Chengguan can't shake off their bad image easily

Source:Guangzhou Daily Published: 2012-7-30 20:10:03

An official microblog account run by a local chengguan (urban management officers) department in Danyang, Jiangsu Province, has drawn public attention recently after it posted a controversial message online.

The message asked its staff members to contact the authorities if their children had participated in this year's gaokao (national college entrance exam) and had received an admission letter, so that the authorities could dispatch a chengguan scholarship for students.

But while netizens were wondering how come chengguan's kids could get such a benefit, and assuming corruption, the message suddenly disappeared.

Further media investigation later found out that the message was deleted by the authorities because it got "misinterpreted." The chengguan scholarship was actually prepared to fund poor students who got admitted by universities. But since the authorities didn't know when the admission letters would arrive, they asked the staff to give the information. 

The authorities may feel wronged and bitter here, as a simple misinterpretation nearly turned its kindness into a massive scandal.

But why was the public particularly concerned about the chengguan scholarship? Because if you search the term chengguan online, what instantly pops up on your screen is negative words like "violence."

Chengguan are supposed to keep cities clean and tidy, but their reputation has been ruined by their own misbehaviors. Today in China, Chengguan have become a social problem themselves and that has badly damaged their image.

Good reputation and image can make one's work a lot easier while being bad can equally make one's work a lot harder.

US commentator Armstrong Williams once wrote an article about his own boyhood, called "The Power of a Good Name."

The young Williams, a black youth in the US of 1976, was sent to the store by his father to purchase some badly needed goods on credit.

He was initially worried about being perceived as a thief due to his skin color, but the store owner unconditionally accepted the enquiry because his father, James Williams, had a good reputation for repaying debts. This is a classic example of what someone can achieve if they have a good reputation and image.

But what happened to the chengguan authorities is quite the opposite. Since their reputation is already tainted, even though they were doing good deeds, they still drew public suspicion. There is no quick fix to this problem. The poor image and reputation were gradually built up over time and can only be reversed through gradual reforms that can regulate chengguan's behavior and improve their qualities.

Posted in: Chinese Press

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