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中国时间: 00:34 2016年12月05日星期一

礼节美语157:Kickbacks (1)

  • 美国之音



项目主管Donny急冲冲地来找老板Simon.

Donny: Simon, there's something we need to talk about.

Simon: Go ahead, shoot.

D: I think maybe we better step into your office. It's a bit of a sensitive issue.

S: Oh, sure. Come on in. What's on your mind?

D: You know that project we have in the south of the country?

S: Do you mean the new processing plant we're building?

D: Yes. I'm afraid we've run into a couple of setbacks.

S: Oh? What's the problem?

Donny有事找Simon, 但是不方便在外面谈,说we better step into your office,最好去你办公室谈。原来是他们在南方兴建的加工厂遇到了麻烦。Donny说,we've run into a couple of setbacks. Run into something, 是遇到的意思,setback, 意思是挫折。

D: I just got a call from the on-site manager and he says the local area's building inspector says our building is not up to code.

S: But that's impossible! I personally made sure that we followed all relevant local laws and I even insisted on a better standard than the code requires! How can this be?

D: Well sir, the on-site manager says the real problem is that we need to grease the wheels. In other words, there's nothing wrong with the building, the inspector just wants a kickback.

原来,问题出在当地检查施工建筑的官员身上。他为了拿回扣,kickback, 居然说Simon公司的建筑not up to code. 不符合建筑规格。这里的code, c-o-d-e, code 指政府关于建筑标准的法规。按Donny的话说,要想达标也不难,we need to grease the wheels. grease is spelled g-r-e-a-s-e, grease. Grease,是上油的意思,wheels是车轮的意思,给车轮上油,引伸为让事情进行得更顺利。

S: I see. Hmm...this is frustrating.

D: On the one hand, the inspector is not asking for very much, a couple of thousand dollars will make this problem go away. But on the other hand, bribery is illegal.

S: Bribery is certainly illegal, but even more important for me personally, it's immoral. I've always tried to do the right thing in my business dealings and it's important to me that I run a clean shop.

Donny说,一方面,几千美元就能解决问题,make the problem go away, 让这个问题消失;但另外一方面,行贿是非法的, bribery is illegal. Simon说,行贿不仅非法,更重要的是,他个人认为这样做是不道德的,it's immoral. Simon还说,自己做生意一概奉公守法,努力run a clean shop. 这里的clean指正派的,遵纪守法的,shop 在口语里可以用来泛指生意、公司、店铺等等。Simon最终会让步吗?我们下次继续听。

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