Work­ing To­wards a Beau­ti­ful Bei­jing

Beijing (English) - - CONTENTS - Trans­lated by Wang Hui­hui Edited by Justin Davis Pho­tos by Qu Bowei

Li Guodong has been mak­ing great con­tri­bu­tions to Bei­jing’s pub­lic san­i­ta­tion for over 20 years and has won many awards and hon­ours. He will con­tinue to work closely with his cowork­ers to im­prove the city’s en­vi­ron­ment and san­i­ta­tion.

At a shar­ing ses­sion, an at­tendee stated: “I'm Li Guodong from the No. 1 Clear­ing Cen­tre of the Bei­jing Solid Waste Lo­gis­tics Co., Ltd., a sub­sidiary of the Bei­jing En­vi­ron­ment San­i­ta­tion En­gi­neer­ing Group. The theme of my speech to­day is re­main­ing mo­bilised for brand new en­deav­ours and mak­ing con­tri­bu­tions to Bei­jing's san­i­ta­tion cause un­der the guid­ance of the 19th Na­tional Congress of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC). As an or­di­nary san­i­ta­tion worker, I'm hon­oured to have been elected as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the 19th CPC Na­tional Congress, and I'm very happy to share my ex­pe­ri­ence of at­tend­ing the congress and study the con­gres­sional re­port with you.”

Li has worked tire­lessly as a san­i­ta­tion ve­hi­cle driver in the cap­i­tal to re­move waste and has been awarded many hon­ours be­cause of his painstak­ing ef­fort. Over the past 20 years, Li has never spent the Spring Fes­ti­val hol­i­day with his fam­ily. He even failed to ac­com­pany his wife when she was in labour. He has made a lot of sac­ri­fices but has never re­gret­ted it, be­cause his hard work helps the cap­i­tal city. Li has been awarded the Model Pro­ducer and Out­stand­ing CPC Mem­ber of the Bei­jing En­vi­ron­ment San­i­ta­tion En­gi­neer­ing Group ti­tles sev­eral con­sec­u­tive times. Li was made a Youth Ex­pert and Bei­jing Model Worker in 2004 and 2010, re­spec­tively, as well. In 2017, he par­tic­i­pated in the 19th CPC Na­tional Congress as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

Li has car­ried out nearly 20 speech events since the congress, aim­ing to bring the spirit of the congress to the san­i­ta­tion sys­tem, share it with other grass­roots work­ers, spread pos­i­tive en­ergy and in­spire the morale of san­i­ta­tion work­ers. Li elab­o­rated: “I am al­ways com­mit­ted and have the work ethic to pro­vide qual­ity ser­vice for the pub­lic with hon­esty, trust­wor­thi­ness and hard work. I will con­tinue to in­flu­ence and mo­ti­vate more peo­ple with my ac­tions in my or­di­nary yet mean­ing­ful work po­si­tion and high­light the ded­i­ca­tion of san­i­ta­tion work­ers in Bei­jing.”

A Glo­ri­ous Job

Li grad­u­ated from the Chengde Agri­cul­tural Mech­a­ni­sa­tion Vo­ca­tional School in 1996. The Bei­jing En­vi­ron­men­tal San­i­ta­tion Bu­reau was sched­uled to come to his school to re­cruit work­ers, hav­ing signed a poverty alle­vi­a­tion agree­ment with Li's county. He im­me­di­ately de­cided to seize the op­por­tu­nity.

In this way, Li went from a poverty-stricken county to Bei­jing with au­to­mo­bile main­te­nance knowl­edge that he learned at school and mo­ti­va­tion and de­sire to work in san­i­ta­tion. Li has ded­i­cated his youth to Bei­jing's san­i­ta­tion cause.

The san­i­ta­tion group or­gan­ised a plan for the newly-re­cruited work­ers to visit Tian'an­men Square on their sec­ond day. Li climbed the Tian'an­men Gate Tower and was happy. He thought be­com­ing a san­i­ta­tion ve­hi­cle driver in Bei­jing would be a good path. He made up his mind to con­trib­ute to the city's san­i­ta­tion work.

It did not take long for Li to re­alise that be­ing a san­i­ta­tion ve­hi­cle driver is far from an easy job though. It can be hard to put the­o­ret­i­cal knowl­edge and text­book in­for­ma­tion into prac­tice some­times. Li found it dif­fi­cult to drive in hu­tong (lanes and al­leys) when do­ing his work. What wor­ried him most was driv­ing to the garbage col­lec­tion site out­side Yongding­men. At that time, the road lead­ing to it was very nar­row. His driv­ing had to be very pre­cise.

Im­per­fect driv­ing skills, main­te­nance skills and the­o­ret­i­cal knowl­edge trou­bled Li a lot. To make mat­ters worse, he did not un­der­stand the train­ing cour­ses or­gan­ised by the san­i­ta­tion group for the new em­ploy­ees very well. He felt frus­trated and a lit­tle alien­ated. For a while, he would ask for leave from train­ing to avoid meet­ing his col­leagues. He thought they might look down on him due to his bad per­for­mance.

Li's odd be­hav­iour soon at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the depart­ment lead­ers. The cap­tain of the ve­hi­cle team even­tu­ally talked to him in pri­vate. He men­tioned the im­por­tance of learn­ing new things and ex­plained how to put the­ory into prac­tice to en­cour­age Li to con­tinue his train­ing. Li re­called: “The cap­tain told me that Shi Chuanx­i­ang (1915–1975) was a na­tional model worker in our in­dus­try who was fa­mous for his con­sci­en­tious at­ti­tude to­wards work. Mao Ze­dong (1893–1976, the first chair­man of the Peo­ple's Repub­lic of China) and Zhou En­lai (1898–1976, the first pre­mier of the Peo­ple's Repub­lic of China) even re­ceived him in per­son. Shi could over­come dif­fi­cul­ties and com­plete tasks un­der more dif­fi­cult con­di­tions. In a bet­ter en­vi­ron­ment and with bet­ter equip­ment, we should be able to be okay also.”

The cap­tain's words en­light­ened Li. He par­tic­i­pated in the train­ing ev­ery day af­ter that con­ver­sa­tion. He stud­ied on his own in or­der to catch up. He asked his teacher about some tech­ni­cal is­sues that puz­zled him. Ev­ery time mal­func­tion­ing ve­hi­cles were sent to the re­pair cen­tre, Li would stay and ob­serve how his teacher re­paired the ve­hi­cles. He would think about the process on his way back to his dor­mi­tory. With the help of his col­leagues and his teacher, Li grad­u­ally made great progress in ve­hi­cle main­te­nance and driv­ing. He soon be­came a top stu­dent in the train­ing class. In his third year, he be­came squad leader of the hook arm garbage com­pactor truck team.

The warmth and care of the group helped make Li an ex­cel­lent tech­ni­cian and driver, so he was grate­ful to them. He re­counted: “When I came here for the first time, I felt that I was just a mi­grant worker who came to Bei­jing to earn a liv­ing. All I needed to do was fin­ish my job, without hav­ing to care about busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and de­ci­sion mak­ing. It didn't take long for me to love this group. The group is warm and united and gives me a sense of be­long­ing. The lead­ers are es­pe­cially con­cerned about mi­grant work­ers and eat dumplings with us ev­ery New Year's Eve.”

Li's abil­ity has im­proved by leaps and bounds, and his team spirit has also been strength­ened. He was highly

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