Views #678 | Intermediate 5

Odd Jobs

Jeff talks more about an odd job he had when he was younger.

Todd: OK, Jeff, we're talking about odd jobs. Good jobs, bad jobs, strange jobs we've done. What's an odd job you've had Jeff?

Jeff: Todd, one of my oddest odd jobs might be was when I was backpacking through Europe after university, I ran out of money in Israel and there's an organization called a Kibutz, where it's communal living and you can do a job and they give you your room and board.They they don't pay you in money but they give you food and lodging and a good experience of living with the Israelis so I worked on a fish pond. A fish pond. And it means raising fish, growing fish that they are going to sell in the supermarket. And so what that entails was I got up in the morning and we fed the fish. You has a machine that put fish food, fish pellets into the lake, into the fish pond and then you'd have to clean up the fish pond, and you'd have to make some calls to the markets, to the supermarkets and find out who wanted what, when they needed it and make sure that your system, your fish could be ready when they needed it and it was beautiful because it was working with nature sort of out in the Israeli countryside and it was sunny and warm everyday. You were working with other good quality guys, so it was good. It was an interesting job, very odd, odd job, and it was a good experience as well.

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

run out of

One of the oddest jobs might be when I ran out of money in Israel, so I worked on a fish pond.

You 'run out of' something when you use all of what you have, until you don't have any more. Notice the following:

  1. Have you ever run out of gas in your car?
  2. I don't want to run out of ice, so let's get one more bag.


In Israel, there's an organization called a Kibutz, where it's communal living.

In 'communal living' everyone works together to get things done. There would be things that would be shared by everyone in the group, and each person would have responsibilities to keep the community going. Notice the following:

  1. Are you comfortable in communal showers?
  2. We all have our own rooms, but we have a communal kitchen.

room and board

They give you your room and board, but they don't pay you money.

If someone gives you your 'room and board,' they give you a place to sleep, shower, put your things, and you also get food. Notice the following:

  1. It's a volunteer position, so you get room and board, but all you have to bring your own spending money.
  2. I'm assuming that the price you have listed here includes room and board.


What that entails was feeding the fish, cleaning the pond, and making calls to buyers.

Here, 'entails' can be replaced with 'includes.' Notice the following:

  1. My job entails answering the phone, using the computer and completing paperwork.
  2. Our vacations usually entail a lot of relaxing on the beach.

quality guy

I worked with good quality guys so it was good.

A 'quality guy' is a good, reliable person with good morals. Notice the following:

  1. Although he's famous and has a lot of money, he is still a quality guy.
  2. I didn't really like him the first time we met, but he turned out to be a quality guy.
Answer these questions about the interview.

Vocabulary Quiz

run out • communal • board
entails • quality
  1. How much do you pay for room and each year at university?
  2. He has a reputation for being a fighter, but he's really a guy.
  3. We didn't want to of food at the party.
  4. I can't believe how much work being a full-time mother .
  5. Having a kitchen is difficult, because nobody ever wants to clean it.

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