Classic Words from Xiaohe




EVERYONE’S hearts warmed on meeting Xiaohe on her first day at work, for Xiaohe would smile as she greeted everyone, “Hello and happiness to you!”


Everyone began to emulate Xiaohe by smiling and greeting each other with the words, “Hello and happiness to you” and then break into laughter at such a sweet sentiment.


What makes Xiaohe so adorable is her beauty, those big black eyes, cherry lips, white teeth, baby face and high nose, and that she is always full of energy. Both men and women find her pleasant to behold.


Her colleagues expected Xiaohe’s enthusiasm to last for just a couple of days at most, like with other newcomers.


As it turns out they were wrong.


This is no passing whim of Xiaohe’s. She greets everyone with these sweet words to this day.


As her influence infuses everybody, all now greet each other by saying “Hello and happiness to you.” These words have become those most frequently heard at this institute.


Xiaohe was born into a rural family. After graduating from a national key university, she passed the civil service examination and got a job in this institute.


“You are assigned to work at the administrative office,” the leader told her.


“Okay! Thanks,” Xiaohe replied with a big smile.


“You just run errands for others,” the director of the administrative office said.


“Okay! Thanks,” Xiaohe responded, still with a big smile.


Xiaohe then became the general gofor. She swept the floor, answered the phone, and served as waitress during special events or meetings. Xiaohe, however, enjoys “busy work” and takes it seriously. A light fragrance pervaded the office, with its clean floors and windows. The institute is responsible for the management and maintenance of cable television networks in the city. Some users mistakenly call the administrative office when they encounter problems, often speaking in an abrupt manner, but Xiaohe always answered their questions patiently and politely.


Xiaohe worked at the administrative office for half a year, until a colleague in the central apparatus room (CAR) took maternity leave and someone was needed to fill in for her.


“Xiaohe. You are to go to the CAR, temporarily,” the leader said.


“Okay! Thanks,” Xiaohe replied without a second thought.


Xiaohe then went to work in the CAR.


In fact, nobody wanted to work in the CAR, because it was too boring there.


“Nobody’s willing to work here. Why did you come? The job here is not suited to young people,” said a senior colleague surnamed Li, also working in the CAR.


“The job itself and the working environment can be boring, but I still have a colorful inner world, which can be as beautiful as I imagine. My mind can be as free as a runaway horse,” said Xiaohe with a smile.


“The girl is still young and naive,” Li thought.


Xiaohe worked in the CAR for over a year. The colleague who had taken maternity leave, upon her return, went to another department.


Xiaohe updated the logbook every day, making it neat and clear. She even recopied what Li had written.


“Don’t bother doing that. Nobody will even look at it,” Li said.


“But it also gives a great chance to practice my calligraphy, killing two birds with one stone,” Xiaohe said, and carried on updating the logbook meticulously.


One day, out of the blue, the inspection team called by to check the work in the CAR. The team leader read the logbook written by Xiaohe over the past year.


“It’s totally beyond my expectations. You’ve done a very good job. I’ve inspected CARs in over 100 institutes, and this is the best logbook I’ve ever read,” the team leader said.


Owing to Xiaohe’s efforts, the leader of her institute received the honor of a “model worker.” He was invited to make reports and speeches to share his management experience, so gaining presence and respect.


The leader began to see Xiaohe in a new light. Over the past two years, almost all the employees at the institute came to him with various requests, such as transfers to other positions, higher salaries, and promotions. Some were ordinary workers; others had graduated from specialized secondary schools or junior colleges with professional training certificates.


Xiaohe, however, the only one with a bachelor’s degree at the institute, requested nothing.


The leader made a decision after thorough consideration. “Xiaohe, you can go to the financial department to work as an accountant,” he said.


“I majored in Chinese at university. I’m afraid I’m not qualified to be an accountant. But thank you,” Xiaohe replied, surprised.


“You must take that job,” said the leader.


“Okay! Will do. Thank you,” Xiaohe said, her head bowed.


Many other colleagues had begged the leader to transfer them to the financial department – considered a good placing.


Xiaohe has started accountancy work.


She is doing a great job.


Other colleagues were curious how Xiaohe got that desirable job after remaining so low-profile. “Through what social connections did you get that job?” they asked.


“What do you mean by social connection?” Xiaohe replied, looking confused.


Her colleagues think Xiaohe will never “grow up” for she doesn’t even understand what “social connection” means.