Category Archives: Work

Conference Presentation, Part Two

I presented this paper in Victoria earlier this year, and I was asked to repeat my presentation at a conference in Vancouver. As before, it is a summary of my Master’s research project, all about ESL students and academic dishonesty. I find BC TEAL conferences really enjoyable to present at – lots of interesting questions and discussion usually happen, and the variety of talks is always exciting!

My paper, titled “Why Do They Cheat? A Meta-Synthesis of Academic Dishonesty in ESL Students” is available here.

So far….

This expression means “until now.” Use it to talk about a situation that is not yet finished, as in: “So far, school has been easy. We have only three weeks left in the semester, so I hope the test isn’t too hard!”

There is an expression where we use this phrase: “so far, so good.” This means “until now, everything is ok.”
“Hey, Carla, how is your marketing campaign going?”
“So far, so good, Dave. I hope we can increase our sales every week until Christmas!”

Top Five Vocab Mistakes on Your Resume:

1. Talking about your personality. Phrases like “motivated,” “sociable,” and “good at working on a team” are better put in your cover letter. The resumé should focus on your accomplishments, where the cover letter makes connections between you and the job you want.

2. “Responsible” or “responsibility.” While these words may be true, they are not clear. As an example: “responsible for hiring new employees.” Does this mean that you actually interviewed and decided who to hire, or does it mean that you told someone else to interview and make the decision? Replace them with a more specific word – in our examples, we could say “hired new workers” or “oversaw the hiring process.”

3. Using abbreviations after a name. An example: “Technical University of Canada South, Vancouver (TUCSV).” If this is the only mention of this university, you don’t need to waste space with the abbreviation.

4. Advertising. Some people like to add marketing information about their university or company: “Canada Collegiate School (the leading technical university in Canada).” The boss isn’t trying to decide on a university, and the quality of the school doesn’t necessarily transfer to the students at that university! If you need to describe your university or company, keep the details brief and factual. A better example: “QWERTY UIOP Technologies (computer manufacturer),” or “Canada Collegiate School (technical university.)” Make sure the boss gets excited about you, not your schools or companies.

5. Using “et cetera,” “and so on,” or other expressions. If you’re going to give a list, give the whole list. If you are giving just a few examples, tell the boss that.
“Completed projects with computers, models, presentations, et cetera.” becomes “Completed projects with computers, including models, presentations, and presentations.”

Keep the boss interested by using your best vocab and expressions. The resumé is a marketing document – it advertises you, the worker – and so it should be interesting to read. Good luck!

Make, Do, and Have: which is right for the interview?

Let’s keep it clear. As a worker, you will have an interview with a boss.

As a boss, you will have or do an interview with a worker.

Nobody will make interviews with anyone.

An intern will do an internship. A worker will do a job.

Nobody makes internships or jobs, except when a boss might create a completely new job from nothing. “I liked that person so much I made a job for them. They start Tuesday.”

Work is noncount. “I did a lot of work with customers,” not “I did three works with customers.”

Five Parts Of a Story

I’ve been teaching some classes in creative writing lately, and I wanted to share some of the most important details in storytelling.

Every successful story has 5 parts. They may not always be in the same order, but they are always present.

1 – Where does it happen?
2- Who is there?
3 – What is the problem?
4- Why is the problem important now?
5- How does the problem get solved?

By explaining these to your reader, they will be able to follow your story clearly. You can use them in other areas too – I learned them at the Vancouver Theater Sports League as hints for improvising actors, but they also make sense in presentations, job interviews, and other formal situations.

Six-Pack of Financial Words

Just a few words for work conversations today.

  • bankruptcy – noun – a time when a company runs out of money and can no longer pay their debts.
  • liquidation – noun – a time after bankruptcy when the company’s stuff is sold to get money to pay their debts.
  • liquid asset – noun – an asset is something that a business or person owns. A liquid asset is one that is easily sold or exchanged, like cash, gold, or certain investments.
  • fixed asset – noun – A fixed asset is not as easily sold or exchanged as a liquid asset. This group might include real estate, machinery, inventory, or contracts.
  • expenditure – noun – the money that a business needs to spend in order to do business. This might include buying supplies, paying salaries and rent, repairing machines, or advertising products.
  • revenue – noun – the money that comes into a business from doing its business activities, before expenses are paid

The Vocabulary of Customer Service

Serve is not the same as service, though they are both regular verbs (serve/served/served, service/serviced/serviced).

Serve is the verb of waiters, clerks, and attendants, and it means “to help a customer.”

  • The attendant served his customers quickly and efficiently.

Service is the verb of technicians, and it means “to repair or maintain a machine.”

  • The mechanic serviced the car before the trip.

If you use the verb “service” in place of “serve,” it is incorrect.

  • The waiter serviced his guests <- never, unless the guests are robots.

Service is a noun relating to the ability of waiters, clerks, and attendants to do their jobs.

  • The service is great here. I never have to ask them to pour more coffee!

Count and Noncount Nouns: Technology Edition

In class, these topics often come up. I decided to post it here as well.

  • Hardware = noncount
  • Software = noncount
  • Information = noncount
  • Computer = count
  • File = count
  • App = count
  • Data = plural, but most people use it as a noncount noun. (datum is the singular form, but this use is very uncommon.)

How to Pay and Save

Just a few notes about money today.

The verb is pay. It is regular, so the past is paid and the past participle is also paid. Spelling the past form “payed” is always wrong.

“Deposit” is the verb you use when you put money into your back account. To take the money out, say “withdraw.”

Deposit is regular: deposit/deposited/deposited, but “withdraw” is irregular: withdraw/withdrew/withdrawn.