English at Work
Help! We need somebody
Episode 170705 / 05 Jul 2017
Denise has left at just the same time as things are getting busy at Tip Top Trading. The team are finding it difficult to cope with one less member of staff. How are they going to manage to deal with all the calls they're getting? Anna's going to have to rely on her telephone message note-taking skills!
Language to use when taking a phone message at a busy time
This episode focuses on the language that you might use when answering the phone and taking a message.
Phrases from the programme:
- We're a bit busy at the moment; could I take your name and we'll call you back?
- When would be a convenient time to call you?
- Could I take a message please and I'll make sure he/she calls you back?
What has the office run out of?
The answer is at the bottom of the transcript below:
Has anyone seen the stapler?
I can't find any pens.
Oh, here it is.
Will someone answer that phone?
Hello again and welcome back to English at Work. The offices of Tip Top Trading have become chaotic since Denise left and just at a time when things are getting busy. How is everyone going to cope? Let's find out.
Hello. Yes? It is. We're very busy at the moment so call back later. Bye.
That was a bit rude Tom.
Well we're too busy to be nice.
Hmm. Not a good attitude Tom. Even when you are busy at work it's important to be polite on the phone. It could be a potential customer. Anna, I think you're going to have to remind Tom about this.
Yes, I think so.
If things are busy in the office you could say to someone on the phone 'we're a bit busy at the moment, could I take your name and number and we'll call you back'? And, 'when would be a convenient time to call you?' or if the caller wants to speak to someone specific you could say 'could I take a message please and I'll make sure he or she calls you back?'
That's useful. Oh there goes the phone again.
Anna, could you get that please? I've got a mouthful of biscuit. Thanks.
Sure Paul. Hello? Tip Top Trading… yes, that's right… but things are a bit busy at the moment. Could I take your name and number and I'll call you back as soon as I can… oh hold on, has anyone got a pen?
I think we've run out. Denise usually orders them. Here, use my souvenir pen I bought in Italy, you see it changes colour if you hold it up to the light.
Thanks. Oh no! There's no paper to write it on.
Here, write it on my hand.
OK. Hold still. 7-4-9-0-5-6-8. Thanks for your patience, when is a good time to call you back? … OK… 3 o'clock… I'll call you then. Goodbye.
Possibly. Oh not again! Hello, Tip Top Trading, Anna speaking… I see… Well he doesn't seem to be here at the moment… can I take a message and I'll get him to call you back? Tom, I need your other hand to write on… keep still. OK, what's the message? … Yes, call Bob about the lemons on 8-0-9-5-2-4. OK, I'll pass that on. Thanks. Bye.
Goodness. It's been crazy here since Denise left. Look we've even run out of teabags. I'll go and get some, shall I?
Hold on Tom. Has that invoice for Tutti Fruity been sent out yet?
I dunno. Denise usually sends out the paperwork.
I wish Denise was here!
So do we all! It sounds like chaos in the office but however hectic things can get, remember to remain professional when answering the phone. Here's a reminder of some of the phrases you could use…
We're a bit busy at the moment; could I take your name and number and we'll call you back?
When would be a convenient time to call you?
Could I take a message please and I'll make sure he or she calls you back?
Ah there you are, Tom, you've been a long time. I need to give Paul that important message I wrote on your hand.
Ah… yes… it's a bit tricky. You see, I went to the toilet and then I… washed my hands.
Oh no, you've washed the messages off! What are we going to do now?
Erm… I'll get that, shall I?
We can't carry on like this.
No you can't! Has Anna lost the numbers of two potential clients? Can the company carry on like this? It certainly looks like it could do with another pair of hands. What will happen next? Join us again next time for English at Work. Bye!
Listening challenge - answer
What has the office run out of?
Pens and paper.
Latest English at Work
Episode 171004 / 04 Oct 2017
It's Anna and Tom's big day! Will Anna say 'I do'?
Episode 170927 / 27 Sep 2017
Just as Tom leaves to start a new life in Australia, Anna realises her true feelings. Will she be able to catch him before he's gone for good?
Episode 170920 / 20 Sep 2017
Tom's walked out after Anna rejected his marriage proposal. Will things at Tip Top Trading ever be the same again?
Episode 170913 / 13 Sep 2017
Anna said 'yes', but was she accepting Mr Socrates' job offer or agreeing to marry Tom?
Episode 170906 / 06 Sep 2017
It's decision time for Anna! Will she accept the offer to become the new boss at Tip Top Trading?
Episode 170830 / 30 Aug 2017
Paul's been sacked from Tip Top Trading. Mr Socrates is about to make Anna an offer she can't refuse – will she accept it?
Episode 170823 / 23 Aug 2017
With the new plastic aubergine finally launched, things should be looking up at Tip Top Trading. But someone's about to lose their job! Who will it be?
Episode 170816 / 16 Aug 2017
Tip Top Trading finally launch the plastic aubergine. But will the presentation of their new product go according to plan?
Episode 170809 / 09 Aug 2017
The team are getting ready to launch their new product and there's lots to do. Will they get things done on time?
Episode 170802 / 02 Aug 2017
Anna's got to organise the launch of Tip Top Trading's newest product. Can she find a venue at such short notice?
Episode 170726 / 26 Jul 2017
Denise is back at Tip Top Trading, but not everything is going smoothly! Will Anna be able to get everyone organised?
Episode 170719 / 19 Jul 2017
Denise is back – and she's going to take on more responsibility. Will Anna be able to help her settle in and show her the ropes in her new role?
Episode 170712 / 12 Jul 2017
Tip Top Trading is in chaos! The place is a mess and important messages are being lost. Paul may have to eat humble pie to make things better!
Episode 170705 / 05 Jul 2017
Chaos at Tip Top Trading! Denise has left and things are getting busy! How will the team cope being one member down?
Episode 170628 / 28 Jun 2017
It's Denise's last day at Tip Top Trading and she's worried about the future. Hopefully Anna can give her some good careers advice!
Episode 170621 / 21 Jun 2017
Anna's consulting the development team about her plastic aubergines. Will they understand the project?
Episode 170614 / 14 Jun 2017
Triumphant Tip Top Trading are back from the awards ceremony, but it's not all good news!
Episode 170607 / 07 Jun 2017
It's award time at the International Plastics Convention! Will Anna and the Tip Top Trading team win the prize?
Episode 170531 / 31 May 2017
The International Plastics Convention is here and the Tip Top Trading team are looking to promote their business. Will Anna be able to network effectively?
Episode 170524 / 24 May 2017
Anna's in charge following Paul's biscuit-related accident, but things are about to take a turn for the worse. How will she and Tom deal with a mysterious note they find in the office?
Episode 170517 / 17 May 2017
Paul's gone missing after he went to a biscuit convention. Anna and the others at Tip Top Trading have been left on their own – who will step up and take charge?
Episode 170510 / 10 May 2017
It's time for Anna to pitch her idea for a new plastic vegetable product to her boss Paul. Will she be able to capture his attention and get her idea off the ground?
Episode 170503 / 03 May 2017
Crisis at Tip Top Trading! Something's happened to the computers and everyone's work has disappeared! Anna needs tech support but can she say the right things to get them to help?
Episode 170426 / 26 Apr 2017
Anna is developing her idea for a new plastic vegetable. But has she considered all the information before she pitches the idea to her boss Paul? She's going to have to do some proper research before she can!
Episode 170419 / 19 Apr 2017
Anna and Tom are finally on their dinner date! Tom has romance on his mind but Anna is thinking about something else entirely – putting together a perfect business proposal!
Episode 170412 / 12 Apr 2017
Tom's had an accident! Can Anna find the right language to use to sort out health and safety problems at work? Find out!
Episode 170405 / 05 Apr 2017
It's time for Anna's appraisal - a chance to review how things are going and to set some challenges for the year ahead. But will Anna like what Paul has to say?
Episode 170329 / 29 Mar 2017
New recruit Rachel has been making life difficult for Anna and she's been making some bad business decisions. It's time for discipline and someone to give her a warning!
Episode 170322 / 22 Mar 2017
Tense times at Tip Top Trading! Anna is having trouble working with new employee Rachel, who's making some big mistakes. What can Anna do before Rachel goes too far?
Episode 170315 / 15 Mar 2017
Anna's struggling to work with Rachel, the new member of staff at Tip Top Trading. She's becoming more and more difficult and Anna will have to deal with it soon!
Episode 170308 / 08 Mar 2017
Anna's back from her French trip, so things should be going well at Tip Top Trading. But there's a new person coming in to work – will she and Anna get on with each other?
Episode 170301 / 01 Mar 2017
Anna and Tom have managed to complete a lucrative deal selling their Imperial Lemons. But not everything is going so well – their flight back to London has been cancelled! What will they do?
Episode 170222 / 22 Feb 2017
Anna and Tom are still in France trying clinch the deal with the French trader.Will they get him to sign the deal?
Episode 170215 / 15 Feb 2017
Anna and Tom are off to France to finalise a business deal. Will Anna manage to book the flight with Denise's help?
Episode 170208 / 08 Feb 2017
Can Anna renegotiate a deal with Tip Top Trading's customers in France?
Episode 170201 / 01 Feb 2017
Last time we left Anna and Tom locked in the stationery cupboard – will they escape and will Anna be able to secure a deal with a French company?
Episode 170125 / 25 Jan 2017
One of the companies Anna cold-called has got in touch! Will she get her negotiating hat on and get them to make an order?
Episode 170118 / 18 Jan 2017
Anna's making some cold calls to find new clients for Tip Top Trading. But will they warm to her approach?
Episode 170111 / 11 Jan 2017
After announcing a new strategy, Mr Socrates joins the team at the pub. But after a few beers he says some things he shouldn't!
Episode 170104 / 04 Jan 2017
Big boss Mr Socrates is visiting the Tip Top Trading offices and he's got some bad news! What is he going to say?
Episode 161228 / 28 Dec 2016
The big boss is visiting from America, and he's quite fussy about his hotel room. Looks like Anna has to do some complaining!
Episode 161221 / 21 Dec 2016
The boss is in town! Can Anna use the right language to book him a hotel room?
Episode 161214 / 14 Dec 2016
Emergency! There's a fire at Tip Top Trading! Will Anna be able to use the right phrases in this tricky situation?
Episode 161207 / 07 Dec 2016
Anna's been accused of smoking! Paul decides it's time to give his team a health and safety update!
Episode 161130 / 30 Nov 2016
Anna's down in the warehouse talking to Mr Ingle about stock, but she finds him doing something dangerous! How can she ask him to stop doing it?
Episode 161123 / 23 Nov 2016
Ann's been chosen to head up the company's stock management. But she needs help! Who will come to the rescue?
Episode 161116 / 16 Nov 2016
The team are having a meeting, but the boss is late! Will Anna be able to take charge and set the agenda correctly?
Episode 161109 / 09 Nov 2016
An open window leads to a mix-up in the office. Will Anna be able to explain this misunderstanding?
Episode 161102 / 02 Nov 2016
Anna's having some problems with writing an email. Luckily, Tom has some words of wisdom.
Episode 161026 / 26 Oct 2016
Mr Lime calls again to order some boxes for his Imperial Lemons. How will Anna handle the order?
Episode 161019 / 19 Oct 2016
Following Mr Lime's proposition, Anna needs to say no. How is she going to refuse his offer politely?
Episode 161012 / 12 Oct 2016
Anna's been told to improve her telephone manner. What tips will Denise give her?
Episode 161005 / 05 Oct 2016
Anna's making her pitch to Mr Lime, but it's going wrong! How will she cope?
Episode 160928 / 28 Sep 2016
Anna's making her pitch to Mr Lime, but it's going wrong! How will she cope?
Episode 160921 / 21 Sep 2016
Presentation time! It's a big day for Anna as she presents Tip Top Trading's new product
Episode 160914 / 14 Sep 2016
Anna's been burning the candle at both ends. But will her efforts pay off?
Episode 160907 / 07 Sep 2016
The team get together to share ideas about the launch of a new product, but they can't agree!
Episode 160831 / 31 Aug 2016
Tip Top Trading's big boss has ordered a re-check of every order this month. How will Anna get on checking information with the warehouse staff?
Episode 160824 / 24 Aug 2016
Tom and Anna have a meeting with their boss Paul, but who's getting praised and who's in trouble?
Episode 160817 / 17 Aug 2016
Anna's got some apologising to do. Will she be able to deal with Mr Lime's grapefruit mix-up?
Episode 160810 / 10 Aug 2016
Tom is in a panic and needs help! Luckily Anna steps in and offers to help with his meeting crisis!
Episode 160803 / 03 Aug 2016
Denise explains why she's in such a state of panic - and Paul is not pleased. Will Anna be able to help resolve the crisis?
Episode 160727 / 27 Jul 2016
Anna is determined to be friendly with her new colleagues and to make a good impression. Unfortunately, a slight misunderstanding leads her to make an embarrassing mistake.
Episode 160720 / 20 Jul 2016
Denise explains why she's in such a state of panic and Paul is not pleased. Will Anna be able to help resolve the crisis?
Episode 160713 / 13 Jul 2016
Anna's job interview continues. But with all the pressure and stress, she has frozen mid-sentence, unable to find the right word in English for what she wants to say.
Episode 160706 / 06 Jul 2016
Tip Top Trading is the fastest-growing company in the plastic fruit sector, and Anna desperately wants to be a part of it. Her job interview for a position in sales is going to be a challenge. How will she cope?
Episode 160701 / 01 Jul 2016
Meet Anna, Paul, Denise and Tom. English at Work focuses on English communication in the office. Join Neil in this special introductory programme as he finds out about the characters who work in the offices of Tip Top Trading.