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杜拉拉:榜样还是传说  21英语网  佚名  2015-10-14    



Office life not all fairytale drama



DU Lala is the hottest career coach in the country. The fictional character in the acclaimed novel Du La La`s Promotion shows others how to take the high road to success in a multinational company. But does her story depict a real or distorted picture of work life? The answer is as complicated as office life itself.


Over one million copies of the book have been sold since its release in 2007. Go Lala Go!, a movie adaptation of the novel set to hit cinemas next weekend, has stirred up even more interest in the story. The film stars Xu Jinglei and Stanley Huang, but fans seem to be more excited about seeing the story unfold on the big screen.


According to a recent survey, 45 percent of the 6,810 netizens polled said they have drawn career pointers from the novel. Other office novels, such as In and Out of the Loop, Win and Lose and Drowning and Floating, seem to have been received with similar interest.


"These books show me the life of white collars, and they teach me career rules and jargon that are not offered in class," said Zhang Shanshan, a 22-year-old senior at Beijing Forestry University.


Zhang says the competition, humor and office gossip in the book intrigued her. "I can`t wait to embark on my own career," she said.


The popularity of office novels does not surprise Chen Ning, a senior career consultant at


"Novels about office fights and struggles satisfy the psychological demands of an ordinary office worker," Chen said. "The leading characters face great pressure, fierce competition and an uncertain future. This is a real scenario in many readers` daily life."


Li Ke, the author of Du Lala`s Promotion, has been stressing the significance of her fiction. "I want to provide real and useful common sense, knowledge and experience to office workers," Li told the Qianjiang Evening News last year.


Polarized characters


Recent graduates say they have found the basic work principles highlighted in the novel to be instructive.


"If these books had been published five years earlier, I might have avoided some problems," said Xu Jun, an HR manager at Guangqi Honda Automobile Company. "They often discuss basic office principles, which are relevant for staff working under the middle management level. They also help readers to see the importance of basic problem solving and organizational skills."

“如果该书在5年前出版,我或许就能避免一些错误的发生。” 广汽本田汽车有限公司人事经理徐君说。“他们经常讨论基本的办公室原则,这些原则与在中级管理层下工作的职工相关。它们还能让读者了解到解决基本问题和组织管理技巧的重要性。”

But some veteran employees warn that the novels are not always realistic. They say this is especially true of the characters.


"[The protagonists] appear to be unbeatable," said Hou Zhendong, an HR manager at General Electric. Du Lala`s team leader quit in an irresponsible way; her boss is inept; and the staff around her is either stupid or overly-sophisticated. Du stands out in emergencies and makes all the right decisions.


"The truth is, real-life colleagues are not that polarized," Hou said. "You seldom get to negotiate your salary with a big boss. And, most of the time, you make wrong decisions far more than you make correct ones."


The career principles in the books are also of limited use.


"Most of the stories happen in Fortune 500 companies with a long history. Their cultures are well-established, and their rules are scientific," Hou said. "But if you work for a small foreign company, or a local enterprise, some principles are useless."


Liu Rui, a project manager at IBM, suggests fans of these books focus on the little bits of wisdom they provide.


"The novels give rookies some inspiration," he said. "They emphasize the importance of observation, practice and self-examination. These tips are precious and universally true."







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