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商务英语初级阅读素材 - 韦沃英语


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,我正在座位上阅读一篇有关工作时上网摸鱼的学术论文时,扫了一眼电脑屏幕,看到有个同事发了一条tweet消息:“没想到这么搞笑。”我点击了里面的链接,看到了一些舰艇的照片,名字都很蠢,例如HMS Gay Viking号、HMS Spanker号、SS Lesbian号、USS Saucy号、SS Iron Knob号。起初我大笑不止,不过当我看到HMS Cockchafer号和HMS Grappler号时,我想:“不会吧?”于是我开始查阅维基百科(Wikipedia),发现HMS Cockchafer号是第五艘使用这个名称的英国皇家海军(Royal Navy)舰艇,该艇建造于1915年,在一战中曾保卫过英国东南海岸,还参加过英苏入侵伊朗行动。

  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.

  证实了这点之后,我看到推特(Twitter)建议我关注一个名字隐约有点熟悉的人,为此我用谷歌(Google)搜了她的名字,开始浏览她那有些乏味的履历。这时候英国广播公司(BBC)网站上一则关于戴维 卡梅伦(David Cameron)的报道吸引了我的注意,报道中说,卡梅伦就希拉里 曼特尔(Hilary Mantel)针对凯特 米德尔顿(Kate Middleton)的言论发表了意见,曼特尔曾说米德尔顿看上去就像橱窗里的人体模型——其实这是个十分明显的事实。天哪!我在干什么?正值工作日,我还有一堆事情要做,却把整整一个小时白白地浪费了。

  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时间这种有如偷窃的不光彩经历,是因为当时我正在阅读一篇令人震惊的论文。这篇论文让我了解到,说到上网摸鱼,我只能算是业余选手。根据美国堪萨斯州立大学(Kansas State University)约瑟夫 乌格林(Joseph Ugrin)教授的研究,美国员工平均花费60%到80%的工作时间在网上做与工作无关的事。这一数字让我觉得没那么惭愧了,不过也让我为所有其他人感到绝望。

  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.

  有的人试图勇敢地装作没什么可担心的样子。新加坡国立大学(National University of Singapore)的研究人员最近得出结论,工作时上网其实是一件好事,因为它能缓解压力,令你精神焕发。我敢说,起初五分钟左右可能真的是这样。偶然看到SS Iron Knob号照片的时候,我的确感觉比较放松。不过令人无法放松的是,从那以后的忙乱让我感到有负罪感,并且对我自己很生气,未完成的工作还令我感到很大压力,那种感觉和我刚吃完一筒酸奶油洋葱味薯片差不多。

  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时——同时也是为了找借口再上上网——我发了一条tweet,询问有没有人知道摆脱推特(Twitter)、把心思重新放在工作上的保险方法。伟大的汤姆 彼得斯(Tom Peters)马上就回复:“只要无视推特,该干什么干什么就可以了!”不过他的回复速度明显削弱了他建议的可信度。更诚实的是一位只回复了“没有”的男士。不过我最喜欢的回复来自一位女士,她是这样说的:“太晚了.”