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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Office Animals 3


Do you recognize the people above? What do you think they do?


Last December we discussed strange animals in the office. Here are some more members of the professional menagerie.

Following are slang words to describe six office jobs. Match the description to the type of worker:

1. A-team
2. do-nothing
3. exec
4. go-getter
5. has-been
6. higher-ups

a. an aggressive worker
b. short for a well-known business term
c. one never produces anything
d. somebody who is no longer effective
e. top people in a company
f. the most effective group


1. A-team (f): This is the most effective group. "A" is often used to mean "Number 1," as in "Grade A eggs" or a "AAAA Tourism Rating." The term "A Team" was made popular as the name of a TV show about a group of "experts" who went around helping people. (The men in the picture above are from this show.)
2. do-nothing (c): a person who (you might guess) does nothing
3. exec (b): Short for "executive." Also used as an adjective: "the exec suite," etc.
4. go-getter (a): an "eager beaver," an aggressive worker
5. has-been (d): Somebody who is no longer effective
6. higher-ups (e): Superiors in the company


Use each of the above terms in one of the following sentences. Be sure to use the correct form.

1. We want Harry on our team; he's a real __________.
2. She's the chief __________ of Reginald & Jeeves, Inc.
3. Our previous ad campaign failed; it's time to send in the __________.
4. When we hired Dave we thought he'd be a real go-getter, but not anymore; it turns out he's a __________.
5. This new policy was handed down by the __________.
6. I would have finished my work sooner, but my colleague was no help; he's a real __________.


If you can, try to talk about these questions in English with a friend. If not, try writing your answers.

1. Do you know anyone like the people above? Talk about them.
2. Do any of these jobs describe your working style? If so, which ones? Why? If not, what is your working style?
3. Make up a story about a "typical day" in an office, using these terms.


1. go-getter; 2. exec; 3. A-team; 4. has-been; 5. higher-ups; 6. do-nothing

This lesson is ©2012 by James Baquet. You may share this work freely. Teachers may use it in the classroom, as long as students are told the source (URL). You may not publish this material or sell it. Please write to me if you have any questions about "fair use."

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