In our monthly series 'Getting Moderately Deep With... ' we ask a food vendor tough questions. Well, sort-of tough.
This month we meet Gao, the energetic manager of Wiggly Jiggly’s in Dongzhimen.
What is your idea of the perfect day?
For me, it’s when I manage to complete all my tasks at work without worries or delays. Also, it’s when I manage to make clients happy.
What's the first thing you thought when you woke up this morning?
I’m quite the workaholic, so when I wake up the first thing I do is to check in with the shop’s staff, then make a call and try to figure out if it’s going to be a busy day.
Who are your best customers?
People who have manners. I still remember when a family with kids came and treated us all with great respect and at the end of the meal even had the children help us collect the dishes.
Who are your worst customers?
The drunk ones who come late at night.
Which living person do you most admire?
My boss, who takes really good care of all the details and always has everything under control.
How are you feeling today?
I’m fine, though the pollution today makes me feel a bit uncomfortable.
When and where were you happiest?
Every time I went out to dinner with my parents. I’m not a person of refined taste; having good food and a friend in front of me is enough to make me very happy. Today this happens less and less, but even if I am a full-blown workaholic, I still find the time to enjoy good food.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to be able to better myself, to improve in all aspects of life without ever sacrificing one for the other.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I think getting to this point when my bosses can give me responsibilities without worrying about their execution is a great testament to my abilities.
If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
I'd change my profession. Although it's quite rewarding, it's extremely tiring. I wish I was doing something a little less energy-consuming.
What is your most treasured possession?
My mother and brothers. I don’t care about money.
What trait do you most value in a person?
What is it that you most dislike?
Carelessness and unreliability.
Who is your hero?
It would be my dad. He passed away, but I remember him being able to do anything, including working hard and taking care of us at the same time. He singlehandedly provided me and my mother a very good life.
What is your motto?
Work hard and push forward. Just like my father did.
What's the most surprising thing that's happened to you?
It actually happens every year. I receive birthday presents on random days because I never knew exactly what day I was born on, so the people close to me choose on a whim. I believe this will give me the right to stop counting my age in a few years [smirks].
Which era of Beijing's history would you most like to have lived in?
I’d still choose today. I think every era has its good and bad, and I prefer to live in the one I know best!
[Cover photo via Edoardo Donati Fogliazza/That's]