How to handle calls when you’re busy

How to handle calls when you’re busy: Simple English Video One Minute Lesson

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Two for you. Two for me. Two for you. Hi, this is Vicki.
(Unintelliglible) Barack who? This is Barack Obama. How are you?
Fine, how are you? Well, I’m doing great and er…
I know I’m interrupting but I figured you might take my call.
Well, we’re a bit busy. How’s er… How’s your Mom doing these days?
Mum’s fine. Was there something you wanted?
One of the things I think is… is terrific is baseball, you know.
Baseball. So you called to talk about baseball?
Well, you know, I’m a big baseball fan. Er… And I grew up in Hawaii. My earliest memories of baseball were actually the…
Look I’m sorry Barack but we’re a bit busy at the moment. Is that er… Is that correct?
Yeah, this isn’t a good time. Well then I understand that… I understand that…
Try calling next week, or next month. We’d love to hear from you then.
Well I appreciate that. Tell your Mom I said ‘Hi’. You take care of yourself.
You too. Thanks Barack. Bye.
So where were we? Er, two for you. Two for me. Two for you. Two for me…


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7 thoughts on “How to handle calls when you’re busy”

  1. Teaching materials for this lesson are now available in the Simple English Videos Store.
    There’s a powerpoint there which really makes it a doddle to teach along with a worksheet, teachers notes and answers, tapescript and an mp4 version of the video that you can play when you’re off line.

  2. Hilarious!

    Oh, I hope you and Jay make millions of these. I love the irreverent humor.

    As an English Teacher you know the common vocabulary and grammar mistakes students make. How about something with suggest/explain/recommend? More videos useful for business would be great too as many of my students want jobs with multinational companies.

    I just love your work! Jay is such a good partner!


  3. Thank you so much, Janine! My background is business English teaching too and I’d like to make more businessy videos. Suggest, explain and recommend are EXCELLENT suggestions.
    I’ve been wondering about making a video about performative verbs in general to start off with – so verbs like suggest, recommend, explain, agree, dare etc because some of the ways we use them can be strange for language learners. Agree is very interesting because corpus studies show we rarely use ‘I don’t agree’ and ‘I disagree’ in spoken English, while our students tend to use those expressions a lot, along with that other famous expression ‘I am not agree’, of course. I think it’s probably because there’s a greater requirement for clarity in English as a Lingua Franca contexts.

  4. This video is absolutely wonderful! I loved it, and watched it twice, smiling the whole time.

    By the way, I’m also a big fan of your books, Vicki. I am amazed that even technical English can be fun and a litte bit zany (as in the Tech Talk books, which I use with my engineers’ classes).

    Fern Kushner
    Business English trainer

    1. So glad you like it Fern and delighted to hear you are enjoying Tech Talk too. We had fun writing that series. Thank you for writing!

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