By Chen Tingting, China News of Shanghai, 16th, April, Translated by Jenny Jiang
Pan Jie, 25-year-old white-collar died from overwork at Price Waterhouse Coopers in China
Pan Jie, an energetic young lady, graduated from Shanghai Jiaotong University with a master’s degree, had been an envy of many. She had a well-paid job at one of the four famous auditing companies, Price Waterhouse Coopers in China, 25 years old with a bright future. But, the delicate flower withered overnight. She died suddenly from viral encephalitis on 10th, April.
Although the reason of her death has been reported as simple viral encephalitis, it has become a heated topic among people. Many netizens couldn’t accept this simple reason, but suspected that fatigue after the continuous overwork and delay in treatment of the disease caused her death.
Some famous foreign companies in China, including PwC, which Pan Jie used to work at, have been put on top of the criticizing list. Many netizens accused them of over laboring employees, no annual leave, and inhumane life on the Pyramid.
Actually, death from overwork is not a fresh word at all, and Pan Jie, the young lady, is not the first employee who has died from being overworked in this city. But many other white collars in Shanghai strike the alarm to warn themselves about their jobs as they are mourning this excellent maiden at her blooming season. They begin to reconsider the true meaning of life and hard-to-reach balance between salary and health.
There is a rhetorical question that has been forwarding by many net citizens. It shouts out their thoughts. “What kind of job is worth for us to spend 18 hours a day, sitting at the table humbly, staring at the cold figures on Excel, and devote our young life and hope from our families without any valuable purpose?”
Since Shanghai, the prosperous metropolitan city has opened its port, sparing no efforts to work has long been the highest praise for employees. Especially in the current pressure of skyscraping house price and consumption level in China, entering famous enterprises with considerable salary is the dream of many young people in the cities.
“Regardless that high salary is directly related to intense extra work, most of the white collars will still go ahead.” Liao Jingwen, who worked two years at some well-known auditing company told the reporter. Under the high pressure of work, her mere hope was to see the sunset when she finished a day’s work. She had to go back home in the dark because many projects needed extra time.
Chen Ling, who is working in a consulting company, changed her MSN message status to “Job or life? Which should I choose?” This elite white collar, nick-named “sky-rider” by her friends, has few breaks in the whole year. “I haven’t enjoyed an annual leave in the past two years due to projects one after another.” The 28-year-old white collar said, “Hearing about Pan Jie’s case, I’m afraid that I might be the next.”
After Pan Jie’s death, a famous media organization launched a survey about overtime work. Unto the report was published, the amount of people who experience frequent overtime work reaches 1,142, which accounts for 54.93% of all the 2,079 participants, and among them, 73.6% are overworked.
Pan Xiao, who is a sales chief inspector and frequently suffering from overtime work at Wade Foreign Trade Company, downloaded articles, such as “Health Care in the Office”, “How to Supplement Nutrition for Officers”, to read thoroughly and sent them to his subordinates. Although overtime work exists inevitably in the fast developing country, it is so big a loss to devote our lives to it. White collars hope to find a balance between health and work.