In our monthly series 'Getting Moderately Deep With... ' we ask a food vendor tough questions. Well, sort-of tough.
This month, we meet Zai at Man Man, where she sells traditional Chinese cakes.
What’s the first thing you thought when you woke up this morning?
I’ve got to head to work and chat with all our customers.
What is your idea of the perfect day?
Having a productive workday would be perfect, and especially reaching our sales objective.
Who is your best customer?
Whoever likes our cake! I also love this particular customer who visits with her baby – my heart melts every time the adorable baby eats our treats and smiles.
Who is your worst customer?
I don’t have any yet, since today is only my sixth day working here [laughs].
Which living person do you most admire?
Dong Mingzhu. I saw her on the news once, and have idolized her ever since. She went from being a saleswoman to becoming the president of electronics company Gree Electric. How inspiring!
How are you feeling today?
I’m feeling okay, although I’ve got a sore throat. It’s very fulfilling to work here and today’s sales have been good so far.
When and where are you happiest?
Spending time with my son at home.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Talents I can use to complement my job right now – like baking pound cakes, setting up an online platform to sell them, and being a better saleswoman.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being able to sell many cakes – it feels amazing!
If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I’d like the chance to provide better living conditions for my parents.
What is your most treasured possession?
Caring for my friends and coworkers. I believe that if one shows integrity, one receives integrity.
What trait do you most value in a person?
Honesty and kindness. They’re the most fundamental – yet hardest to attain – values.
What is it that you most dislike?
What is your motto?
Keep calm and live, speak and act honestly everyday.
What always makes you laugh?
When people leave our counter with their hands full of warm, soft and tasty cakes with a big smile on their face.
What’s the most surprising thing that’s happened to you?
Getting a RMB10 WeChat hongbao from our directors when we added ourselves as VIP members of our company [laughs].
Which era of Beijing’s history would you most like to have lived in?
I think now is the best era, as women have a firmer standing within society, meaning that we can support ourselves by working, which I enjoy a lot.
Who is your hero?
Definitely our company’s vice president. I think she’s very talented and has huge potential in our industry.
Zai’s shop, Man Man, is located in Dongzhimen's Ginza Mall.