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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
Learn English in February

Monday Night Owls - 5 June 2017 - How couriers feel about online shopping

NatashaTNatashaT Posts: 1,132 Teacher
We read an article talking about online shopping, and the effect it has on the couriers who have to deliver all the parcels.


Vocabulary Top 10:

ephemera - things that are important or useful for only a short time; items that were not meant to have lasting value

trudge - to walk slowly and heavily because you are tired or working very hard

obscure - to hide or cover (something) : to be in front of (something) so that it cannot be seen

doorstep - a step or series of steps leading up to one of the doors that is used to enter or leave a building

dismal - very bad or poor; showing or causing unhappiness or sad feelings

unearth - to find or discover (something) that was hidden or lost

short-haul - traveling or involving a short distance

stump - to be too difficult for (someone) to answer

self-employed - earning income from your own business or profession rather than by working for someone else

lug - to pull or carry (something) with great effort

Do you like shopping online? Have you ever thought about what the couriers need to do to deliver your parcels?


  • TeachTeach Your Teacher HomePosts: 10,310 mod
    I wonder what couriers feel about drones.
  • alexndalexnd Posts: 34 ✭✭✭✭
    Like workers replaced by robots in factories?
  • alexndalexnd Posts: 34 ✭✭✭✭
    I heard this morning on the radio that couriers employment contracts in the UK are more and more zero-hour contracts. It means that the employer is not obliged to provide any minimum working hours. And the employee is paid only for the worked hours... so no guaranteed income.
  • filauziofilauzio Genoa ( Italy )Posts: 1,991 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The article we read is very interesting and, in my opinion, provides a bigger picture of what the working world has become nowadays: a jungle whose rules aren't even worth the time it took to write them down.
    I'm referring in particular to relatively low-skilled jobs, as that of a courier might be considered to be.
    In my town, for instance, among those employed as couriers, there are either foreign people ( perhaps second or third generation of formerly economic immigrants, even first generation though ), or young natives, who probably need a job whatever to pay their studies or to help integrating their families' meagre incomes, or men in their forties or fifties, perhaps those fired from their previous employment, due to general economic crisis or because of a local temporary shortage of commissions which led their factory/firm to shut down.
    In my country, the welfare state system usually provides wages integration, but it doesn't work for little firms employing few labourers; besides it mostly doesn't last long, and meanwhile you have to search for new employments whatever and agree to them, lest you lose benefits.
    Men who used to be breadwinners, don't easily resign themselves to turn useless because of a fate's adversity, so they promptly roll up their sleeves, put on a resolute face, and, in a ' grin and bear it ' attitude, buckle down to undergo whatever their new job reserve for them.
    It's no surprise then, that online trading companies pay so low wages to these disadvantaged workers, who, when applying for work, are already in a begging, subject position, only just being disguised by a feeling of dignity.
    Companies' bosses know too well with whom they are negotiating the working conditions and economic terms of contracts.
    The moment they are shaking hands with the newly enrolled courier, the bosses are aware of being pulling both ends of a slip-knot.

    Therefore, how all the matter will turn out, it depends on us, meaning we click-addicted online purchaser.
    We had better not just to limit ourselves to symphatize with couriers and low-skilled, hard-workers in general, whenever it happens they fall in the public eyes, due to a newspapers' article.
    Let's pat them on the shoulders, mind you ! only after they have stopped panting due to the four flights of stairs they had to climb to get to your frontdoor; and, most importantly, slip a substantial tip into their hands; they will appreciate.
    glad to stop strict diet, splashed in belly flop? Don't care you're not light, here on English hop !
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