Hello to all our readers, on a rainy day in Rome.
Here are the answers to the latest Six Minute English Quiz.
1. This week's question: According to a survey carried out this year, what is considered to be the most stressful job? Is it:
a) A commercial airline pilot
b) A school teacher
c) A surgeon
And the right answer was: A commercial airline pilot.
Why is this job stressful? Because they're not only expected to guarantee the safety of their passengers, but also expected to reach their destinations on time, even when flying in bad weather.
And the other questions:
2. What kind of stress do people often suffer from? Answer: Stress in the workplace, which is the no. 1 cause of absence from work.
3. Why is stress increasing in the UK? High prices of food and petrol, the financial situation generally.
4. What word does the BBC reporter use as a synonym for economic depression? Hint: the first word is a "D", and it's not "depression", obviously! The answer is: "Downturn"
5. What proportion of British public-sector companies have reported a rise in stress-related absenteeism? Answer: half
6. Why is this rise surprising? Answer: Because public-sector jobs are traditionally seen as more stable and secure.
7. What are the main reasons for stress-related absenteeism? Answer: organisational change, excessive workloads, lack of job security.
8. What often happens in companies which are planning to make redundancies? Answer: they report an increase in mental health problems among staff.
9. What can be done to reduce stress? Answer: Companies should have a plan or a strategy in place to help staff. Offering counselling is one option.
Many thanks to those people who answered. They include "IELTS Writing Topics" - presumably a human operator of this web site; and Annalisa.
Coming soon: an exercise based on Michael Marzio's "Real English" site; a survey of the British Council's "LearnEnglish" site; and a further Six Minute English quiz.
While you're waiting for these and other goodies, do take time off to explore this Blog and try out as many sites as you can. As with doing your financial accounts, "a little but often" is a good rule. So try visiting the Blog and connecting to an associated website three or four times a week, for a quarter of an hour each time. It will definitely make a difference.
That's all for now. More later this week.