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Man: Did you see that article in the paper saying that the Oxford English Dictionary may never again be published as a set of books?  They were saying that since 1989 a large team of lexicographers have been working away on the new edition, trying to map what the article called the endlessly flowing river of the English language. Only about a third of the work’s been done so far and it’s estimated there’s at least ten years’ work still to do. I wonder how the researchers felt when they were told their work might never actually appear in its traditional book form.
Woman: I didn’t read the article but I heard someone on the radio saying it’s a typical reflection of the decline of culture, an increasing sloppiness with regard to words, all the usual stuff. But then someone else said he thought it’s better to see the change as a a good thing and to celebrate it. He argues that the Dictionary had no choice but to be published as a set of heavy and expensive volumes first — because no better technology was available. But now, at last, we’re able to have it in a much more beautiful and accessible form and don’t have to put up with old inconveniences like books any more. And I’d go along with that.  I’m sure there’ll be a tendency for lots of other books to go the same way soon.
Woman: So how did it go then? Was the traffic as dire as you’d expected?
Man: Worse if anything. But at least it made it easier to find where I had to get to. It was off a tiny little side street and I could easily have missed it if I’d been going a bit faster.
Woman: Oh well. At least you saw it.
Man: Yeah but the street was so narrow with cars parked on either side. I only just managed to squeeze into a really tight spot at the end. But the worst thing was when I came to leave. The street turned out to be a dead end. There wasn’t enough room for a car the size of ours to turn, so I had to back all the way out.  I wished you’d been there to help guide me.
Woman: Well, I don’t suppose you’d have listened to me if I had been there. I get flustered and you get cross.
Man: No, I don’t! Anyway, I really wondered if I was going to be able to make it.
Woman: Well, good for you, I hate having to reverse like that. 
Man: You wanted to see me?
Woman: Yes, it was just to talk about that report you did for me. 
Man: Was it all right? Er, I didn’t have as much time to work through all the issues as I’d have liked.
Woman: No, I appreciate that. It was very good, considering the constraints you were under.
Man: Thank you. So …?
Woman: The thing is, the client has now come back to us with some changes to the specs.
Man: Oh, right. Anything major?
Woman: Well, you’re going to have to go away and study the fine print pretty thoroughly.  I’ve only skimmed his document as I’ve been so busy with that university project, but there do seem to be one or two significant points.
Man: So I’ll need to start again from scratch?
Woman: I don’t think that’ll be necessary. Anyway, you do what you can on it for the rest of this week and over the weekend and then we can get together again on Monday and check it through carefully. Oh, um, if you have any questions about it before then, feel free to email me. I’ll be working from home for the next few days.
Man: Oh, OK. Thank you.
Lara: My name’s Lara King and I’m here to tell you about my experience of losing my job. I’d had a feeling I would get made redundant. One of my best friends worked as a banker and she’d lost her job, as had another one who was an IT consultant. I had a good job as a lawyer and the company I was employed by had just been taken over.  I’d been working there for three years and I loved it!
I lost my job in August. I’d just been off sick with flu.  I don’t usually catch things. The last time I was ill was at school when I had bronchitis quite badly once — anyway, I’d been off for over a week. Then, on my first day back at work, I found I didn’t have a job any more. 
My first reaction was to rush back home to my parents in Ireland but I decided to resist that. Then within a week I’d booked a flight to Central America and spent a month travelling there.  I thought to myself: I’m 33, I don’t have any ties and I don’t have to find a new job; I can use this as an opportunity to do something totally different.
Anyone with a job like I had should have something they’d like to do if they get made redundant – something like improve their French or learn how to play golf. I’d recently been skiing for the first time and I really enjoyed it but had thought to myself that I’d never be able to get that good if I only did it once a year. So, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to spend more time in the mountains. 
I began working as a rep with a winter holiday company. It was like nothing I’ve ever done before. I’m not normally someone who likes early mornings but when I had to get up at 6 am and saw the sunrise, it was all worth it.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen such beauty. Six months ago I was working at a computer all day, every day and who knows what I’ll be doing this time next year. I liked my life before, but I appreciate now that it was very ordinary, and there’s an awful lot more out there. 
If one of my friends got made redundant tomorrow, what advice would I give? Well, the first thing I’d say is to welcome it, and above all, don’t panic.  See it as a chance to do something you’ve never done before.
As for the people who’ve put you in that position, I think it’s also crucial not to feel a sense of anger towards them, partly because there’s no point, but also because they’ve actually given you an opportunity. My main feeling now towards the people who fired me is, honestly, one of gratitude.  If you’re given the chance to try something different, you should just take it.