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Slave Driver

Slave Driver English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Oct 20 2009

Themes: Work

Grammar: Passive Voice


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A good business person stays cool even when times are tough. But it’s hard to resist taking out your frustration on your employees.

And things aren’t going well for Devan’s company right now. Last week she found out that Marni registered the Web address she wanted and now Marni’s company is doing much better than hers.

So it looks like these days at americandreamd8.com, employees work from 8 to 8, 8 days a week. And Jason and Ella aren’t happy about it. They think Devan is a slave driver.

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1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.







Devan:  Get in here! Get in here! Come on. Come on. Don’t sit down! Get up.

Jason:  Why are you standing in here writing? What are you writing, anyways?

Devan:  Nothing.

Ella:  Yeah, what is that?

Devan:  Look at this, people! American Dream D8 is being beaten by Dream Boat, Marni’s company. What are we gonna do about this, people?

Jason:  You know, I have some ideas, Devan, but as you can see, the sun is going down.

Devan:  Uh-huh.

Jason:  And I’d like to go home and maybe get some dinner.

Ella:  This is all I’ve eaten all day! I haven’t had anything to eat for twelve hours!

Devan:  Sad story. Are you tired? Do you feel sleepy?

Ella:  Yeah.

Devan:  Mason, make them some coffee! There, better now? Ready to get to work? Just do it!

Jason:  I think you might be interested in an ad. Just check out American Dream D8, with an eight, dot com and, uh, give us a call back. Thanks so much. Man, I don’t know why I’m making sales calls. It’s eight PM.

Ella:  Yeah.

Jason:  Like, who’s home?

Ella:  Oh my gosh.

Jason:  This overtime is making me crazy. I’m getting out of here. I’m gonna sneak out. I’m make a break for it.

Ella:  I’ll be right after you in a little bit. I have to finish this up.

Jason:  Alright. Well, maybe I’ll see you at the bus stop.

Ella:  Yeah. Totally.


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It’s eight in the evening. The sun is down. Normal people have left work hours ago. But Devan is stressing out over a graph showing that Marni’s company is beating hers, so she calls an emergency meeting.

Jason and Ella explain that they’re tired. They need to get some rest and come back to tomorrow. But Devan tells them to drink coffee and keep working.

After working for a few more minutes, Jason decides to leave. Ella says she’ll go soon as well, but then she falls asleep at her desk.

What do you think will happen when Devan finds her? Have you ever fallen asleep on the job? How much do you think a person should work in a day?



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If things continue so,Deva will loose her emplyees to the  competitor (Marni's company)! hehe

Once when I was in military service,I was caught by a sergeant when I was sleeping on duty! hahaha I got a big trouble! :P

I'm a favor of people work just 8 hours per day! This is a healtly way to work ;)

11:37 PM Oct 20 2009 |



Russian Federation

it is not a better idea to start to discuss  such an important serious topic after a long tiring working day. For giving good ideas about what they gonna do with it, the most appropriate time is in morning with clear "sober" head. Actually, it is strange why Devan suddenly! decided to discuss  their company crisis after working day, what they had been doing all that time before?! (hee-hee). 

Well, I have had such an experience when I fall asleep right at my working place. It was after sleepless night after New Year Day's Party. I was struggling not to sleep, but as usual, our customers were sleeping by that time (I mean in morning after holiday) and didn't bother me much :)), so I could take a 30 min nap. 

06:19 PM Oct 20 2009 |




Maybe Devan should get them some sandwiches with that coffee.  I once worked at a place that would buy you dinner if you worked late.  I'd usually work late on Wednesdays so I could watch South Park on the company TV with free pizza…

05:45 PM Oct 20 2009 |





I think Devan will stress out more and more.

 one time I fall  asleep on the job .that day wasn't good at all

for me, person should work 6hours a day and he  has to take rest during the work

good luck!



05:01 PM Oct 20 2009 |




04:16 PM Oct 20 2009 |



Saudi Arabia

My point of view is an employee has to be loyal  to his/her job, especially when they are facing  a financial  crisis . not just quit and leave everything behind . coz at the end  your company success is your  all success and existence. Even sometimes you are passing through tough days, however boss has to use encouraging style with has employees rather than slave driving.

03:19 PM Oct 20 2009 |



btw the video is however slow here. My dsl is just 1319 kbps:S:S:S  although the internet company says it is 16000 …

01:48 PM Oct 20 2009 |



well That's hard. I would also get fed up of it and instead of being slave of others I would create my own company. But if my company is beaten like that then i would work to make something better of the company. Thats all. 

01:46 PM Oct 20 2009 |


Viet Nam

@sentinel: you are right. Remind me of a quote from Confucius: "Do what you love to do, then you don't have to work at all". So for a person, it is best that you can get the job that you are passionate for, rather than to choose money as the only thing to pursue. But this would surely depend on opportunities, and these would be provided by the government by creating adequate job policies. In Vietnam, public officials normally have to work 8 hours a day. Not many have tight schedules, but their salaries and passion for jobs seem not agree with their pressure. As a result, it is not uncommon to see some release the frustration on the customers and people. 

01:26 PM Oct 20 2009 |




in a working place the right level of stress helps to work better, too much or too little of it can make you inefficient…i think in this brand new company there's too much stress for the kind of employees Jason & Ella are…I mean, have you ever worked for a consultant company? working till midnight could not be enought…anyway I prefer to do not work in a consultant company ;-) !  

11:17 AM Oct 20 2009 |



azar: I hope you misstyped and actually mean 8 hours a day.

By the way, I used to have a job, in which I had to work 13 hours a day, 6 days a week.
I was the manager of a video rental store then. And I loved that job.
I met a lot of people each day, had a lot of chit-chat and a lot of fun, anyway.
And I sold what I liked: Movies and Games. And best of all: I earned good money.

So my conclusion is: If you like your job, it doesn´t matter if you work 6 or 12 hours a day. If your payment is OK, too, you won´t complain.

People who feel good in their jobs, are even more able to work under pressure than others are.

09:39 AM Oct 20 2009 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of


It depends on person that how many hours she or he works.

08:47 AM Oct 20 2009 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

It depends for person that how many hours she or he works.

in my opinion it is enough to work 8 hours a week.I have 2 reason.

1-if you work more than 8 hours,your performance will decrease.

2-workin more than 8 hours make you tired and you will not do your job tommow.

08:47 AM Oct 20 2009 |




If you don't want to be enslaved, then don't work for someone. It cannot be avoided at times that bosses are really bossy.

 As a mere employee, you have no escape but to allow yourself be tamed by your superior.Hehe!


08:28 AM Oct 20 2009 |



Sometimes I feel sleepy, but i must work therefore receive my monthly payment, so it´s necessary, but i´ve worked for 10 hours in average, not so more than it.

01:07 AM Oct 20 2009 |




If Devan finds ella sleeping and Jason escaping, she will totally have a temper tantrum.She is such a slave driver that she will make Ella and Jason more frastrated.So watch out, you both!When you fall asleep on the job, it usually means you're stressed out and you would not have good performances on it, so just kick back and throw the work behind for a while.

12:58 AM Oct 20 2009 |




What's Devan did is so not good for her business. Yes, she is a slave driver by not giving her employee a break. She needs to stay cool.

12:21 AM Oct 20 2009 |

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