Picture of Qiu Tianpei is making preparation before urgent repair
Reporter / Photographer: Yu Ruwen
Reporter Xing Beilin
In the cold winter, a man helps residents to repair frost-cracked water meters, even not being aware of rips on his hands. In the hot summer, a man constantly repairs the water meters, with “salt blooms” on his blue uniform. For such a bitter and tired repairing work, the worker form Pushan Road Station, Zhabei Water Supply Management Office, Shanghai SMI Water (Group) Co., Ltd. Water Supply Branch, is quite content. “I am satisfied and cherished to serve citizens with my hands.”
The unexpected popular “Frozen Hands Man”
In Jan. 2016, an extremely cold wave passed through the territory of Shanghai, influencing tens of thousands of households’ water using. Qiu Tianpei was getting popular on the Internet because of a photograph circulated in WeChat Moments. In the picture, his hands were frozen to dark purple and slight swelling, and all finger joints are affixed with a band aid, sharply contrasting with the skin color. The owner of the hand is Qiu Tianpei, who is called as “Frozen Hands Man” by citizens with heartache.
When speaking of the continuous repair experience in that extreme cold weather, Qiu Tianpei is still fresh in memory. “At that time, many residents were suffering from tube burst at home, so my colleagues and I worked all day to rush to repair, hours after hours. I really cannot remember how many water meters have been repaired.” Qiu Tianpei said simply and honestly. According to the data of Breakdown Service, only three days from January 24 to 26, Qiu Tianpei and colleagues repaired nearly 1,000 bad water meters, and this should be the workload for a month.
The colleague of Qiu Tianpei told the reporter that, at that time, a resident from Alley 459, Zhijiang Middle Road, called for the tube burst. Qiu Tianpei rushed to the scene and found that not only the corridor was full of water, but also many stand pipes of roof tanks had burst due to the low temperatures. Looking at the building with water curtain, Qiu Tianpei rushed into it with toolkit. He quickly started his work after knocking the door and checking the address. It took only more than 10 minutes to install a brand-new water meter. Watching the steady water using of the resident, Qiu Tianpei rushed to the next home without taking a sip of water. He changed more than 30 water meters in just one morning.
“The weather is so cold and the tools are cold as well. Why don't you wear gloves?” Qiu Tianpei answered honestly to the question of the reporter, “Gloves will get wet soon, hands are more convenient. The cold weather and rips on hands can be overcome, but solving the difficulties of residents is always in the first place. We are more anxious than anyone else when residents cannot use water.”
The hands of Qiu Tianpei have touched numerous of citizens in Shanghai. People give him “thumb up” for his working attitude of sticking to the front line and serious, as well as his passion of taking care of residents. He was also selected into the "Good People and Good Deeds of Shanghai Socialist Spiritual Civilization in 2016".
“Escorting” for water meters of nearly 100,000 households
The first thing for Qiu Tianpei in the morning is to check works on PAD, and plan the most convenient and fast road map to do more works in limited time. After a hurry breakfast, he starts the work with a tool kit about 5 kg fully filled with various repairing tools, water meters and valves, by riding his “electric bike”.
Shanghai is particularly hot this year, the orange-coded heat alert is pulled for more than 10 consecutive days, and the highest temperature is breaking a record to 40.9°C. Many households suffered problems of water meter leakage, valve leakage and so on. Therefore, Qiu Tianpei and colleagues has gone to work one hour ahead of schedule to repair water meters, so that residents will be able to use water. “We get about more than 10 water-using repairing orders from residents. Sometime we can even pick up calls in 1 or 2 a.m., but we will definitely rush to do the work.” He told the reporter that, the most common situation in repairing water meters is to change the water meter or valve. Arriving at the scene for repairing in one hour is the “compulsive discipline”.
The related principal of Pushan Station introduced that, Pushan Station is one of 36 municipal stations of Shanghai SMI Water (Group) Co., Ltd. Water Supply Branch, covering about quarter of streets in former Zhabei District. Qiu Tianpei and his colleague Mr. You are responsible for the repairing works of water meters for nearly 100,000 households within the service area of the station. He told the reporter that, he is very proud of such a huge number of people, and values this work a lot because most of citizens can understand him. “I usually receive warm thanks in each repairing work from the clients. In these hot days, they always give me a bottle of ice water or beverage. Although these are nothing big, I feel really warm in the heart.”
Doing the work practically
Qiu Tianpei is nearly 50 years old and has been a repairman of water meters for 8 or 9 years. Over these years, he basically did not ask for a holiday, even adhered to the work and delayed to go back Sichuan for the family reunion. “The days before and after the Spring Festival are the busiest days. I cannot leave the residents who need help and go home. My wife and children understand and support me.” Speaking of these, Qiu Tianpei shows the guilt and indebtedness to his wife who takes care of the elderly and children in hometown. The wife is extremely tired because that she needs to take care of the aged and two kids while doing farm work. He cherishes the period of more than 20 days with families in the New Year most. He always spends time with families at home: helping his wife with household duties, chatting with his mother, and playing with his daughter.
Qiu Tianpei is working in Shanghai for 12 to 13 years and satisfied with this work, even though it is hard and only paid a salary of about RMB 4,000. He always said that, “since I have done this job, I will do it well to serve the Shanghai’s citizens in water-using.” In the interview, he told the reporter that, he loves this job and Shanghai. Not only he is satisfied with the life and work here, but also he feels like this city is like his “second hometown”, warming his heart all the time.
(Source: Jing’an Newspaper)