OPERATOR: Hello, you have reached the complaints department. How can I help you?
JACK: Yes, hello there. I am phoning to make a complaint regarding a flight that I took with you recently.
OPERATOR: OK. There are some details I will need to take from you first. May I have your name please?
JACK: Jack Dawson (Example). That’s D-A-W-S-O-N.
OPERATOR: And your address?
JACK: It’s 33 Hillcrest (Q1) Road. That’s H-I-double-L-C-R-E-S-T.
OPERATOR: 33 Hillcrest Road. Is that in Exeter?
OPERATOR: And what is the postcode of the residence?
JACK: It’s AL698GQ. (Q2)
OPERATOR: Thank you. Do you have a telephone number?
JACK: Yes. The number at my office is 754688. (Q3)
OPERATOR: That’s good, and may I just take a home phone number for you in case of emergencies?
JACK: No problem. It’s 798662.
OPERATOR: Are they both local numbers?
OPERATOR: OK great, thank you for your patience. Now what is the nature of your complaint?
JACK: I’m phoning to complain about a flight I took recently. I always take certain measures to ensure that I will be comfortable. For example, I always pay the additional cost for extra legroom and I always arrive punctually for the flight to make sure that I am seated beneath an air conditioner. Unfortunately I was disappointed to find that the air conditioning on the plane was broken, so I spent the entire flight in discomfort as it was too hot and the air was stuffy. (Q4)
OPERATOR: I see. I do apologise for this fault with the air conditioning. Now while I have you on the phone, would you mind answering a short questionnaire regarding your recent flight?
OPERATOR: OK, let’s get started. What did you think of the food that was served to you during the flight?
JACK: I thought that it was inexpensive and quite delicious. However I was still very hungry afterwards as it was a very small portion and more of a snack (Q5). Providing a snack for lunch is not reasonable.
OPERATOR: OK, I have noted that down. What was your opinion of the quality of service that you received from our staff on-board?
JACK: The staff were very helpful, Q6 but each time I pressed the button to request service it took a long time for a staff member to arrive. I found this frustrating as there just weren’t enough staff on-board the flight to be able to serve all of the customers.
OPERATOR: OK, that’s great. Thank you very much for answering those questions. Are there any other parts of your travel experience that you would like to comment on?
JACK: Yep. The process of moving through security (Q7) was very quick and helped to make my travel experience stress-free.
OPERATOR: Okay. Do you have any extra comments on the services you received during the flight?
JACK: Yes, I thought that the seats were very uncomfortable and looked very old. They were also in need of repair as the reclined feature on my chair was broken so I could not go to sleep for the whole flight. Luckily the entertainment (Q8) facilities were very good so I was able to distract myself by watching movies.
OPERATOR: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of my questions, we would like to offer you some gifts as a goodwill gesture, with a 20% discount on the cost of your hotel (Q9) stay. We also appreciate that international calls to your home country can be expensive and we are sure that you would like to keep your family updated on your travels, so please accept a phone card (Q10), which has a credit of £20.
JACK: Oh that’s really great. Thank you so much for the gifts!
OPERATOR: No problem, we look forward to having you travel with us again soon! Have a fantastic vacation.
PRESENTER: Good morning, listeners! And welcome back to Star Radio!
Today on the show we have a visitor from Yazoo Car Rental who is going to give us an insight into his company and into the public transport system! Welcome Jonathan!
JONATHAN: Thank you for having me. Yes, I would like to start by introducing my company Yazoo Car Rental. We are the cheapest and most reliable rental company in the city and have won multiple awards for the quality of our services. This success did not come easily, however, and it proved important that we stay fresh and are always thinking of ways to attract new customers. Our first attempt to do this was to offer a free gift with every car rental, which we were confident the customers would be very interested in. The offer of a free hoover with each rental, however, did not attract any new customers so we quite quickly stopped offering it. (Q11)
In 2002, a new taxi company opened next door to us and we started losing a lot of business to them, so we introduced an offer that we hoped might compete with their service. We offered a new package where you could rent a car with a driver for a small extra fee. By introducing this offer, we found that all of our customers preferred to drive the cars themselves (Q12), so again this offer was unsuccessful in attracting more customers.
Learning from these mistakes, we decided to offer a package service where the customer no longer had to come to our offices to pick up the rental car. Instead we could drop off and pick up the car anywhere in the city to make the customer’s experience a lot more stress free. This offer was very popular and increased our profits by 30%. (Q13)
In order to attract a younger demographic, we updated the models of cars that we offered for rental. We began offering more trendy cars such as minis and smart cars that we thought might appeal to the younger crowd and we also purchased them in more fun colours like reds and greens. This offer attracted some new customers of a younger age group, however not as many as we hoped. (Q14)
Next I decided to offer our services at a discounted price on our website where it could be seen by thousands of people. I thought that this could be a great way to attract a number of new customers who would never have heard of us before and it worked fantastically well (Q15). Following the success of the discount offer, we had so many customers that it became necessary to open a new branch of the company in the centre of the city. The cost of renting offices in the city centre was very high, so we hoped that our profits would justify this expensive decision. We made enough profit to keep our city centre offices open, but we had hoped for a greater increase in customer numbers. (Q16)
JONATHAN: Now for the second part of my talk, which is on the topic of public transport. There are many benefits to public transport, for example, the recent introduction of bus lanes has meant that buses are now unaffected by traffic jams and are able to stay on schedule. Unfortunately, as fewer and fewer people are taking the bus nowadays, the service has become quite inefficient. (Q17)
This reduction in passengers may be due to the stories in the newspaper about the dangers posed to pedestrian safety by the buses, however this is largely untrue as buses are responsible for far less pedestrian-related accidents than cars. I use the bus service often, as car petrol is so expensive nowadays that the bus is far more affordable. However, if I am in a rush I prefer to take a taxi as they tend to get you to your destination very quickly so you can remain punctual for your appointments (Q18). I also very much enjoy flying to my destinations, as the service is incredibly fast and the airports are always very easy to find.
Personally, my favourite mode of transportation is the bus. Due to the lack of people using the service I have found that the buses are never overcrowded so there is always a seat available. They are also never dirty as they get cleaned regularly. However, I have found that sometimes the bus can be over a half hour behind schedule which can be very frustrating (Q19). There has been a lot of fluctuation in the price of bus tickets in the last couple of years. In the past, £1.80 for a ticket was enough to sustain the bus companies, however, as the price of fuel increased so did the ticket prices. Now the ticket prices are declining as the bus companies try to encourage more people to use their service again. (Q20)
Well, that’s all from me today. Thank you for listening.
ALEXANDRA: Excuse me, Dr Thompson. May I speak to you for a minute?
MR THOMPSON: Of course. Please come in.
ALEXANDRA: I’m Alexandra Jones. I’m studying Business here at the university and for my assignment I have to carry out a survey of people who own their own organisations. I heard that you are the founder of your own company, and I was wondering if I could ask you some questions about it.
MR THOMPSON: Yes, of course, please fire away.
ALEXANDRA: OK great, we’ll get started! Did you encounter any problems whilst you were starting your company?
MR THOMPSON: Actually it was not as hard as I anticipated. I started out with very clear objectives, so I knew exactly what I wanted my corporate identity to be. It was very difficult to find the correct premises as the property market in London is so competitive, but eventually I found the perfect site. The hardest part was structuring the business, as I had no formal template so I had to create it myself. (Q21)
ALEXANDRA: Yes, that is very impressive. Was it difficult dealing with staff?
MR THOMPSON: It’s always tricky trying to satisfy a group of people with varying interests, however, I didn’t encounter many problems. I found it very important to make the staff feel appreciated, so I hosted a staff day where we could all introduce ourselves and get to know each other as individuals. I was also able to talk to them about the type of work that they would be doing and gave them the opportunity to share with me the issues they had with the allocation of the work. (Q22)
ALEXANDRA: OK. Did you hire a management team or did you take on the role of the manager?
MR THOMPSON: Oh no, I already had enough tasks to take care of. I employed someone else to take on the role of the manager, however, he never consulted me before making decisions (Q23) so I was forced to let him go and hire someone else.
ALEXANDRA: And what did the other staff think of the new manager?
MR THOMPSON: They had a great deal of respect for him. It definitely helped that I consulted with them before hiring him. They were surprised that he has been so successful in his role at the company, despite the longer meeting hours. (Q24)
ALEXANDRA: Since the company opened, has it had any great achievements?
MR THOMSON: There are many aspects of the company that I am pleased with, however, there is one achievement of which I am particularly proud. I wanted a mural painted to brighten up our entrance area, so I decided it would be a great idea to invite the local primary school to create one for us. The youngsters had a great time and I know they were thrilled to be included. (Q25)
ALEXANDRA: Oh, that’s lovely.
ALEXANDRA: Have you encountered any major problems since you opened the company?
MR THOMPSON: Yes, we are always encountering issues with employment because it is very hard to find people who are qualified for the roles that we were offering, but unfortunately there is no solution (Q26) to this. One of our administrators also recently left to go on maternity leave, which put us in a tricky situation, however, we have managed to find a temporary replacement for her. It’s also now approaching the period when we must carry out our financial training so I need to find a venue with enough space to hold everyone. It will be interesting trying to organise that event!
ALEXANDRA: Oh gosh, I can imagine. I find it hard enough to organise myself!
MR THOMPSON: Organisation is a difficult thing to master, but it is also essential for success! Whilst I was learning how to stay organised, I realised that the role of motivation (Q27) is essential.
ALEXANDRA: OK, that’s great!
MR THOMPSON: I also suggest that you visit the library, as there is a section on culture (Q28) that will have some very valuable material on how to develop your organisation skills.
ALEXANDRA: OK, I’ll head to the library when we’re finished.
MR THOMPSON: I think you will find it very useful. They also have a collection of documentaries on the subject of personal organisation and I suggest that you look up the literature on management of change (Q29). I personally found these sources incredibly useful. Articles are also a valuable resource and we have a whole collection of them in our university library. I advise that you look at Section 2 where you will find articles on the nature of volunteering. (Q30)
ALEXANDRA: That’s great, thank you so much for your help.
MR THOMPSON: No problem.
Welcome class to your very first lecture in this series on Architecture conducted by myself, Dr Torben Dahl. Today we will be looking into the relationship between climate and architecture, where I will be giving you a critical overview of the main climate influences that shape the design of buildings. Throughout this lecture series we will be looking at the latest research into climatic design carried out by experts in the field in addition to case studies and examples drawn from modernist practice both in cities (Q31) and rural areas.
Now, acid rain is one of the climatic elements with the most devastating effects on our architecture. The chemicals in acid rain can cause paint to peel, corrosion of steel structures such as bridges, and erosion of stone statues. Since the 1970s, our government has been making great effort to reduce the release of these chemicals into the atmosphere with positive results. Private organisations have also been raising awareness and funds and recently received a huge donation from the bank (Q32). It is interesting to look at the studies that have been carried out into the effects of acid rain at varying altitudes. Research has shown that there are lower levels of acid in the damaging pollutants at higher altitudes, meaning that skyscrapers (Q33) are much less vulnerable to the negative effects as they are exposed to acid rain with far lower levels of damaging pollutants.
Recently, the Alter Project was founded to carry out further research into acid rain. This project is directed towards studying the effects of acid rain on old, traditional buildings of stone (Q34) construction that are vulnerable to damage caused by acid rain. Masonry is particularly vulnerable as it is easily corroded and weakened by the acidic chemicals. It is imperative that we protect these buildings, as they are valuable examples of our history and culture.
Pollution is one of the main sources of concern in the present day. The construction industry contributes considerably as a source of pollution in its day-to-day processes of creating building materials such as concrete and glass, however, more new sustainable methods are being developed to counter this. A recent case study for this is Sky Tower, whose windows have been made from recycled glass (Q35) to prevent pollution from the glass-making process.
Water is the most problematic element to be considered in construction. It is imperative that construction elements such as the insulation are fitted into the building in dry weather to prevent it from getting wet. This makes winter an undesirable season for construction as the heavy rainfall (Q36) can have adverse effects on the building. Another climate type that has an enormous affect on buildings is humidity. Constructions made of steel and stone are largely unaffected by humidity, however, it can have a serious effect on wooden (Q37) constructions if the timber has not been correctly treated. Moisture from the air can condense in the grain of the wood, which then swells and shrinks in proportion to the magnitude of change in its moisture content. This variation in size can have disastrous consequences.
In areas of the world that are prone to earthquakes, certain design and environmental conditions are preferable for protecting buildings in the event of a tremor. Engineers have come up with numerous building procedures to help minimise shaking in buildings. For example, tall buildings have height restrictions and counterweights and multi-storey buildings have reinforced floors and walls. Ground conditions are a cause for worry in many constructions as often the soil (Q38) is of the wrong density to protect the foundations. Luckily technology has now been developed that can help to minimise damage by earthquakes. Seismic sensors can give prior warning when an earthquake is about to happen so that preparations can be made to protect both the people and the buildings from harm. The movement (Q39) of building structures can now also be measured and monitored over time by architects. It has been expressed by architects within the design community that it would be valuable to be given special courses for designing buildings within earthquake zones. Guidelines (Q40) are also expected to be produced by the government in the near future that will give architects a universal checklist to follow.
That wraps up the lecture for today. Please remember that attendance is mandatory… [fade out]
1 33 Hillcrest
7 security (process)
10 phone card
27 role of motivation
29 management of change
30 nature of volunteering
34 stone (construction)
35 recycled glass