Intermediate Listening Practice

Far From The Office - Transcript

Three people talk about unusual jobs they have.

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Yes, many people say that I have an unusual job, but to me it's quite normal, I've been doing it for so long. There are not many lighthouses anymore, everything's so modern and advanced these days, it's all radar and GPS. But lighthouses are still very important in certain areas and my job is to clean the lights and make sure the glass in front of the light is clean and smooth. I've been to Cornwall and the North of Scotland and a hundred places in between. My job is not usually very dangerous because we do the cleaning and maintenance during the day and only when the weather is good. I've seen some very bad storms though. Five years ago, I was trapped on a small island in Wales for two days while we waited for a storm to pass. Even though my job is very unglamorous, I've met a few famous people. One old football player owns a lighthouse in Northern Ireland and he told me stories about famous games while I was working. And last year, the Queen was there when an old lighthouse that had been renovated was reopened, and we spoke about my work for a few minutes: she's a very interesting woman.


I am a flying doctor. I don't have wings, but I do have a small plane which we use to reach patients who may be hundreds of kilometres away. I don't fly the plane myself, we have a pilot called Trevor who has worked with us for nearly ten years. Australia is a very big country and in the centre of the country, away from the coasts, there is a lot of space and very few people: your neighbour might live on a cattle station fifty kilometres away. That's a lot of walking if you run out of milk! If you get sick, it's easier for us to fly to you. I also do a lot of my work using the telephone or a WebCam. I can diagnose people from a hundred kilometres away like that. Flying in the plane is always the most exciting part of my work. We fly quite low and the Australian scenery is spectacular. I've done this job for more than fifteen years and I love it. Just in the last year, I've delivered seven babies and I've collected three people and taken them to the city for life-saving operations. I've even helped one of Australia's most famous children's novelists to have a liver transplant. Australia is a huge country and it isn't getting smaller so I think there will always be a place for us.


I've had a lot of unusual jobs in my life. I've made candles at home in the shape of the Eiffel Tower, I've sold cat and dog food over the phone and I've even done a job where people paid me to wait in line outside shops so they didn't have to! Now in my current job, I'm a mystery bad customer. You may know about mystery shoppers, but my job is to go into stores or restaurants to complain and to see how the staff treat me. Companies pay me to do this because they want to know that all customers are treated well, the happy ones and the angry ones like me! Actually, it's a lot of fun: more acting than working! I've complained about how dirty the tables were in a London pub, I've sent sushi back to the kitchen because it was "undercooked" and, last month, the manager of a shoe shop in Cambridge called the police because I asked if it was possible to buy two left shoes! My job is never boring!

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