Chapter 10 – Joy and Sorrow
North Heping Street.
In front of an apartment building.
Dong Xuebing had taken a cab to the Cancer Hospital and then took a taxi back home. He returned at about the same time as Qu Yunxuan and the others. They had taken public transport and the time taken to reach home was longer. As the taxi turned towards his residential area, Dong Xuebing saw his mother, Mrs. Xu, and the others walking in front. He immediately alights and walked over to explain himself: “Mum, Aunt Xuan, I’m sorry. I had something urgent to do and had rushed off.
“Xuebing……” His mother said his name and then stopped talking and sighed.
At the hallway, Section Chief Xu who had just returned from work, walked over with a briefcase. “You finished the test? How is the essay test?”
“I…… I…...” Xiao Dong was a different person from this morning. He no longer has that cocky, arrogant look.
Dong Xuebing wanted to laugh out.
“Tell me!” Section Chief Xu pulled a long face. “I had made arrangements with the Customs department.”
Mrs. Xu looked at his son. Xiao Dong mumbled: “The essay questions were tough. I don’t think anyone can answer these questions. I am only confident of getting one question right. The rest…… The rest of the questions should be wrong…… I don’t think I will be able to pass with my overall scores.”
Section Chief Xu shouted: “What have you been doing? Didn’t you prepare for this test? Didn’t you keep telling me that you will pass this test without any problem?”
Xiao Dong was in despair. “I also did not expect the questions to be so difficult. I don’t think the other candidates are able to answer them too.”
Section Chief Xu continued: “Stop telling me that the questions are difficult. You are the one who did not work hard.”
“Don’t blame Xiao Dong.” Mrs. Xu helped to speak up for her son: “The questions were really too difficult. I heard many people outside the test venue complaining about it. Not only Xiao Dong, I think everyone will fail this test. Oh, Xiao Ping’s son, Xiao Bing had taken the test too. He will also fail the test. At least our Xiao Dong did better than him. His multiple-choice test will get almost full marks.”
Dong Xuebing rolled his eyes. Who’s the one who told you that I will fail this test?
Section Chief Xu replied angrily: “If the overall score cannot reach the minimum passing mark, he can’t even qualify for the interview.”
Mrs. Xu sighed: “He can try again next year.” Section Chief Xu turned and went upstairs. Mrs. Xu looked at Xiao Dong and then turned to Dong Xuebing’s mother: “The National entry exams for the Civil Servant is in a few months. Is your son going to try again?”
Dong Xuebing’s mother replied: “Yes……”
Qu Yunxuan patted Dong Xuebing’s hand. “Don’t give yourself too much pressure. You can just take the test again next year.”
Xiao Dong had always been good with his studies. If he can’t even pass the test, Dong Xuebing should not be doing well either. This was what everyone was thinking.
Xiao Dong glared at Dong Xuebing and followed Section Chief Xu upstairs.
Dong Xuebing knew that Qu Yunxuan and his mother thought that he did not do well for the tell. He rubbed his nose but did not try to explain.
Just let them misunderstand. Even if he had passed the written test, he was also not confident of passing the interview. What if he told his mother that he had done well for the written test, and he failed the interview later? His mother might not be able to handle this roller coaster ride. She had high blood pressure, and this might affect her health. Dong Xuebing intends to tell them the truth after he had passed the interview.
After dinner, Dong Xuebing returned to his room and power up his old Pentium 3 CPU. He needs to prepare himself for the interview by searching for the past few years’ interview questions on the internet.
5 minutes later, Dong Xuebing could not get any results from the internet. He remembered that the department he was applying did not even have its own website, let alone past year interview questions. There was not much information about the department either.
The department Dong Xuebing applied was State Security.
The full name of State Security was the Ministry of State Security. It is an agency under the jurisdiction of the State Council and considered a policing department. This department was a Provincial-Ministerial level department and had subsidiaries in all regions. In the provinces, the office was called the State Security Department. In the Prefecture Cities, it was called the State Security Bureau.
As Beijing was the capital and a municipality directly under the Central Government, the State Security office, there was slightly different. It still reports to the Ministry of State Security and was also called State Security Bureau. But Beijing State Security Bureau was Bureau-Director level. The Branch Bureaus in the different zones of Beijing were Deputy-Bureau-Director level.
The State Security department was a mysterious department. However, everyone knew what this department does. It collects intel.
But Dong Xuebing heard from someone that not all people from the State Security department were mysterious. It depends on the department they were working in.
For instance, the office Dong Xuebing applied for, was the State Security Bureau’s Administrative Office. The people working there will have regular office hours, and they need to squeeze the morning peak hour buses. They are also allowed to attend gatherings and tell others where they are working. It was nothing confidential. One of Dong Xuebing’s senior in his university was working in the State Security. He often jokes that the people who sit in the office doing administrative works like him have no chance to access to the confidential reports from the intel officers. There was nothing good about working in the State Security. They were not allowed to drink or tell others what they were doing. They cannot reveal to others where their families were staying and had many more restrictions. The only good thing was that their overtime pay was slightly higher than other departments.
To be honest, it was not Dong Xuebing’s choice to apply for this department.
He had no other choices. There were too many restrictions imposed on the candidates when applying for the various department.
For example, the Municipal Public Security Bureau, the Safety supervision bureau, etc. requires the candidates to not only pass the AAT and Written Essay test. The candidates need to pass one more test. Dong Xuebing was already struggling with two tests. How can he cope with one more professional test? He gave up on applying these departments without thinking.
The Municipal Political Consultative Conference, Municipal commission of education and other bigger departments requires at least 2 years of working experiences.
Some departments like the Red Cross and Ministry of Culture requires the candidate to be a Communist Party member.
Some departments like Land and Resources Bureau requires the candidate to have at least a Master or Doctorate.
Some departments require Accounting certification, height above 180 cm, female only, etc.
Dong Xuebing realized that the positions he could apply were less than 3% of all the positions. Some of these positions were in rural areas where the requirements were not so strict. Even fresh graduates can apply. But there was only one vacancy. Competing with other candidates for that one vacancy would be tough. Dong Xuebing knew he will not stand a chance.
When Dong Xuebing had almost given up hope, he coincidentally overheard someone from the City’s State Security speaking to someone.
The State Security was also recruiting, and as long as the candidate had no physical defects and did not stay overseas for a prolonged period, anyone can apply. It was not limited to male or female, a party member, work experiences, etc. The department was going to recruit 4 candidates. Compared to other departments, this was a lot.
Later, Dong Xuebing found out that the State Security would usually recruit fresh grads.
This was because fresh grads were not corrupted by society, complicated backgrounds and relationships. They were considered ‘Clean.’ Those people who had 2 years working experiences, will not be recruited by the State Security.
This was why Dong Xuebing convinced his mother to let him apply for the position in the State Security. This was the only position with the highest possibility of hiring him.
Let’s hope that everything will go as planned.