Sunday, February 10, 2013

Fighting for Fairness

A year later, a boy named Liu (刘) in the same department was in the hospital for TB. He was from a farm family in Shaanxi (陕西). I felt very sorry for him. He was in the hospital for a very long time because of the disease. Finally, he was ready to return to the institute for a complete recovery. The head of my department told us he arranged a room for him just by himself. Usually two or three shared one dorm. He asked us to prepare his room to welcome him home.
    We went in and found that the room was the worst on the whole floor. His room faced outside toward the busy street with heavy traffic and there was a bus stop right below his window. We all thought that it was not good for his recovery because it was so noisy and dusty.
     We recommended that the head of the department should try to find another room or switch with others who didn’t stay overnight but only napped at noon. (The institute also provided a bed for those who were far away from home for a nap after lunch). I had a bed for napping and I knew most people who had a bed did not even nap. The boy was so weak and his lungs need to recover. His window should face toward the inside of the institute where it was quieter, with trees and flower gardens and clean air for his recovery.
     My boss Huang said that he did his best already and that was all he could do. I insisted that he could do better if this boy had some special background like if he was the director’s son, not only a lonely farmer’s son from a poor remote region. He was upset. I had hoped that the rest of my colleagues would back me up because we all had agreed to talk to my boss about the matter. But they all just sat there and watched. They said, “Ying, back up, don’t say any more. Our boss has done his best and he is very busy…” and they all stood by my boss.
     I was so shocked that my colleagues who talked more before we saw our boss did not say anything. It seemed that I was the one who caused the trouble. I had explained what we had all discussed. I thought that I was going to pay for this for the rest of my life. I started to cry after my boss left our office. Then all my colleagues tried to comfort me again by saying that I was too young, and I had just graduated from college, so I would learn after this. Fortunately this boss was transferred to another department later. We had a new head of the department, and his surname was Li (李).