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The Ideal Secretary and Her Lucky Boss

Mary Macky, who lives in Epping, is the winner of this year’s “Ideal secretary” competition. Her prizes are a typewriter, a cassette recorder and a weekend in Paris.

Miss Macky works in Harlow for Brighter Office Supplies Ltd. She is twenty nine and single. Her boss is BOS managing director, Fred McLean.

Mr McLean says, “Mary is the ideal secretary. She’s friendly and very efficient. Her shorthand speed is 140 wpm and her typing speed is 70 wpm. She can speak two foreign languages, French and German. She organises her own time and mine very well, and she can use all the latest office equipment. She is never late for work and she makes very good coffee.”

Mary says, “It’s easy to be a good secretary when you’ve got a good boss.”

Exercise 61

Write questions to these answers using question word Who? What? Where? How?

Mary Macky – Who is the winner of this year’s Ideal secretary competition?

1. Epping 4. Twenty nine

2. A typewriter, a cassette 5. Fred McLean

recorder and a weekend 6. Two – French and German

in Paris

3. In Harlow

Exercise 62

Decide which of these qualities are good for “a perfect boss” and for “a perfect secretary”.

He / She is :pleasant ambitious intelligent efficient reliable

creative considerate hard–working polite

well–dressed attractive helpful

experienced thoughtful well–educated

He / She can :plan type organise take shorthand

make decisions prepare reports

speak foreign languages give presentations

communicate clearly use a word processor

give/follow instructions manage other people

Discuss your opinion with other people using sentences like this:


It is important that a boss is...
  is not   secretary can...


B.: I agree / Yes it is / No it is not / I don’t agree

Exercise 63

Jacques de la Plaine is the winner of this year’s “Perfect Boss” competition. Write a short article about Jacques – the “Perfect Boss”. You can use some information from Part 1 and also make up some information about him.

Exercise 64

Write an article about anyone you know as “A Perfect Boss” or “A Perfect Secretary”.

Exercise 65

Here’s a list of adjectives describing qualities certain professions need. Read the sentences and fill in the correct adjective.

Persuasive brave creative patient intelligent polite accurate fair friendly

  1. Salespeople need to be ………………………. to get people to buy their products.
  2. A scientist has to be ………………………… in order to understand complex theories.
  3. Receptionists should be ………………………. in order to make people feel welcome.
  4. Surgeons must be very ……………………….as they should not make mistakes in their work.
  5. A shop assistant has to be ……………………… even when dealing with a rude customer.
  6. Lifeguards have to be ………………………. as they often find themselves in dangerous situations.
  7. Teachers need to be very ………………………. as students sometimes take a long time to learn things.
  8. Judges should be ………………………. and give all the evidence equal consideration.
  9. Fashion designers should be very ………………………….. so that they can come up with new designs.


Exercise 66

Look at another list of qualities and make up your own sentences describing the following professions: a cook, a policeman, a secretary, a reporter, a clown.

Brave imaginative courageous helpful efficient careful fit cheerful creative patient original hard–working

e.g. A secretary has to be efficient and careful in order to do her work quickly and accurately.

Exercise 67

Read the following dialogue, translate and then describe each profession.

²Radio Presenter: We all have our own ideas about what certain jobs are like, but are we right? Today, we’re going to hear three people talking about their very different jobs. Our first guest is James Barnes, a business executive. James, what kind of qualities do you need to be a business executive?

È Business executive: Being a business executive requires a number of qualities. You definitely have to be hard working or you’ll never succeed. You also have to be persuasive, since doing business is all about getting people to see things your way. There are plenty of good things about being an executive: I mean, it’s a well paid job, and people respect me for what I do. On the other hand, there’s a lot of traveling and I don’t have much free time. I enjoy it, though – it’s the right kind of work for me.

² Radio Presenter: Thank you, James. Our next guest today is Reg Bowls. Reg, what does it take to be a fire–fighter?

fFire–fighter: Well, the first thing you have to be is courageous. You have to keep calm at all times, and of course you have to be fit as well. The great thing about the job is helping people – you have the chance to save lives. It can be exciting, as well. Unfortunately it’s a dangerous job. It’s possible to get injured or even die on the job. Considering the risks, it’s not well paid either. On the whole, though, I think the good things outweigh the bad ones.

² Radio Presenter: I see. Thank you Reg. Finally, our last guest today is Jenny Baxter, a nurse. Jenny, what are the most important qualities for a nurse to possess?

h Nurse: First and foremost, a nurse has to be patient. Sick people can be very difficult, and the worst thing you can do is lose your temper. You have to be sympathetic and caring too, so that people know you care about them. It’s not a well paid job, not in Britain anyway. It can be very upsetting as well, especially when people die. I can’t imagine doing another job, though – nursing is my life.

² Radio Presenter: Thank you, Jenny, and thank you again James and Reg.

Exercise 68

What are the qualities, advantages and disadvantages of being a) a pilot, b) a miner and c) a fashion model? Write a short paragraph.


Exercise 69

The following adjectives describe people’s character. Read the sentences and fill in the correct adjectives.

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