Well, anyway, dear listener, hopefully, you understand what I'm talking about. Anyway, Rory talked about one of our studio recordings. And it's really nice how you started the story, like, let's crack on. Let's crack on, let's start. Then you used the past, we were or I was, we used to I used to. And then you give details. And then you go anyway, one of the technicians or one of the people, one of my colleagues was, and then you describe this person. So which adjectives did you use to describe this person?

R: Well, not the most efficient in the world. So it's like a compound adjective. It's a really nice way of saying completely incompetent. Nor the most professional. So not professional, slow, impolite. Didn't seem terribly knowledgeable.

M: Yeah, didn't seem terribly knowledgeable - he was stupid.

R: Okay, he was stupid.

M: Rory is very polite, instead of saying, like he was stupid.

R: He didn't seem terribly knowledgeable.

M: Yeah, he didn't seem terribly knowledgeable. Yeah, even I knew more about this equipment than he. And then what can you say about why you were friendly to this person?

R: Well, I did say, and it was, it was, first of all, it's the only place that would host us. So the only place that would have us working there. And we had to play nice in order to get by. So to play nice is to be polite. And to get by is to get your job done.

M: Yeah, so I had to play nice or this is... At the end of it you said something about demeanor.

R: Yes. I had to maintain a professional demeanor.

M: There we go. Yeah. It means like, I had to look professional. I had to be professional.

R: Yeah. I had to behave in a professional way in order to get by.

M: Or I kind of, I decided to be friendly with this person, not to annoy them, or I felt a bit uncomfortable, but just I decided to play safe to be nice. Yeah. And then you said like mercifully, mercifully. That was the first and last time we had to do this. Mercifully, like mercy.

R: Yes, mercifully is like, it's good. And first and last time just means it was the only time but instead of saying the only time you say it's the first and last time I'm doing something like this.

M: In terms of grammar, so you started off with I think I'm gonna lie about it. I'm gonna make it up.

R: I think I'm gonna make this one up. Completely make this one up.

M: Yeah. Again, dear listener, if you're not comfortable telling the examiner that you're going to lie about the whole thing, you may just avoid this and say, Okay, I think I'm gonna tell you a story...

R: About.

M: When I... Yeah, I'll tell you a story about a person I didn't quiet like at a party.

M: And then if they ask you at the end like, have you told anyone else about this situation, you'd be like, no, I've just made it up.

M: Yeah, yeah. Make sure you use the past tenses here. Because the story is about the past, a time when you were friendly.

R: And use complex structures, like it must have been, must have been. Relative clauses, which is perhaps one of the main reasons we chose it.

M: Yeah.

R: Which is never a good sign. Lots of good sequencing phases, though. Like, I think I'm gonna have to make this one up. We were in, anyway, for going back to whatever it was you were saying or starting off something new. At one point, nonetheless.

M: Yeah, or at some point.

R: Yes. At some point in the story.

M: Yeah, if you kind of, if you want to finish the story, a lie. You just say, well, to sum it up, that was an unpleasant situation for both of us.

R: It was a bit of a disaster.

M: Yeah, we had to stick to these social...

R: Rules.

M: Yeah, like to follow social rules. So I had to follow social rules and be polite. Yeah. Such a strange topic, though.

R: I don't think it's real. I don't think it's like politically correct enough.

M: I think it is real. It's not politically correct, but it is quite real. But yeah, yeah. But IELTS, you know, they have some essay topics, for example, when they give you a task to describe, like men versus women.

R: When? When do they do that?

M: Oh, yeah, yeah, it's just like one of the recent essay topics. Oh, gosh, it's just so sexist. About men versus women.

R: Wait, is it sexist? Or does it describe a sexist situation, is it like, some people believe this, but what do you think?

M: Oh, yeah, there we go. Some people claim that men are naturally more competitive than women. Do you agree or disagree? This is a dangerous topic. Because you might want to add ideas about you know, like, oh, I think men are this but women are this. And then the examiner being a woman reads your essay and thinking like, you know what? Yeah, so I think it's a dangerous topic. Anyway, dear listener, we have gone off on a huge tangent, back to being friendly.

R: Shall we draw a friendly close to this episode?

M: Yes. Be friendly to the world and the world will be friendly to you. Thank you so much for listening!

R: Join us next time when we will talk about being polite and friendly for part 3.

M: Bye!

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