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Complaints

By the end of the lesson, EAL learners will:

  • be able to apply softening strategies when they complain.
  • discuss the cultural similarities and differences associated with complaining at work in a variety of contexts.

Workplace Scenario - Complaints

The audio for the lesson was recorded during role plays with staff and students at NorQuest College.

We asked these volunteers to role play the following scenario:

You work as a client services manager. 

You often travel to meet with clients at their businesses.

The laptop computer given to you by your company’s IT department often stops working in the middle of your presentations to clients.

You have twice taken it in for repair and the problem keeps happening.

You want to talk to the IT department manager about getting a new laptop.

What do you say to the IT department manager?

You:____________________________________________________________________

Files

Complaints Audio for Lesson

The following audio accompanies the lesson plan and learner handout:

  • Part 3: Presentation of Complaints Pattern

The Additional Complaints Audio section provides more examples of responses to the workplace scenario if you wish to use them in your class. 

Part 3: Presentation of Complaints Pattern

Listening A

Transcript:

Hi Bob. I’m Jean from client services. I’ve talked to a couple of people in your department before. My job requires me to meet with clients and my laptop is very important for giving presentations and keeping in contact with those clients. I brought it in for repair twice, and it keeps stopping in the middle of my presentations and it’s not working. This isn’t something I can keep doing. It’s a problem that keeps happening and doesn’t reflect well on our company. Umm I would really like a new laptop.

Listening B

Transcript:

Bob: Hi, how can I help you?
Mark: Hey Bob, how’s it going? Is now a good time to have a quick chat or should I come back later?
Bob: Oh no no. Now is fine.
Mark: Cool. Uh I actually just wanted to have a quick conversation with you about the possibility of getting a new laptop.
Bob: Ok.
Mark: I’ve just had you know there’s been a few issues with the hardware. You know, I’m not a computer kind of guy so I don’t really know what’s going on, but you know how sometimes I have to travel and see clients and things like that. Well, it sometimes it just shuts down at inopportune times. [Oh, ok] And it looks pretty bad on you know our company and myself as well, so is there a process in place for requesting a new laptop? Is there something I can do to you know help move that forward?


Speaker 1

Transcript:

Hi Erin, uh you are the IT department manager right?

Speaker 2

Transcript:

I’ve had this one in for repair a couple of times and it still seems to crashing on me and…

Speaker 3

Transcript:

I just came back. I just spent a couple of days on the road uh visiting clients and uh…

Speaker 4

Transcript:

Any chance of getting a new one?


Additional Complaints Audio Transcripts:

Additional Listening 1

Transcript:

A: Hi, how can I help you?
B: Hey Bob, how’s it going? Is now a good time to have a quick chat or should I come back later? Cool. I actually just wanted to have a quick conversation with you about the possibility of getting a new laptop. I’ve just had you know there’s been a few issues with the hardware. You know, I’m not a computer kind of guy so I don’t really know what’s going on, but you know how sometimes I have to travel and see clients and things like that. Well, it sometimes it just shuts down at inopportune times. It looks pretty bad on you know our company and myself as well, so is there a process in place for requesting a new laptop? Is there something I can do to you know help move that forward?

Additional Listening 2

Transcript:

A: Hi, how can I help you?
B: Hi, um well, I am back here again with my laptop. With the company’s laptop. It’s broken down like it’s shut on me while, in the middle of the presentation. And I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s not the first time. I’ve been here twice before. And they gave it back to me I’m guaranteed it’s working fine and when I get to the client to present a product it just shut down. I don’t think it’s a good uh that doesn’t give us a good image, so I don’t know what do you say? How can this laptop be repaired? Or Can I get a new one?

Additional Listening 3

Transcript:

A: Hi, how can I help you?
B: Hi you know it’s my laptop. It just sometimes stops working in the middle of my presentations, and I’m really worried ‘cause it doesn't make us look good to our clients, right? I feel really embarrassed when that happens. You guys repaired it twice and it’s still happening. I wonder if it’s a bigger issue like maybe I got a lemon laptop, you know. Any chance of getting a new one?

Additional Listening 4

Transcript:

A: Hi, how can I help you? B: Oh hi Josh. As you know I had my laptop in here a couple of times for repairs and unfortunately it still keeps breaking down when I make presentations with clients. As you can appreciate these presentations are pretty important to the company because that’s where often our first point of sales is made. Uh is there any way you can take a look at it again? Or can you replace this laptop?

Additional Listening 5

Transcript:

Hi George, I’ve got a little of problem with this computer. You know I’ve taken it a few times to different presentations and I know you looked at it before and I really appreciate the work you put into it. Unfortunately it keeps stopping when I’m in the middle of my presentations. I’m wondering if could have a look at it again? I don’t know perhaps it needs some upgrading or maybe it’s got a bug or if it needs to be replaced, I’m not sure.