Meeting, speeches and swear an oath. Dong Xuebing became a Probationary member of the Communist Party of China (CPC).
After leaving the meeting room, Li Qing patted Dong Xuebing’s shoulders and asked him to go to his office. “My former office could not be used anymore. This is my new office. If you need to look for me, just drop by. Xiao Dong, you must not strain yourself. If you are still not recovered, you can rest for a few more days. But you do look better now compared to the time you were at the hospital.” Zhou Changchun also entered the office. He smiled: “These few days Xiao Dong will only deliver some documents. Leave the strenuous work to others.”
Dong Xuebing replied with a grateful expression on his face: “Thank you, leaders. I will do my best.”
Li Qing nodded. “Good. But don’t push yourself too hard.”
The sick looking Zhou Changchun also patted Dong Xuebing on his shoulders.
“Old Zhou.” Li Qing looked at him. “You need to take care of your health too. You are looking pale recently.”
“Sigh…… This is an old problem, and there’s nothing I can do.”
Dong Xuebing excused himself as he could tell Li Qing and Zhou Changchun had something to discuss.
After saving the documents from the fire, Li Qing and Zhou Changchun trust in Dong Xuebing increased a lot.
This was a good sign.
Dong Xuebing happily return to the General Affairs Office. Everyone was around. Tan Limei and Zhuang Zhi were photocopying some documents at the copier and chatting at the same time. Changjuan and Old Yan were hiding behind their monitors. One was reading a woman’s magazine, and the other was reading his newspaper. Guo Shunjie was nodding off at his desk, and Guo Panwei was writing a report with his right hand and massaging his thighs with his left.
Old Yan was the first person to notice Dong Xuebing. He lowered his newspaper: “Oh, Xiao Dong, you are back to work?”
Everyone looked up. Tan Limei smiled and waved to him. “Bing Zhi, congratulations for entering the party and being discharged from the hospital.”
Changjuan asked: “Our great hero is back. How are your injuries?”
“I am fine. Thanks for asking.” Dong Xuebing moved his arms, showing that he had recovered.
Although Guo Panwei was jealous of Dong Xuebing, he still showed his concerns: “Xiao Dong, take care not to get your wounds wet if it is not healed yet.”
The only one who did not speak to Dong Xuebing was Guo Shunjie. Both of them had fallen out before the fire. He only took a glance at Dong Xuebing and continued dozing off.
After chatting with his colleagues for a while, Dong Xuebing returned to his seat and start to work. He noticed a strange sign. Not only Guo Panwei and Guo Shunjie were listless, but even the big sized Zhuang Zhi also looks tired. They look liked they had just finished some strenuous exercises. When Zhuang Zhi went over to Tan Limei at the copier machine, Dong Xuebing also followed. He asked: “Zhuang Zhi, what’s wrong with you? What did you do yesterday?” Dong Xuebing asked and winked at Tan Limei.
Tan Limei blushed. “Why are you looking at me?”
Dong Xuebing replied: “Nothing.” He felt that something was going on between both of them. Could they be dating?
Zhuang Zhi coughed and said. “Bing Zhi, stop making random guesses. I am tired because of the soccer matches these few days.”
“Yes. Our City’s State Security Soccer competition.” Zhuang Zhi explained. “I heard that the District Bureaus held competitions every year. But unlike the previous years, where the competitions were held within the district bureaus, this year we have a combined competition. All of Beijing’s district branch bureaus must send a team each to participate. The competition had started before the National Day. Yesterday, we had a match against Miyun branch, and we lose 5-0.”
Dong Xuebing nodded. “No wonder all of you look so tired.”
Tan Limei loves to chat. She added: “Luckily you are not at work. I tell you, our team play is too dirty…….” She looked over at Guo Panwei and Guo Shunjie and lowered her voice: “Dirtier than the toilets. If it weren’t for Zhuang Zhi, yesterday’s match would have ended 6-0.”
Dong Xuebing laughed. “Everyone here is amateurs. Win or lose still depends a lot on luck.”
“Bullshit.” Tan Limei pouted. “The other teams played well. Their forwards were forwards, and defenders were defenders. Look at our team. At the start of the match, our formation was still fine. But as the match continues, all of our forwards became defenders. I was still cheering for them with my friends from the Finance Department. It was so embarrassing.”
Zhuang Zhi thought Tan Limei was angry with him and quickly said: “I will perform better in the next match.”
Tan Limei rolled her eyes. “Other than playing dirty by knocking other players down, what else can you do? You can’t even run.”
Zhuang Zhi replied embarrassedly: “I…… I am already trying to lose weight.”
“Cough…… Errrr…… Tan Zhi, Zhuang Zhi, are both of you dating?” Dong Xuebing asked.
Zhuang Zhi panicked: “I…… We……”
Tan Limei blushed and stared at Dong Xuebing: “Don’t tell anyone.”
Really? Dong Xuebing said: “If I don’t ask the both of you, are you two going to keep it from me? Don’t worry. I will keep my mouth shut. When did both of you start? Have you met the parents? How far have the both of you going?” Dong Xuebing was happy for them as a friend. At the same time, he was also envious of them. Sigh…… How long do I need to wait to be dating?
“Huh?” Zhuang Zhi does not know what to said and quickly returned to his desk with his documents.
Tan Limei also took a set of printouts and smacked Dong Xuebing’s arm. “You want to die, is it? Why are you so nosey? Hmph! If you want to know gossips, I can tell you the hottest gossip in our bureau.” She changed the subject. “Do you know? When you are still in the hospital, rumors about you spread because of your bravery. You got a nickname. Firefighter.”
Dong Xuebing was surprised. “Huh? Firefighter?”
“Hehe. Sounds good?” Tan Limei laughed. “When Li Qing and Zhou Changchun heard your nickname, they also said that it suits you well. Not only you saved the documents, but you also save everyone by writing the speech for Deputy Bureau Chief Yang. Don’t you think this is a good nickname for you? You can take on whatever issues we have. I think almost all the deputy chiefs of the General Affairs division knows about your nickname. Maybe even the Deputy Bureau Chiefs also know about the firefighter from the General Affairs Office.”
A firefighter has several meanings to it.
Dong Xuebing smiled: “Who was the one that came up with this name? It does not sound nice.”
Tan Limei replied uninterestedly: “Don’t lie. You are feeling pleased now, right?”
Tan Limei was right. Dong Xuebing was feeling pleased. This was the recognition given to him by the leaders and colleagues.
Hah! If I continue what I am doing, I should be up for promotion!