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Videos and victories bolster May 1 medal winner

By CHENG SI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-05-23 08:51

Liao Zemeng is pictured after being awarded the Chongqing May 1 Labor Medal this year. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Following a period as a florist, Liao Zemeng, now a food delivery worker in Chongqing, Southwest China, has set a good example for her peers as one of the winners of the city's May 1 Labor Medal.

The 27-year-old delivered food as a part-time job when she worked as a florist. "I used to deliver food at night, after my florist's job, usually from 7 pm to midnight," she said.

"I earned about 100 yuan ($15) during the night. Then I realized that the money I earned as a part-timer was roughly equal to what I earned as a florist. The COVID-19 epidemic delivered a heavy blow to my flower business, so I quit and became a full-time employee at Eleme, a food delivery company, in 2020," she said.

As a woman in the industry, Liao said she receives great understanding and warmth from customers, and even from strangers.

"One rainy day in summer, I fell off my electric tricycle when the driver of a car in front of me slammed on the brakes. It hurt so much and I felt so helpless. Then, a driver pulled up at my side to help me lift up the trike. He asked me if I needed to go to the hospital," she recalled. "He was totally drenched because of the heavy rain, but he still comforted me with kindness. It was heartwarming."

Liao said she always takes a happy, positive approach to people, but even as an optimist she sometimes meets tough customers who make her work difficult.

"I remember that at the end of 2020, I got an order for a building whose name was very similar to that of one 2 or 3 kilometers away. Unfortunately, I misread the name, so I received many calls from the customer," she said.

"I apologized to him and promised to bring the food on time as the two buildings were just 2 or 3 kilometers apart, but he kept calling me and saying rude things even when I was on the road, which was very dangerous. I finally got the food to him on time."

Such unpleasant experiences didn't discourage Liao, who started sharing her happy approach to work via Douyin, a short-video sharing platform, that year.

"Initially, I only shot videos occasionally, but I have frequently updated my pages since May last year," she said. "I record my work and any happy things I encounter during my day. I love to share this happiness with other people."

Liao said she now has more than 21,000 followers on Douyin, and sometimes she receives messages from them saying that her videos have brought them happiness and courage.

She said winning the Chongqing May 1 Labor Medal was the biggest surprise of her life.

"I think my endeavors and positive attitude toward life and work won me the medal. My family and friends even joked that it was my good character rather than my working ability that won the honor," she said with a laugh.

"The first step is always the hardest. Now, I've overcome so many difficulties, and I really enjoy my life and work. I can see different people and find beautiful views in different places. Every day is a new day for me to explore," she said.

"In fact, I was ashamed of the job at the very beginning, and I was reluctant to share my life with my friends through WeChat moments. I don't have that feeling anymore: I make money through my own efforts, so it's unnecessary to be ashamed of my hard work."

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