Shen Haiyan may just be an ordinary worker in a warp knitting workshop but she is defiant in the face of hardships and perseveres in working independently.

At the age of 21, in the prime time of her youth, Shen Haiyan entered Hongda workshop in Haining. Burying herself in her work, she has been working as a threader for 15 years. She has grown from a novice into a warp knitting master and a national technical expert; and from an excellent staff member to a national May 1st Female Pacesetter. For fifteen years, she has worked as hard as she did on day one and spread her wings.

Nevertheless, she persisted

In 2001, when Shen Haiyan had just started work, she was thin and shy. Many people doubted whether such a delicate girl could handle the difficult threading job. Nevertheless, she persisted in her work, inspired by the free-flying spirit of a swallow.

Although her work appears simple, it is testing for her eyesight, skill, and mental fortitude. Despite the ordinary nature of her work, she has never accepted less than perfection. She always puts quality first and quality requirements have become a sort of innate faith. The products produced under the supervision of her intelligent eyes and clever hands rank top in her working teams and groups both in terms of yield and quality. The repetitive job together with the frequent night shifts mean that Shen Haiyan has seen many colleagues come and go, yet she has persisted. She says, “Every job is meaningful. Plain as the job of threading is, yarns won’t become cloth without us.”

Consistency is the key

The 15 years from 21 to 36 years of age constitutes the prime of Shen Haiyan’s youth. With her perseverance and persistence, Shen Haiyan has become highly skilled in terms of “excellence”, “speed”, and “accuracy”, yet has remained humble in the face of both her achievements and her losses. In the eye of her colleagues, Sheng Haiyan is enthusiastic, open-minded, and optimistic. She is always saying, “Don’t worry, I’m here to help.” Each time a new comer feels depressed at work, Shen Haiyan will offer them encouragement, saying: “It doesn’t matter, it will come with practice.” As far as she is concerned, the worst thing you can do at work is to be flighty and impetuous. Only with a sort of inner peace can the fingers be commanded by the mind. It is this mentality that makes Shen Haiyan so satisfied with her work.

In 2016, 35-year-old Shen Haiyan participated in a Zhejiang provincial skill contest on behalf of her company. Compared to the young contestants, she was in an inferior position. Those who have been engaged in threading all know it is not an easy thing to thread since a threading worker has to thread dozens of needles at the same time. It requires both a quick eye and a deft hand, which is why people say that war knitting is “a profession for young people only.”

The Chrysalis becomes a butterfly

Over the past 15 years of hard work, Shen Haiyan has been honoured as an excellent worker, a champion in the Zhejiang Warp Knitter Skills Competition, a Zhejiang provincial technical expert, a silver medal winner in the National Textile Industry Warp Knitter Skills Contest, and a technical expert of the national textile industry, among others.

After becoming a technical backbone, Shen Haiyan started to take on apprentices and to lead teams and groups. In addition to careful hands-on teaching, she believes that piquing the interest and enthusiasm of young people is the key to enhancing performance. In 2011, Shen Haiyan was selected by her company to join the RTVU open education learner team. Classes were held within the company, so she could learn without leaving the factory. This was a move introduced by Haining School to help enterprises in Haining to develop into high-tech enterprises. The courses used text book-based theory augmented by vivid case studies. The theoretical knowledge Shen Haiyan learned was used to guide practical work. Two and a half years later, she not only obtained a junior college programme diploma majoring in business administration, she also harvested a great deal of management knowledge.

Shen Haiyan always says, “We each make our own choices. Once you’ve made your choice, you can’t give up halfway.” With perseverance, there is consistency; with love, there is devotion. Stick to your original intention and you will make it.

By Zhejiang RTVU