A conversation between a professor and a departmental secretary
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Listen to a conversation between a professor and a departmental secretary.
Dr Jonas: Good morning, Estelle. Did you get those syllabus pages run off for me?
Estelle: Omigosh! I forgot them completely! Can you hang on for just about five minutes?
J: Yes. No- actually, I'm glad you haven't run them off yet. I need to fix a typo in the original. I got the year wrong. This is 2009 now, isn't it? (laughs)
E: (laughs) Yes, and it has been for the last two months. Can I change it for you?
J: Oh, you'd better just give me back the original, Estelle. It's wrong in a couple of places, and it would be easier if I just went over it myself, I think.
E: All right, then... um.... Ah! Here it is.
J: Good. Uh...can I borrow your white-out?
E: Sure. Here.
J: Thanks. (correcting the master copy) Is the chairman coming in this morning?
E: He should be in about eleven. He has a meeting with the Dean first thing before that.
J: About budget cuts, I'll bet.
E: Probably. I hope I'm not one of them.
J: Ah, don't you worry- you're irreplaceable. You're the heart of the department.
E: (laughs) Well, they do successful heart transplants now.
J: (laughs) I suppose so, but anyway, I'm sure your job is more secure than mine. Assistant professors are a dime a dozen, and one more or less is not critical to operations- but- no secretary? We'd be in chaos in a day!
E: (laughs) Maybe.
J: Here you are. It'll be OK with the penned-in correction, I think. It doesn't need to be fancy. I only need ten copies for this class, and then I'll revise it again for next term anyway.
E: Whatever you say. I can do these in a minute. Shall I bring them down to your office?
J: Yes, that would be- oh. No. I have to run down to the reading room first, so I'll swing back and pick them up from you here.
E: OK then.
J: Oh, and while I'm thinking about it- have we still got some of those little A4 binders, the looseleaf ones?
E: Yes, some. How many do you need?
J: Oh, um... six, I think. I want to break my introductory course into modules.
E: Oh, just for you, then, not for all your students. Yes, we've got that many. What color would you like?
E: Yes. Blue? Navy? Pink?
J: Ack! Pink?!
E: Well, some people like it.
J: I suppose. Not me. I'll take navy if you've got six of them.
E: Just a minute...uh...four, five...yes, I do. Here you are.
J: Great! And, uh, the labels?
E: Oh, labels. Uh...here. And a couple of extras so you can make a mistake.
J: Me? A mistake? Not a chance.
E: Not a chance, eh? Got the year down pat now, have you?
J: (laughs) OK, OK. You got me. There goes your birthday rose, though.
E: What?! Oh, no! You really hold a grudge, don't you?
J: Yeah, so watch out. And could you do just one more little thing for me?
J: Please? Could you just let me know when the chairman comes in? I need to talk to him for a minute. Just ring me- I'll be in my office from about ten-thirty till lunch time.
E: Yes, of course. And I'll have your copies when you come back from the reading room.
J: Great, thanks. Actually, just keep them here, and I'll pick them up when I see Dr. Jewett.
E: OK then.
J: Thanks, Estelle.
What initiated this conversation?
What did the professor do?
What will the secretary do next?
Why does the secretary say this: "Well, they do successful heart transplants now"?
How would you characterize their relationship?