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商務英語初級閱讀素材 - 韋沃英語


One day last week I was sitting at my desk reading an academic paper on cyber loafing when I glanced at my screen and saw a colleague had tweeted: “This shouldn’t be funny but it is.” I clicked on the link and found a series of pictures of ships with silly names. There was HMS Gay Viking, HMS Spanker, SS Lesbian, USS Saucy, SS Iron Knob. At first I laughed but, as I read on to HMS Cockchafer and HMS Grappler, I thought: surely not? Thus I found myself checking on Wikipedia and discovering HMS Cockchafer was the fifth Royal Navy ship of that name, that it was built in 1915, defended the southeast coast of England during the first world war and was later part of the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran.

  上星期的一天,我正在座位上閱讀一篇有關工作時上網摸魚的學術論文時,掃了一眼電腦屏幕,看到有個同事發了一條tweet消息:“沒想到這么搞笑。”我點擊了里面的鏈接,看到了一些艦艇的照片,名字都很蠢,例如HMS Gay Viking號、HMS Spanker號、SS Lesbian號、USS Saucy號、SS Iron Knob號。起初我大笑不止,不過當我看到HMS Cockchafer號和HMS Grappler號時,我想:“不會吧?”于是我開始查閱維基百科(Wikipedia),發現HMS Cockchafer號是第五艘使用這個名稱的英國皇家海軍(Royal Navy)艦艇,該艇建造于1915年,在一戰中曾保衛過英國東南海岸,還參加過英蘇入侵伊朗行動。

  Having established that, I saw Twitter was suggesting I follow someone whose name was dimly familiar, so I Googled her and started reading her dull CV until I was distracted by a non-story on the BBC website about David Cameron PLS KEEP LIKE THISweighing in on the non-story of Hilary Mantel having said the bleeding obvious: that Kate Middleton PLS KEEP LIKE THISlooks like a shop-window mannequin. What the hell was I doing? It was the middle of a working day and I had quite a bit to do, but had just squandered a whole hour on nothing.

  證實了這點之后,我看到推特(Twitter)建議我關注一個名字隱約有點熟悉的人,為此我用谷歌(Google)搜了她的名字,開始瀏覽她那有些乏味的履歷。這時候英國廣播公司(BBC)網站上一則關于戴維 卡梅倫(David Cameron)的報道吸引了我的注意,報道中說,卡梅倫就希拉里 曼特爾(Hilary Mantel)針對凱特 米德爾頓(Kate Middleton)的言論發表了意見,曼特爾曾說米德爾頓看上去就像櫥窗里的人體模型——其實這是個十分明顯的事實。天哪!我在干什么?正值工作日,我還有一堆事情要做,卻把整整一個小時白白地浪費了。

  The reason I’m flaunting this disgraceful theft of time from my employer is that I was reading (before I got distracted) a shocking piece of research telling me that when it comes to cyber loafing, I’m an amateur. According to Joseph Ugrin from Kansas State University, the average US worker spends 60-80 per cent of their time online at work doing things unrelated to their jobs. This statistic leaves me feeling slightly less ashamed, but in despair about everyone else.

  我如此炫耀自己私自占用工作時間這種有如偷竊的不光彩經歷,是因為當時我正在閱讀一篇令人震驚的論文。這篇論文讓我了解到,說到上網摸魚,我只能算是業余選手。根據美國堪薩斯州立大學(Kansas State University)約瑟夫 烏格林(Joseph Ugrin)教授的研究,美國員工平均花費60%到80%的工作時間在網上做與工作無關的事。這一數字讓我覺得沒那么慚愧了,不過也讓我為所有其他人感到絕望。

  Until a couple of years ago I thought skiving was a non-problem. The answer, I thought, was to fire extreme slackers and give the rest of us more work to do. But I don’t think that any more. I cyber loaf even when I’m extremely busy, which means I often work at weekends to catch up. I find the temptation to waste time online is so great that it swamps everything else. It feeds almost every need I have. It’s a drug, and I can’t help myself.


  Some people heroically try to pretend there is nothing to worry about. Researchers from the National University of Singapore recently concluded that surfing the internet at work is actually a good thing, as it reduces stress and leaves you feeling refreshed. I dare say this might be right for the first five minutes or so. It was soothing for my mind to alight briefly on SS Iron Knob. But what wasn’t soothing was the helter-skelter ride I took from there that left me guilty, angry with myself, stressed about undone work and about as satisfied as if I’d eaten a whole tube of sour cream and onion Pringles.

  有的人試圖勇敢地裝作沒什么可擔心的樣子。新加坡國立大學(National University of Singapore)的研究人員最近得出結論,工作時上網其實是一件好事,因為它能緩解壓力,令你精神煥發。我敢說,起初五分鐘左右可能真的是這樣。偶然看到SS Iron Knob號照片的時候,我的確感覺比較放松。不過令人無法放松的是,從那以后的忙亂讓我感到有負罪感,并且對我自己很生氣,未完成的工作還令我感到很大壓力,那種感覺和我剛吃完一筒酸奶油洋蔥味薯片差不多。

  The corporate response to this sort of internet abuse is wildly inadequate. Most companies rely on issuing guidelines and doing some monitoring. They might as well not bother. According to Prof Ugrin’s research, this makes precious little difference unless offenders get punished publicly. In other words, we need the equivalent of putting people in the stocks to have any hope of persuading everyone else to get off Facebook and Reddit and get on with their work.


  Prof Ugrin points out that the problem with such punishment is that it reduces trust and makes people demotivated. But it seems to me a price worth paying: trust may be a luxury we can no longer afford.


  Short of clapping cyber loafers in the stocks, there are all sorts of software programs that offer help by blocking certain sites or shutting down the internet altogether for periods of time. These are called names such as “Concentrate”, “Think” and “Self-control” – which are in themselves a giveaway. Thinking and concentrating are things we used to be able to do perfectly happily by ourselves. Now we need special apps to help us.


  But even if the internet were blocked on work computers, the problem still wouldn’t go away, as we would all respond by getting our cyber loafing fix on our smartphones instead.


  In search of a more complete answer (and to give me an excuse to get back online), I’ve just sent out a tweet asking if anyone has found a fail-safe way of getting off Twitter and back to work. The great Tom Peters replied at once: “Just ignore it and move on!” – the speed of his response rather undermining his advice. More honest was the man who simply tweeted “no”. But my favourite response came from a woman who said: “Too late. ”

  在搜索更完美的答案時——同時也是為了找借口再上上網——我發了一條tweet,詢問有沒有人知道擺脫推特(Twitter)、把心思重新放在工作上的保險方法。偉大的湯姆 彼得斯(Tom Peters)馬上就回復:“只要無視推特,該干什么干什么就可以了!”不過他的回復速度明顯削弱了他建議的可信度。更誠實的是一位只回復了“沒有”的男士。不過我最喜歡的回復來自一位女士,她是這樣說的:“太晚了.”