Speak English Like an American » LESSON 7 - Susan Hires Bob to Run Her Business

Susan Hires Bob to Run Her Business

Susan stays up all night thinking about her cookie business. In the morning, she discusses it with Bob. Bob agrees to work for her.

Bob: You're up bright and early this morning, Susan.

Susan: I didn't sleep a wink. I was awake all night thinking about the new business.

Bob: Running your own business is lots of work. Are you prepared to work like a dog?

Susan: No. But I am prepared to hire you to run the business.

Bob: You want me to run a cookie business? Fat chance!

Susan: Why not?

Bob: I don't have a clue about making cookies. I don't even know how to turn the oven on!

Susan: I'll give you a crash course.

Bob: Do I have to do the baking?

Susan: No. You'll just manage the business side.

Bob: Needless to say, I have mixed feelings about working for you.

Susan: I'll be nice. I promise you'll be a happy camper.

Bob: Okay. Let's give it a shot, boss!

Idioms
  • bright and early
    early in the morning
    EXAMPLE 1: Our flight to Berlin leaves at 7:00 a.m. tomorrow, so we'll have to get up bright and early.
    EXAMPLE 2: We have lots of cookies to bake so we'll have to start bright and early tomorrow.

    SYNONYM: at the crack of dawn

  • crash course
    short and intensive instruction
    EXAMPLE 1: Yesterday, Joan's son sat down with her for a couple of hours and gave her a crash course on using the Internet.
    EXAMPLE 2: Rachel had a date on Friday night with an auto mechanic. He gave her a crash course on changing her oil.
  • Fat chance!
    definitely not
    EXAMPLE 1: The boys at school are always laughing at Dana. Will she be invited to the school dance? Fat chance!
    EXAMPLE 2: You want to borrow my new car and drive it across the country? Fat chance!

    SYNONYMS: never in a million years; no way!

  • (to) give it a shot
    to try something
    EXAMPLE 1: I've never tried to make wine in my bathtub before, but perhaps I'll give it a shot.
    EXAMPLE 2: You can't open that jar? Let me give it a shot.

    SYNONYMS: to give it a try; to try one's hand at something

    NOTE: "To give it one's best shot" means to try as hard as one can. I know you're nervous about the interview — just give it your best shot.

  • happy camper
    a happy person; a satisfied participant
    EXAMPLE 1: When Linda's passport was stolen in Florence, she was not a happy camper.
    EXAMPLE 2: Steve is taking five difficult courses this semester. He's not a happy camper!

    NOTE: This expression is usually used in the negative (not a happy camper).

  • (to have) mixed feelings
    to feel positive about one aspect of something and negative about another
    EXAMPLE 1: When our houseguests decided to stay for another week, I had mixed feelings. On the one hand, I enjoyed hanging out with them. On the other hand, I was tired of cooking for them.
    EXAMPLE 2: I have mixed feelings about the president of our company. He's good with the clients, but he's nasty to his employees.
  • needless to say
    obviously
    EXAMPLE 1: You've got a test tomorrow morning. Needless to say, you can't stay out late tonight.
    EXAMPLE 2: Needless to say, you shouldn't have waited until Christmas Eve to do your shopping. The stores are going to be very crowded!

    SYNONYM: it goes without saying. Example: You've got a test tomorrow, so it goes without saying that you can't stay out late tonight.

  • (to) not have a clue
    to know nothing about
    EXAMPLE 1: Bob talks about working at McDonald's, but the truth is he doesn't have a clue about making hamburgers.
    EXAMPLE 2: "Do you know how to fix a broken printer?" - "No, I don't have a clue!"
  • (to) not sleep a wink
    to be awake all night
    EXAMPLE 1: Ted was so nervous about his chemistry test that he didn't sleep a wink the night before.
    EXAMPLE 2: It's not surprising that Jill didn't sleep a wink last night. She drank a large cup of coffee before going to bed.
  • (to) work like a dog
    to work very hard
    EXAMPLE 1: Larry became an investment banker after college, and now he works like a dog.
    EXAMPLE 2: Al worked like a dog on his term paper and got an "A+" on it.

    SYNONYMS: to work one's tail off; to work like a horse; to work one's fingers to the bone

Practice The Idioms

Fill in the blank with the missing word:

  1. Bob was surprised to see his wife up _____ and early in the morning.
    • a) light
    • b) bright
    • c) ready
  2. Last week I worked 80 hours. I really worked like a _____.
    • a) dog
    • b) cat
    • c) squirrel
  3. Bob had never baked anything before in his life. He didn't even have a _____ about how to turn the oven on.
    • a) hint
    • b) suggestion
    • c) clue
  4. If you need to learn something quickly, you'd better take a _____ course.
    • a) crash
    • b) fast
    • c) beginner's
  5. Bob wasn't sure he wanted to work for his wife. He had _____ feelings.
    • a) nervous
    • b) mixed
    • c) confused
  6. Jennifer's boss is lousy and her salary is low. She's not a happy _____.
    • a) scout
    • b) tourist
    • c) camper
  7. Bob decided to work for Susan. He figured he'd give it a _____.
    • a) shot
    • b) pop
    • c) choice
  8. Nicole was up all night finishing her Spanish homework. She didn't sleep a _____.
    • a) drink
    • b) blink
    • c) wink
Answer Key
Practice The Idioms
  1. b
  2. a
  3. c
  4. a
  5. b
  6. b
  7. b
  8. c
Answer Key
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