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People's Daily Online>>China Society

Ticket clerk pulls out all the stops

By Huang Zhiling (China Daily)

10:12, January 09, 2012

Qi Jun writes dwon the ID card number of Yang Shufang, a passenger who needs help with buying a ticket online or through the telephone ticket booking system. (China Daily/Huang Zhiling)

CHENGDU - Yang Shufang could not help crying when she approached Qi Jun, an employee at the information desk in the ticket office of the Chengdu Railway Station in Southwest China's Sichuan province on Sunday afternoon.

The 64-year-old had been in the station for about eight hours but could not get a ticket for Yanzhou, East China's Shandong province, where her son and daughter work.

"I live alone in Chengdu as my husband has died. I want to be reunited with my children," she said, wiping away tears.

The problem was that Yang, who had only attended primary school, did not know how to use the Internet or a telephone to book a ticket. Through those methods, passengers can buy tickets 12 days before they travel. But in the ticket office of the station, tickets are only available nine days ahead.

"In a word, they could only sell tickets that have not been sold online or by telephone," Qi said.

Qi wrote down Yang's ID card number and cell phone number, promising to book a ticket for her through the telephone booking system.

Qi, 49, has worked with the station's booking office since 2001. He does not know how many passengers he has helped.

Working from 8 am to 5:30 pm, Qi receives between 700 and 800 passengers a day. Occasionally, he can take a rest for one or two minutes before the next traveler approaches.

"But during the Spring Festival travel rush, we can never stop as there is an endless stream," he said.

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