Chapter 36 – Fire!
General Affairs Office.
Guoo Panwei and Guo Shunjie went out with Zhou Changchun for some errands. Tan Limei and Changjuan also went upstairs to collect the two very important documents from Li Qing’s office. But there was no one at the Confidential Department to receive the documents. It seems that they were still having a meeting. There was only two staff on duty at the counter. But these documents need the leader to acknowledge and signature. Tan Limei and Changjun could only bring the documents back to Director Li Qing.
Dong Xuebing was looking at the attendance sheet when they returned. He asked: “You delivered the documents?”
Tan Limei sat down on her chair. “The leader of Confidential Document Department is not around. Director Li told us to send the documents again in the afternoon.”
Dong Xuebing looked around and saw there were no outsiders. He asked softly: “tan Zhi, is it because I am still under my probation? Why Chief Zhou never pick Zhuang Zhi and me to deliver those important documents? Is he afraid that we will look at the documents?”
Tan Limei laughed. “I am not sure about this. What’s wrong? You are jealous of me and Sister Chang?”
Dong Xuebing sulked. “Do I need to? But I just feel that the leader does not seems to trust me.”
“It’s not he doesn’t trust you, it’s……” Tan Limei paused for a while and looked around the office. She picked up a document and pretended to be discussing the document with him. “I had wanted to warn you yesterday. I think Chief Zhou might be slightly pissed with you.”
Dong Xuebing was shocked. “Impossible…… I did not do anything to make him angry.”
Tan Limei continued. “This is only my opinion. That day when you had the conflict with Guo Shunjie, you purposely did not say you were in Chief Zhou’s office and lead Guo Shunjie to say those things. Yes. Guo Shunjie was scolded by Chief Zhou. But have you ever thought that what you did was forcing Chief Zhou to step in to scold Guo Shunjie? He had no choice as one of his subordinates was shouting outside. If he still did not step in, people will lose respect for him.”
“Damn!” Dong Xuebing felt this might really be true.
“That’s why although Chief Zhou did not say anything, in his heart…… you should know.” Tan Limei had been in the government sector for more than one year. She could see further than Dong Xuebing. “Chief Zhou had asked Guo Shunjie to follow him along for his errands was the leader’s art of carrot and stick. Since he had shown that he is the boss of the office, there was no need to make things worse. At the same time, he was giving you a warning.”
Dong Xuebing was grateful. “Thank you so much for telling me this. If you did not tell me, I would still be wondering why Chief Zhou was treating me differently. So, this was the reason.”
Sighed……. I was still too naïve.
Dong Xuebing reflected on himself. This was a lesson to him. Suddenly he felt slightly cold and walked over to press the remote of the air conditional. He tried to raise the temperature, but the button might be spoilt. It had no reaction after pushing for a while.
“You need to press harder. Press as hard as you can.” Changjuan said. “The thermoset is faulty.”
“Did we report it?” Dong Xuebing used his strength to press and beep. The temperature indicator increased a notched. “Damn, adjusting the temperature is also manual labor.”
Old Yan who was reading his newspapers laughed. “It was repaired several times, but it was still faulty. Recently, the budget was tight, and the higher-ups do not allow us to replace it. Not only this air conditional, that water dispenser cold water is also faulty. The electric kettle in Director Li Qing’s office was also faulty. It will stop working when boiling water. Just make do with it first.”
Someone opened the door of the office. It was General Affairs Office’s head. Director Li Qing. “Bureau Chief Yan need someone to help him carry things. One of you needs to follow me.” Bureau Chief Yan’s full name was Yan Liang. He was the Chief of this district’s branch bureau. The real head of this place. He had more authority than the District Political Commissar.
When heard that it would be helping Bureau Chief Yan to carry things, Dong Xuebing stood up. “Director Li, I will go.”
Li Qing looked at him and laughed. “Never mind. Let Xiao Sun go. He is stronger.”
Zhuang Zhi immediately stops what he was doing and followed Li Qing out of the office.
Dong Xuebing slapped the back of his head in frustration. He felt his presence in the office was getting smaller and smaller.
On the other side, a car was traveling back to the Western District Branch Bureau. Zhou Changchun casually asked. “What do you all think of Xiao Dong?”
Guo Panwei, who was driving, was surprised at this question. “Xiao Dong is too young. Although his work attitude was good, he was too impulsive…….” He was afraid of Dong Xuebing competing with him. So, he did not hold back his words.
Guo Shunjie saw there were no changes in Zhou Changchun’s expression, he cleared his throat and said. “Chief Zhou, I am not saying this because I had some conflicts with Xiao Dong in the past. He is too immature. Just because he had written a draft of a speech for Bureau Chief Yang, he became so proud and had no respect for you. That day, he tricked me. If I knew that you were the one who called him into your office, I will also not……”
Zhou Changchun frowned.
Guo Shunjie also stopped speaking. He was laughing in his heart. Seems like Chief Zhou was not very pleased with Dong Xuebing.
Guo Panwei was also thinking in his heart. Chief Zhou should not trust that Xiao Dong much. If not, he would not initiate this conversation with both of them.
Branch Bureau’s cafeteria.
Dong Xuebing, Tan Limei, and Zhuang Zhi were sitting at a small table having their lunch. Dong Xuebing was thinking of a way to change Zhou Changchun’s impression of him and earn the trust of the two leaders of the General Affairs Office while eating. He was thinking hard, but could not think of a good solution. He sighed. It was too complicated to survive in the government sector. If this carries on, it might be years before he could get his promotion. He needs an opportunity to prove himself.
Dong Xuebing looked around and saw Zhou Changchun and Li Qing entering the cafeteria.
Dong Xuebing called out to them. “Chief Zhou, Division Chief.” But they did not hear him and sat down at an empty table not far away. Dong Xuebing sat down embarrassed and continued eating his lunch.
After eating for a while, Li Qing remembered something and frowned. “Old Zhou, did I unplug the electric kettle in my office?”
Zhou Changchun replied. “I did not notice when we are leaving your office.” He knew that the electric kettle in Li Qing’s office was faulty. No matter how long the water was boiling, it will not stop heating unless you unplug it. “Shall I go up and check?”
Li Qing replied: “Let’s have lunch first.”
Dong Xuebing and Tan Limei overheard their conversation. Dong Xuebing wanted to go up to them and offer to check the kettle for them. But he remembered that there were many important documents in Li Qing’s office and most likely he was not allowed to enter. So he did not approach them.
Suddenly there were shouts outside the cafeteria.
Everybody looked out. “What’s wrong?”
“Fire. The grey building is on fire!”