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  • Third Conditional: We Need to Fire an Employee (Review)

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    • Conditional
    • Third conditional

    Conditional Third conditional

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  • 概要

    Review the conversation "We Need to Fire an Employee". Do multiple choice questions to review third conditional sentences and the new vocabulary that you just learned.

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We Need to Fire An Employee

(1) Department Manager: Listen
Good morning, Trish. I want to talk to you about our new team member, John. I don't think he's [vocab word=fit in]fitting in[/vocab].

John is the new member. He's not "fitting in" - this means he is not working well with other people.

(2) HR Manager: Listen
Oh no. What seems to be the problem?

"What seems to be the problem?" is a slightly more polite way of asking about a problem than "What is the problem?" It is nicer and softer, and is often used in business or other formal situations. The verb "seem" means "looks like" or "appears like".

(3) Department Manager: Listen
The issues are quite serious. He [vocab word=continually]continually[/vocab] arrives late, leaves early, and makes serious mistakes.
(4) HR Manager: Listen
I see…
(5) Department Manager: Listen
He takes on a [vocab word=task]task[/vocab], sits on it for days, and then tells me he can't do it. It's [vocab word=cause]causing[/vocab] serious [vocab word=delay]delays[/vocab] in our [vocab word=project]project[/vocab].

"Sits on it for days" means you are holding onto the task but you are not doing anything about it.

(6) HR Manager: Listen
That's extremely [vocab word=concerning]concerning[/vocab]. Should I discuss [vocab word=work ethic]work ethic[/vocab] and the company's [vocab word=expectation]expectations[/vocab] with him?
(7) Department Manager: Listen
I've tried that, but it didn't work. If we had [vocab word=conduct]conducted[/vocab] a more [vocab word=comprehensive]comprehensive[/vocab] interview, we would have discovered some of these issues.

"If we had conducted ..., we would have discovered ..." is a third conditional sentence. A third conditional is [A hypothetical past situation] + [a likely result of it]. A hypothetical past situation is what you imagine but didn't actually happen.

(8) HR Manager: Listen
Absolutely. If we had included a [vocab word=practical]practical[/vocab] task in the interview, we might have found out about his [vocab word=incompetence]incompetence[/vocab].

"If we had included a practical task in the interview" is a hypothetical past situation. It didn't happen; the HR Manager is just imagining it. "We might have identified his incompetence" is the likely result if they had a practical task in the interview.

(9) Department Manager: Listen
At this point, I don't think we have any other choice but to let him go.

The only choice is to let him go (to fire him, to end his employment).

(10) HR Manager: Listen
I understand. Since he hasn't worked for more than 3 months, [vocab word=termination]termination[/vocab] is easier and we don't need to offer him any [vocab word=severance]severance[/vocab] pay.

A company usually has to pay a severance pay (money) when it fires an employee. But, if the employee has worked for less than 3 months, the company doesn't have to pay it.

(11) Department Manager: Listen
I want to avoid [vocab word=similar]similar[/vocab] [vocab word=hire]hires[/vocab] in the future. Can we discuss what we could have done to prevent such a poor hire?

Here "hires" is used as a noun. It means employees that are hired.

(12) HR Manager: Listen
Definitely. I think we should have checked his [vocab word=reference]references[/vocab] more [vocab word=thorough]thoroughly[/vocab]. If we had [vocab word=contact]contacted[/vocab] all his references, we might have discovered his incompetence.

"If we had contacted his references, we might have discovered his tendency for tardiness" is a third conditional. The main clause ("we might have ...") is using the modal verb "might". So, the result is not definite but it is a likely result if they checked his references.

(13) Department Manager: Listen
Yes. If we had requested a more [vocab word=detail]detailed[/vocab] work history, we would have learned about his late arrival and early [vocab word=departure]departures[/vocab].
(14) HR Manager: Listen
One more thing. If we had set clear performance expectations from the beginning, we could have measured his work more [vocab word=accurate]accurately[/vocab].

In this third conditional sentence, they are using the modal verb "could". In the main clause, you can use "would", "might", "may", or "could". Remember that "may" and "might" are modal verbs for possibility, "would" is the past tense of "will" so it's for certainty, and "could" is for past ability.

(15) Department Manager: Listen
And if we had talked to his [vocab word=former]former[/vocab] managers directly, we might have learned more about his level of [vocab word=ability]abilities[/vocab].
(16) HR Manager: Listen
Clearly, we need to improve our [vocab word=recruitment]recruitment[/vocab] process in order to avoid incidents like this in the future. We need to come up with a more thorough recruitment process.
(17) Department Manager: Listen
You're right. I'll leave that to you. I have to [vocab word=fire]fire[/vocab] someone ...

He has to let the employee go (i.e. go home and not come back).

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