Lesson 11 That’s Putting the Cart before the Horse.
Tobias: Hey, Sandra . . . Could you fillme in on the meeting this morning? I couldn’t make it. I got a bit bogged down with the budget forecasts.
Sandra: Oh . . . Sure.Well,Wilson officially announced that the Plain field branch will be closing next month, and most of the people there will be transferred here.
Tobias: Yeah, I’ve been hearing about that through the grapevine for a while. So, they didn’t give many people the boot?
Sandra: None, actually. They offered early retirement to all of the people whose positions were being eliminated, and everyone leaped at the chance.
Tobias: Gee, I guess it was win-win, then.
Sandra: Right. And of course,we’re going to be taking on all of the accounts that were managed out of Plainfield.
Tobias: Makes sense. So,what’s next for us?
Sandra: You’ve probably heard about that big account they’ve been trying to win,Hanson Tech?Well,Wilson has a big project for us.
Tobias: A big project already?What’s that?
Sandra: Wilson wants us to set up suppliers and shipping for
Hanson.He wants to see a few different proposals by next week.We can get in touch with some of the people we already use, but . . .
Tobias: Whoa, hold your horses . . . Suppliers and shipping for an account we haven’t won yet? Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse?
Sandra: Probably, but I get the impression that this account has major potential, and a lot of people at corporate have their eye on Wilson. If anything goes south with it, it can’t be his fault.
Tobias: Ah I get it. He’s just covering his back.
Sandra: Yup. You’ve hit the nail on the head . . .
Tobias: But it still seems tome that this is all a bit premature. I don’t want to have to be swamped for a week over something that might not even come through. Plus, I have a lot of work to do for our existing accounts!
Sandra: Well, you could bring that up toWilson, but I have the feeling that it would fall on deaf ears.
Tobias: Plus, he’d probably just jump down my throat. He gets like that when he’s feeling cornered.
Sandra: Or you could just go over his head. Make a few phone calls to corporate and . . .
Tobias: Yeah, right. Don’t hold your breath. I think I’d prefer to keep a low profile.
Sandra: Not to mention keep your job.
Tobias: Yeah. No pink slips forme, thank you very much.Well, I guess it’s written in stone, then.
Sandra: What is?
Tobias: The fact that we’ll all be staying late and eating a lot of take-out over the next week.
1. To fill someone in on something. To inform someone of something he or she missed.
2. To make it to an event. To attend an event.
3. Bogged down. Busy, involved in tedious details.
4. To hear something through the grapevine. To learn of something through an unofficial channel.
5. To give someone the boot. To make someone leave, to send someone away.Here it is used to mean “lay someone off.”
6. To leap at the chance. To be eager to do something, to be very willing to accept an opportunity.
7. Win-win, or a win-win situation. A situation that is beneficial to everyone concerned.
8. To take on something. To become responsible for something. To agree to a new responsibility.
9. Hold your horses.Wait.Movemore slowly.
10. To put the cart before the horse. To do something out of logical order, to perform a step before its appropriate time.
11. To have your eye on someone. To watch or examine someone closely.
12. To go south. To go wrong. To end or stop because of problems.
13. To get something. To understand something.
14. To cover your back. To take steps that will protect you in the future. To be very shrewd and cautious in protecting yourself against being held responsible for potential problems.
15. To hit the nail on the head. To identify the important issue or main point of a situation with precision.
16. Swamped.Very busy.
17. To come through. To happen, to materialize, to become a real event.
18. To fall on deaf ears. To be pointless tomention, suggesting that the person you’d like to talk to won’t care about your complaint, opinion, or problem.
19. To jump down someone’s throat. To overreact and attack someone verbally.
20. Cornered. Threatened. Feeling as if you don’t have many options left.
21. To go over someone’s head. To not confront someone about a problem, but instead bring it up with another person who is
22. To not hold your breath. To not wait for something to happen withmuch hope.
23. To keep a low profile. To do nothing that would draw attention to you or distinguish you from others.
24. Pink slip.Notification that you’ve been fired. The full expression is “to get a pink slip.”
25. Written in stone. Fixed, firm, unchangeable.
Source: Easy American Idioms