I want to tell you about my new coworker. His name is Alan and he just started working here last week. Even though he is just a rookie, I can already tell he is going to be a team player and work well with the other people in our office.
When Alan interviewed for the job, the boss tried to throw him a curve ball by asking him some very difficult questions. However, Alan was on the ball and gave very intelligent answers. The boss was very impressed. The boss can be tough sometimes and is determined to make his company successful. Sometimes this means he has to play hard ball with people. Alan took all of this in stride and didn't get upset once. He was a real sport about it. The boss really liked him and gave him the job.
Gary, the last person who had this job, really dropped the ball and made a lot of mistakes. His ideas were way out in left field and didn't make sense, so the boss fired him. When Alan started, there were a lot of projects waiting for him. He didn't waste any time and took the ball and ran with it. He has done more work in his first week, than Gary did in a month. Already we are bouncing the ideas off of him. Alan seems ready to tackle the problems facing our company and make it even more successful.
a rookie - someone who has just started doing a job and has little experience.
team player - someone who works well with other people so the whole group is successful.
throw him a curve ball - to surprise someone with a question or problem that is difficult to deal with.
on the ball - thinking or acting quickly and intelligently.
play hard ball - to be very determined to get what you want, especially in business or politics.
took all of this in stride - to not allow something to annoy, embarrass, or upset you.
a real sport - a helpful and cheerful person who never complains when there is trouble.
dropped the ball - to make a mistake or do a bad job.
to be out in left field - ideas etc. that are strange or unusual.
took the ball and ran with it - to understand a situation or task and know what to do about it or how to do it.
bouncing the ideas off of him - to ask someone's opinion on an idea; to play with an idea.
to tackle something - to deal with a difficult problem determinedly.