23/06/17 Have You Met Any Of These Idiots?

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You will feel better about yourself when you read these short stories

Vocabulary. Read and check you understand this before you read and listen to the article:

outages: a period when a power supply or other service is not available

receipt: piece of paper with the information of a transaction

clerk: a person employed in an office

As luck would have it: expression meaning ‘fortunately’

matched: be the same as

nodded: a movement up and down with the head

luncheon: a formal word for lunch

deer in the headlights: to be paralysed by surprise, fear or confusion

dealership: an establishment authorized to buy and sell specific goods

feverishly: very actively or with great excitement



This week, our phones went dead and I had to contact the telephone repair people. They promised to be out between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. When I asked if they could give me a smaller time window, the pleasant  gentleman asked, “Would you like us to call you before we come?” I replied that I didn’t see how he would be able to do that since our phones weren’t working. He also requested that we report future outages by email. Does YOUR email work without a telephone line?


I was signing the receipt for my credit card purchase when the clerk noticed I had never signed my name on  the back of the credit card. She informed me that she could not complete the transaction unless the card was signed. When I asked why, she explained that it was necessary to compare the signature I had just signed on the receipt. So I signed the credit card in front of her. She carefully compared the signature to the one I had just signed on the receipt. As luck would have it, they  matched!


I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbour call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the ‘Deer Crossing’ sign on our road. The reason? Too many deer were being hit by cars and she didn’t want them to cross there anymore.


My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She  asked the person behind the counter for “minimal lettuce.” He said he was sorry, but they only had iceberg.


I was at the airport,  checking in at the gate when an airport employee asked, “Has anyone put anything  in your baggage without your knowledge?” To which I replied, “If it was without  my knowledge, how would I know?” She smiled knowingly and nodded, “That’s why we ask.”


At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear co-worker who is leaving the company due to “downsizing,” our  manager commented cheerfully, “This is fun. We should do this more often.” Not a word was spoken. We all just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.


When my wife and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up our car, we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service department and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver’s side  door. As I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door  handle and discovered that it was unlocked. “Hey,” I announced to the technician, “it’s open!” To which he replied, “I know – I already done that side.”

“Let’s chat about that!”

Write your answers and send them by email to your ECP coach. Why not record your voice too? Listen to yourself speak and identify what you have to improve on 🙂

Give reasons for your answers.

  • Tell your favourite story from the article in your own words.
  • Do you have a story of your own? Please tell us.
  • Have you ever been the idiot? Please explain.
  • How did you react in each situation? 
  • How would you have reacted in each of the short stories above?


Adapted from: http://www.inspire21.com/stories/humorstories/IdiotsAllOver


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