Chatterbox #147 – Around the Culips water cooler

Office workers often gather around the water cooler to gossip, share news, and talk about what’s going on in the world. In this Chatterbox episode, Andrew and Harp have a water cooler conversation. Join them as they chat about local and international current events!

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Expressions included in the Learning Materials:watercooler

  • A feast for the eyes
  • A new take on something
  • Water cooler conversation
  • What a something
  • To nickel and dime
  • To be backed into a corner
  • Everything under the sun
  • Across the board
  • The bottom line
  • A vicious circle
  • The main drag
  • To kill two birds with one stone

Sample transcript

Andrew: Yeah. And today we have sort of a new take on the Chatterbox episode. We’re going to have some water cooler conversations.

Harp: Yes. So when we say water cooler conversation, it basically means things that people are talking about on the street or at work with their friends and colleagues.

Andrew: Mmhmm. You know, in the office, it’s common for people to sorta hang out around the water cooler. They wanna get up and get a drink, and while they’re there, they sort of stop and chat with their colleagues and talk about current events and new things.

Harp: Yup. Exactly. So that’s what we’re gonna do here for you at Culips.

Andrew: Mmhmm. And so the first story that we’re gonna talk about is about travelling, flying on Air Canada.

Harp: Yes. And how they are gonna become very strict on their carry-on luggage.

Andrew: Yeah. So, from what I understand, now if you wanna fly on Air Canada, or any airline in Canada, you have to pay a $25 fee to check your bags on the plane.

Harp: Yup. So this is an idea that’s been in the US for a long time, for a couple of years, and with Air Canada, it used to be two pieces of checked luggage that you could check in for free. And now, they’ve recently changed it. I think it’s been at least 6 months that it’s been changed.

Andrew: Mmhmm.

Harp: And so, since it changed, most people got creative and started jam-packing their carry-on luggage and getting really big suitcases to try to bring on the plane with them. And now they’re gonna get all strict about it.

Andrew: Yeah. So before, whenever you just carried your luggage onto the plane, there were always size restrictions, but nobody was strict about checking how big your bag was.

Harp: Or how heavy it was.

Andrew: Mmhmm. But these days, because people have to pay a fee to check their bag, they’re—like you said—cramming more and more things into their carryon baggage, and this is becoming a real problem for the airline.

Harp: Yup. It’s slightly ridiculous, but I find their $25 check-in bag fee ridiculous. Ludicrous! It really makes me angry.

Andrew: I agree with you. Now, before the $25 fee, were you the type of person who would check a bag and pack a lot of stuff? Or would you just sort of try and travel light and just carry a bag on?

Harp: It really depended where I was going. If I went to Toronto for just the weekend, I would definitely do just a carry-on. But I often go home to visit my parents in Edmonton, and I’m gonna go for a week, so I can’t live with just a carry-on. And I always have to take a larger-sized suitcase. It might not be full, but I like to check it in. And I just recently went to visit my parents, and I had to pay the extra $25 both ways. And to me, I think they should just put it in the price of the ticket if they’re gonna charge me, rather than make me pay it when I get to the airport. I just found it so annoying.

Andrew: It is annoying. I agree. And a lot of people are complaining that it’s actually slowing down the service because now you need to have extra staff members check your bags before you get onto the plane. And even when they check your bag, it still means that more people are bringing their bags onto the plane. So the overhead bins are full, and people can’t find a place to store their bags. It’s making the flight attendants angry, and what a mess.

Harp: It is a mess, and I’m sure it’s gonna be… end up being the same thing that happens in the US when you travel, where they… People bring on carry-on luggage, but they don’t have enough space, like you said, in the overhead compartments. And they make you check it in when you get to the airport anyway, but they don’t charge you then because it’s only a carry-on size. So, it just becomes ludicrous, I find.

Andrew: Mmhmm. You know what? This happened to me last time I flew, too. Maybe I’m a part of the problem. I don’t know. But I had a bag that I just carried on that was too big, and so they said, “Oh. You have to check it, sir.” But then I didn’t have to pay the fee because I already got the bag onto the plane.

Harp: That makes me so angry right now because I had to pay both ways.

Andrew: Yeah. So I scammed the system.

Harp: Next time, I’m gonna do the same thing.

Andrew: Right. So this is a problem when I’m flying. And it’s gonna be interesting to see how the airlines react to this customer backlash.

Harp: Yup. And a lot of people are talking about this, and they’re just getting annoyed with the airlines. People hate being nickeled and dimed, and so they try to avoid paying this fee.

Andrew: Yeah, but we’re kind of backed into a corner. There’s not much that we can do. If you need to fly somewhere, you have to fly there, really. Driving is too slow. The alternative is not a good alternative.

Harp: Yeah. Definitely. If I wanted to visit my parents and drive, that would take me 3 days there, to drive there, and 3 days to drive back, so I would have about 2 days to spend with them.

english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips English Learning Podcast