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Guoding Tang

An Interview with Guoding Tang


1. I know that on April 28 you attended the Commendation Meeting for National Model/Advanced Workers and you were received by President Xi Jinping. Could you share with us what your feelings were when you were awarded the honor? 
At 10 am on April 28, 2015, the Meeting for May Day Celebration and National Model/Advanced Worker Commendation was solemnly held in the Great Hall of People. As one of 2015 national model workers, I was lucky to attend the meeting and be an audience to President Xi’s speech. I felt immensely excited and proud. I was also lucky to be chosen as a Model Worker—an award for which the appraisal is held every five years; But I do not view it as a personal honor. I’d rather think the award was given to acknowledge the devotion and hard work by the leadership of JJ Shipping and my associates. Over the years, JJ Shipping has been committed to “reform and development” and is now fully engaged in “One Body, Two Wings” initiative for overall improvement in operational and managerial performance. The award represents acclaim from CPC Central Committee and Shanghai Municipal Government for our results and achievements and for efforts made by leadership and employees over the years. As far as I am concerned, the National Model Worker Award would not have been possible without the trust, help and support from both the leadership and my fellow workers. I thank them for their dedication and selfless help. The title is a top honor for any worker but it also implies responsibilities. I’m aware that the award represents recognition for past efforts only. I must forget about it all and keep modest, guard against conceit and steadfastly practice and foster “model worker spirit”. I’m also aware that I should assume more responsibilities in both my job and daily life, proactively implement core socialist values and play an exemplary role in helping create a better social climate. I should spare no effort in fostering “model worker spirit” and helping establish a concept that focuses on diligent, honest and creative work. That “labor is glorious and creation is great” should be the most sonorous voice of our age. Let the slogan that “labor is most glorious, eminent and enchanting” become the trend of our times. And this is what I, a model worker, am supposed to do.

2. As far as I know, back in 2010 you were awarded 2007-2009 Shanghai Model Worker and now you are a 2015 National Model Worker. What’s different for you from 5 years ago?
In 2010, I was awarded 2007-2009 Shanghai Model Worker. Back then, I told myself that I was the first employee within the Group that ever received such an award and that I must be truly a role model. Neither wealth nor fame is what I seek after. I must be more enterprising and exemplary. I should lay strict requirements on myself in morality, value orientation, professional skills and service. I should also work harder, develop creative capability and exert my efforts to make my humble contribution to the Group.
Now I have been awarded National Model Worker. To be honest, it is beyond my anticipation. Since I was transferred to the headquarter to work as a marine engineer in 2011, I think I have devoted less than I did when I was working in the vessels. That’s why I feel I am not fully worthy of this prestigious award. And I’m sure it is diligent efforts by the entire workforce and the outstanding performance of the Group that make it all possible. It is incumbent upon me to make extra efforts, work more steadfastly, be more pioneering, fully utilize different platforms to give play to my expertise, endeavor to improve my professional skill and advance my capabilities. All these are directed to providing better, individualized technical support, specialized guidance and thoughtful service, to improving overall level of management for the fleets of the Group and to cultivating competent management team for marine engineering. Only if I live up to this can I truly deserve the honor.

3. You used to work as a chief engineer in the vessels and now you are deputy director of Marine Technology Department. How did you successfully transit your role from vessel operation to shore-based employment? What is the force that drives you to persevere and make such devotion over the years?
Back in my college days, I majored in Marine Engineering Management in Shanghai Maritime University. Upon my graduation in August, 1992, I was assigned to JJ Shipping and worked in vessels for nearly 20 years. In October, 2001, I assumed the position of chief engineer. During the period that followed, I used to work several times as chief engineer for take-over ships bought by the Group and I also served a few times as chief engineer for vessels that urgently need improved management. The experience is quite important in advancing my professional proficiency and managerial capability and lays a solid foundation for my transition in roles. Needless to say, I once again received selfless help from the leadership and my colleagues while I transited in 2011 to the position of engineering management. This enabled me to yield maximum result with minimum effort. I told myself that I had to start from scratch, learn more about engineering management and endeavor to improve my practical working capabilities so that I could adapt to the new position as soon as possible. I should also change my work style, be more aware of my duty to serve the vessels at the forefront, go down to the grass-roots as much as possible, lay emphasis on efficiency, steadfastly provide shore-based support and service for vessels in an attempt to make accomplishments in my new position.
During over 20 years of work in the vessels and shore-based management, I have had both joy from success and sadness from failure. But I held on. I think the force that drives one to make efforts is his ideal and aspiration which is a reflection of his value and interest. I simply devote my passion to jobs that I’m interested in. Machinery aroused my interest ever since my childhood. That’s why I take fancy to engineering management. Besides, pursuit of a successful career and fulfillment of self-worth make me concentrate on my duty. Many years of service enable me to have a profound belongingness towards JJ Shipping; I feel indebted to the Group for my being trained and promoted and I become more loyal to the Group. In addition, the corporate culture that “the Group and its employees share weal and woe” is what motivates us to stay; Here in JJ Shipping, the fleet management is excellent, the work teams are professional and the pays are substantial. All these constitute a form of guarantee and are essentials for our wholehearted work.