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1. A: So, what is your job exactly?
B: I write market reports about the chemical industry.
A: How do you do that?
B: I talk to people in the industry. I read articles and obviously I follow the markets.
A: What sort of equipment do you use?
B: Well, that are some good Internet sites which give a lot of information. In fact sometimes there is too much information. And I also use teletext on my TV. My doctor says I spend too much time in front of a screen, but I don’t really have a choice.
A: Where do you work?
B: I work at home near Oxford. When I lived in France I had an office in Paris, but I moved to England two years ago, and found I could do the job from home. I have a very small office with my fax, my phone, and my PC. In fact, it’s not really big enough for me and all my equipment, but I manage somehow.
A: And do you work normal office hours?
B: Yes. I start at about nine and work until three thirty. This give me enough time to go and pick up the children.
A: So no business lunches?
B: No, unfortunately. It’s usually a quick sandwich in the kitchen, then back upstairs. It was nice before to have lunch with contacts or colleagues, but now I waste less time. Now, I only speak to colleagues on the phone. Sometimes it’s too quiet in my office.
A: So do you prefer the traditional way of working?
B: it depends. I feel I work more efficiently at home because in an office there are too many distractions, but I do miss the contact with colleagues.
B: Thank you.
2. A: You are a market analyst I believe.
C: That’s right. I work in Brussels and I analyse the petroleum market.
A: What sort of office do you have?
C: It’s a very modern open-plan office. It has work-stations for about twenty people in one large area.
A: Surely that’s too many people?
C: Not really. In the morning there are usually about fifteen people, but after lunch there are fewer. When you arrive you take a space that is free. If you don’t arrive early enough, you don’t get the best places – next to the window!
A: Isn’t it very noisy?
C: Not really. And anyway it is good to hear other conversations. It helps you to know what’s happening on different markets and with different customers.
A: What about lunch?
C: We usually take customers and contacts to lunch. It’s a good way of getting information. When I have enough data I write my reports.
A: What sort of equipment do you have?
C: Computer screens with direct online data from the markets. Everyone has a lap-top and a phone. That way they can work anywhere.
A: So what are your normal hours?
C: I start really early at about seven, and I finish at about seven p.m. And then I go for a drink with my colleagues. I get home at about nine, which my wife thinks is too late!
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