Li Meng (C) talks with her colleagues about the spirit of the 19th CPC National Congress. [China Women's News]
"The difference between various kinds of work lies in what workers do, not in which one is superior to others. All jobs aim to serve the public," said a young cleaner from the district of Dongcheng in Beijing during a recent interview.
Li Meng, 28, is a native of Beijing. She became a waste collector for public toilets in Dongcheng after she was discharged from China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) seven years ago.
Her colleagues were thrilled about Li's arrival since they had a young companion.
Back then, many journalists scrambled to cover her story and asked why she chose to be a cleaner at such a young age.
In response, Li replied that she hadn't considered it too much but would cherish her current work since it was her first formal job.
However, Li felt sick in the first days of her work. Human waste splashed over her body when she failed to control the dung tubes.
In addition, she was concerned about how to win other people's understanding and respect of her work at the very beginning.
For instance, one day when Li drove to a public toilet in a hutong, or alley, a vegetable vendor whose stall blocked the entrance refused to make way for Li's vehicle. He even bit her hand when Li tried to move his goods to pass.
At last, the vendor made a concession and apologized to Li under the mediation of police. Meanwhile, Li only kept enough money for her basic medical expenditure from his compensation and gave the rest back to him.
Ever since then, all local vendors will voluntarily move their stalls out of the road when they see Li on her way to clean the public toilets.
After the incident, she tried her best to complete her daily work whilst not disturbing others' business and normal life.
The minor adjustment in the timetable of her work has enabled Li to be popular amongst locals and receive more support from them.
So far, Li has been promoted to vice-director of her unit. She proposed that the public should give more respect to the work they do and hoped that more young people would join their ranks in the future, as she is still the youngest one amongst her colleagues.
"As a delegate to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), I will strive to set an example for others at my workplace," said Li.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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