k You haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance. Ex 7
a Don’t even think about jumping from a moving vehicle.
b Resist the temptation to run from a mountain lion.
c Put any ideas of playing dead out of your mind.
d Your best bet is to shout and flap your coat at the animal.
e Do not in any circumstances try to stand up on the ice.
f Take care to land on your back to avoid breaking it.
g There’s not much point trying to force the door open.
h Forget about trapping air inside a sinking car.
i By far the most sensible thing to do is to open the car window.
j Just grabbing on to the nearest person with a parachute is not a smart move.
k It’s a common mistake to think the shark’s nose is the best area to target.
l You’d do much better to strike at the eyes or gills.
m Make sure that the nose of the plane is six inches below the horizon.
n It’s a good idea to brake as soon as you’ve gained control of the steering PAGE 75
A quick agreement may not be the right decision. Ex 2
a There’s a backlog of orders.
b C (Per)
a He objects to closing down the production plant in North Africa.
b local people losing their jobs
a neither Simon’s nor Matt’s
b yes Ex 3
a Look, time is short [we’re running out of time]. So let’s put our heads together [pool our ideas] and see what we can come up with [suggest].
b OK, we’ve weighed up the various pros and cons[advantages and disadvantages]. Now it’s time to reach [come to] a decision and stick to [stand by] it.
c I don’t want us rushing into things [we need to take our time on this]. This whole issue requires long and careful consideration [serious thought].
d I take it we’re all in agreement [we unanimously agree] that our first priority [the main thing] is to safeguard the well-being of our personnel.
e Well, then, I don’t see we have any option [alternative] but to give this proposal our full backing [complete support].
f I’d like your input [opinions] on this before committing us to any definite course [plan] of action.
g I’m in two minds [undecided] about it. And at this stage I think we should keep our options open [I don’t think we should make a decision].
h Well, in the absence of more reliable data [information], I think I’m going to have to go with my gut instinct [intuition] on this one. Ex 4
a the ball is in their court
b jump to conclusions
c when it comes to the crunch
d sit on the fence Page 76
McDonald’s crying over spilled coffee
In 1994 Stella Liebeck, a New Mexico grandmother, ordered a coffee at a McDonald’s drive-through restaurant. Minutes later, sitting in her car in a car park, she accidentally spilled the coffee – heated, in response to customer preference, to a scalding 180ºF – and suffered severe burns requiring surgery. A crisis was about to unfold.
When McDonald’s refused to take responsibility for paying the woman’s medical bills, she went to an attorney and sued the company. At the trial the jury found McDonald’s liable and awarded $200,000 in compensatory damages (less $40,000 for negligence on Liebeck’s part) and a massive $2.7 million in punitive damages because of what they saw as McDonald’s unacceptably dismissive attitude.
One might have expected the bad publicity to ruin McDonald’s, but instead newspapers leapt to the company’s defence, declaring what nonsense the court’s verdict was. ‘America has a victim complex,’ announced the San Francisco Chronicle. The punitive damages were later reduced by the judge to $480,000 and, while awaiting the appeal, the parties made an out-of-court settlement for an undisclosed sum. But by then the ‘three million dollar coffee-spill’ had already passed into corporate legend.
a = 8, an = 3, the = 14; total = 25
Mercedes on a roll
In the automotive industry the trend for many years has been towards a smaller, more economical vehicle. So in the autumn of 1997, Daimler-Benz introduced a new economy model, the Mercedes ‘A Class’. It was a car designed to compete with the ever-popular Volkswagen Golf. But just before the November launch, disaster struck.
A Swedish auto magazine had conducted what they called an ‘elk test’ on the new car. The test is standard in Sweden to make sure cars can steer to avoid large deer crossing the road. But at just 60kph the ‘A Class’ overturned, injuring both the test drivers. A storm immediately blew up in the press and on TV, as buyers waiting to take delivery cancelled their orders. For Mercedes it was not only a financial but an image crisis too.
Daimler responded quickly, adding wider tyres, an electronic stability mechanism and stronger anti-roll bars – all at no extra cost to the customer. A highly successful advertising campaign and public support from Niki Lauda, ex-formula one racing champion, helped to restore consumer confidence in the ‘A Class’ but at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.
a = 8, an = 3, the = 14; total = 25 Page 77
b stay calm
a unfair dismissal b insider trading c embezzlement
a breach of contract (not to abide by a written agreement)
b conflict of interests ( a situation in which someone cannot make fair decisions because they may be affected by the results)
c misuse of funds (to spend company money in an unauthorised way)
a take b start c file d settle e be f pay g declare h appeal i bring
settle out of court
They say ‘All’s fair in / love and / war.’ And when it comes to getting a good deal, the same is true of / business. For / example, in 1803, / (or a) half of what is now theUSA was actually bought from the French for three cents anacre! How were they able to get suchabargain? At the time, / Emperor Napoleon was preparing to go to / war with / Britain and was desperate to sell.
Phrase bank: Decision-making
1 b, k, p 2 f, g, l 3 a, h, m 4 c, i , q 5 e, j, n 6 d, o, r