Would you get angry if…?

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WOULD YOU GET ANGRY IF YOU GOT E-MAILS WITH LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS?

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A New Zealand boss saw red after one of his employees used block capitals in e-mails to colleagues. Vicki Walker, an accountant in Auckland, was fired after her co-workers complained about her use of caps. Members of staff at ProCare Health were angry with Ms. Walker for constantly filling her mails with sentences in capital letters, bold and red text. They said they found the e-mails “confrontational”. Bosses at ProCare dismissed Ms Walker for causing “disharmony” in the workplace. Walker took the company to court and sued for unfair dismissal. She won the case and ProCare had to pay her US$11,500 in damages and lost pay.

According to the New Zealand Herald newspaper, Ms Walker is still not happy. She plans to appeal for further compensation. She also wants to speak out for greater protection for office workers when they are in disputes with big companies. Walker said too many white-collar workers feel helpless when large employers fire them. She says many people are not prepared to fight their bosses because of the financial and mental stresses involved. She used her own experience as an example, saying: «I am a single woman with a mortgage, and I had to re-mortgage my home and borrow money…to make it through. They nearly ruined my life.» Walker’s case highlights a widespread uncertainty regarding “netiquette” and e-mails.

audio http://files.mail.ru/D665RO

RED IDIOMS: With your partner(s), find the meanings of these ‘red’ idioms.

see red   / catch the red-eye   /   catch someone red-handed   /   paint the town red  /

red-carpet treatment   /   red herring   /   roll out the red carpet   /   red tape   /   in the red

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if a-h below are true (T) or false (F).
a.
A woman in New Zealand lost her job for speaking in capital letter
T / F
b.
The woman’s co-workers complained about her many hats.
T / F
c.
Her colleagues said her e-mail style wasn’t good for office harmony.
T / F
d.
The woman lost a court case when she sued her company.
T / F
e.
The woman is planning on taking further court action.
T / F
f.
She thinks office workers should be stronger against big companies.
T / F
g.
The woman had to refinance her housing loan because she was fired.
T / F
h.
The article suggests most people know the rules of writing e-mails.
T / F
2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.
1.
saw red
a.
protested
2
fired
b.
destroyed
3.
constantly
c.
salary
4.
complained
d.
arguments
5.
pay
e.
got angry
6.
appeal
f.
dismissed
7.
further
g.
housing loan
8.
disputes
h.
call
9.
mortgage
i.
always
10.
ruined
j.
more
3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)
1.
A New Zealand boss saw
a.
for unfair dismissal
2
her co-workers complained about
b.
my life
3.
filling her mails with sentences
c.
further compensation
4.
took the company to court and sued
d.
and e-mails
5.
pay her US$11,500 in damages
e.
red
6.
She plans to appeal for
f.
her use of caps
7.
too many white-collar
g.
stresses
8.
financial and mental
h.
and lost pay
9.
They nearly ruined
i.
workers feel helpless
10.
widespread uncertainty regarding “netiquette”
j.
in capital letters
GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.
WOULD YOU GET ANGRY IF YOU GOT E-MAILS WITH LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS? A New Zealand ____________ saw red after one of his employees used block capitals in e-mails to ____________. Vicki Walker, an accountant in Auckland, was ____________ after her co-workers complained about her ____________ of caps. Members of staff at ProCare Health were angry with Ms. Walker for constantly filling her mails with sentences in capital letters, ____________ and red text. They said they found the e-mails “confrontational”. Bosses at ProCare dismissed Ms Walker for ____________ “disharmony” in the workplace. Walker took the company to court and ____________ for unfair dismissal. She won the case and ProCare had to pay her US$11,500 in ____________ and lost pay.
bold
fired
sued
boss
use
damages
colleagues
causing
According to the New Zealand Herald newspaper, Ms Walker is ____________ not happy. She plans to ____________ for further compensation. She also wants to speak out for greater protection for office workers when they are in ____________ with big companies. Walker said too many white-collar workers feel ____________ when large employers fire them. She says many people are not prepared to fight their bosses because of the financial and mental ____________ involved. She used her own ____________ as an example, saying: «I am a single woman with a mortgage, and I had to re-mortgage my home and ____________ money…to make it through. They nearly ruined my life.» Walker’s case ____________ a widespread uncertainty regarding “netiquette” and e-mails.
experience
disputes
borrow
helpless
still
highlights
appeal
stresses
WOULD YOU GET ANGRY IF YOU GOT E-MAILS WITH LOTS OF CAPITAL LETTERS? A New Zealand boss saw (1) ____ after one of his employees used block capitals in e-mails to colleagues. Vicki Walker, an accountant in Auckland, was (2) ____ after her co-workers complained about her use of (3) ____. Members of staff at ProCare Health were angry with Ms. Walker for constantly filling her mails with sentences in capital letters, (4) ____ and red text. They said they found the e-mails “confrontational”. Bosses at ProCare (5) ____ Ms Walker for causing “disharmony” in the workplace. Walker took the company to court and sued for unfair dismissal. She won the case and ProCare had to pay her US$11,500 in (6) ____ and lost pay.
According to the New Zealand Herald newspaper, Ms Walker is still not happy. She plans to appeal (7) ____ further compensation. She also wants to speak out for greater protection for office workers when they are in disputes (8) ____ big companies. Walker said too many white-collar workers feel helpless when large employers fire them. She says many people are not prepared (9) ____ fight their bosses because of the financial and mental stresses involved. She used her own experience (10) ____ an example, saying: «I am a (11) ____ woman with a mortgage, and I had to re-mortgage my home and borrow money…to make it through. They nearly ruined my life.» Walker’s case highlights a (12) ____ uncertainty regarding “netiquette” and e-mails.
Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.
1.
(a)
reds
(b)
reddish
(c)
redness
(d)
red
2.
(a)
heated
(b)
fired
(c)
burned
(d)
barbecued
3.
(a)
caps
(b)
hats
(c)
capital
(d)
alphabet
4.
(a)
cold
(b)
old
(c)
bold
(d)
told
5.
(a)
dismiss
(b)
dismissal
(c)
dismissed
(d)
dismissing
6.
(a)
damaged
(b)
damages
(c)
damage
(d)
damaging
7.
(a)
for
(b)
at
(c)
by
(d)
on
8.
(a)
together
(b)
all
(c)
every
(d)
with
9.
(a)
at
(b)
to
(c)
on
(d)
in
10.
(a)
was
(b)
has
(c)
be
(d)
as
11.
(a)
singular
(b)
singles
(c)
single
(d)
singled
12.
(a)
widespread
(b)
width
(c)
widely
(d)
widen

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)
a)
What did you think when you read the headline?
b)
What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘e-mail’?
c)
Describe your e-mail writing habits?
d)
Which are better, e-mails or real letters?
e)
What do you think of text with lots of capital letters?
f)
What kinds of mails make you angry?
g)
Do you understand why ProCare bosses fired Vicki Walker?
h)
How could ProCare bosses have resolved this situation in a better way?
i)
Have you ever sent an e-mail you regretted?
j)
Do you think Ms Walker got the right amount of damages?
STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)
a)
Did you like reading this article?
b)
When do you type everything in caps?
c)
If you were Ms Walker, would you continue to fight in the courts?
d)
What was the last mail you got that made you angry?
e)
Do you think workers are helpless against big companies?
f)
What do you think of e-mails full of emoticons and shortened English (e.g. cu l8r for see you later)?
g)
Are e-mails written in your language different from those written in English?
h)
Do you know any “rules” when writing e-mails?
i)
What do your teachers tell you about writing e-mails?
j)
What questions would you like to ask Vicki Walker?
Write five GOOD questions about capital letters in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.
Make a poster about how to write good e-mails. Include the do’s and don’ts of e-mail writing. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
UNFAIR DISMISSAL: Write a magazine article about the unfair dismissal of Vicki Walker Include imaginary interviews with Vicki, her boss and an unhappy colleague.
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