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  • Feifei: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak.

  • It's Feifei here

  • Rob: …and hello, it's Rob here too. Oh Feifei,

  • why the glum face?

  • Feifei: I didn't get it.

  • Rob: Get it?

  • Feifei: I didn't get the job.

  • Rob: Oh yes yes, the jobyou went for a new

  • jobone you really really wanted. One

  • that you said would be perfect for you.

  • Feifei: Clearly I am not. Look at this

  • rejection letter, it says I did not have

  • enough experience. How dare they! But if

  • I don't do the job,

  • how do I get the experience?

  • Rob: Oh dear, it sounds like catch-22.

  • Feifei: Catch-22? Is that some kind of

  • qualification I need?

  • Rob: Nope, it just describes a situation

  • where you can't win. Basically, you can't

  • do one thing until you have done another

  • thing which you can't do until you have

  • done the first thing.

  • Feifei: So it's an impossible situation.

  • Rob: It is. Let's hear some examples of

  • this phrase in action

  • I need my parent car, but my mum says I

  • need permission from my dad, then my

  • dad says I need permission from my

  • mum. I can't get permission from either.

  • So I'm in a catch-22 situation.

  • To apply for a short-term student visa to

  • study English in the UK, you have to be

  • able to speak some English but you want

  • to come to England to learn English! It's

  • catch-22 for many potential students.

  • Feifei: You're listening to The English We

  • Speak and Rob has told me I'm in a catch-22

  • situation. That's a situation I cannot win.

  • Rob: Yes Feifei, so you can't get a new job

  • without some experience of doing it but

  • you can't get the experience with doing

  • the job. So it's catch-22 !

  • Feifei: It's a strange phrase Rob.

  • Rob: Yes, it comes from the title of a

  • book, Catch-22, written by Joseph Heller

  • in 1961 which describes bureaucratic

  • constraints on soldiers in World War II.

  • But look Feifei, don't be too sad about the

  • job, you've got plenty of experience for

  • doing this job.

  • Feifei: That's because I've been here for

  • 40 years!

  • Rob: But we respect you for expertise,

  • especially in one task.

  • Feifei: What's that?

  • Rob: Making the tea. Now could you put

  • the kettle on please?

  • Feifei: Oh, I really need a new job.

  • Rob: Bye.

  • Feifei: Bye.

Feifei: Hello and welcome to The English We Speak.

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A2 BEG US feifei rob catch job situation permission

Catch-22: The English We Speak

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    Evangeline   posted on 2018/06/13
Video vocabulary