Dennis Oldfield, general manager of Grand Mercure Beijing Central [Photo by Yuan Xiaona/Qianlong]
Oldfield’s sense of "red wall consciousness"
“Well the red wall spirit of course encompasses integrity, loyalty and taking responsibility and that’s something very strong in China over the years I’ve been here,” said Dennis Oldfield, general manager of Grand Mercure Beijing Central.
The Oldfields have been working and living in Beijing since October 2008. Beijing is a city changing fast in Mr Oldfield’s opinion, “Many countries stay the same. You come back in 20 years, and they are exactly the same. However, Beijing is changing every year and China is changing every year. It’s very wonderful to be part of it.”
Totally 12 clothing wholesale markets near the Beijing Zoo in Xicheng district had been removed, involving 12,000 clothing stalls and over 40,000 vendors since Beijing launched the special program of removing non-capital functions and improving urban management. The corresponding transformation and upgrading is accomplished promptly at the wholesale market as Baolan Financial Innovation Center, Beikuang Finance Plaza, and Capital Construction Finance Center have already attracted many high-tech and financial innovation firms.
Behind the curtain of the transformation is the practice of the "red wall consciousness" featuring “loyalty, responsibility and a faith to serve the public good”, by locals of Xicheng district, they made a great contribution to optimizing of the capital’s core function and wrote a new chapter about expediting the construction of an international first class harmonious and livable city.
Like the Xicheng people, Mr Oldfield, as a high level foreign executive of an international grand hotel based in Xicheng, demonstrates the "red wall consciousness" in his daily work, by adhering to a sense of responsibility and a faith to serve the public good. “The chief steward” makes inspection everyday in his hotel, which he called “managing by walking around”. He likes talking with customers and collecting their feedbacks to the hotel’s services as his unremitting pursuit is to provide better service. Chinese elements decorations in guest rooms and aperiodic Tai Chi performances at the lobby are what Oldfield specially prepared for his guests.
In terms of daily management, Mr Oldfield has a close communication with staff members at all levels. Every month, he has lunch with waiters, receptionists and cleaners, and listens to their suggestions so as to improve the hotel’s management. During Chinese Lunar New Year, he sends a red packet and sincere wishes to every staff member and a flower to female workers on the International Working Women's Day.
Improving both customers and staff members’ satisfaction is what he deems as top priority.
The implication the "red wall consciousness": sense of responsibility and faith to serve the public good is being incarnated by an Australian.
Indissoluble bond with Beijing
Dennis Oldfield first came to China in the earlier 1990s. He met and married to his Chinese wife in Shanghai from 1990 to 1993, since then China has become an indispensable part of his life.
“My family is here,” said Mr Oldfield. Beijing has become his second hometown. Mrs Oldfield works in an international school in Shunyi district. Their younger son is a middle school student in Beijing, while the elder son studies at a college in Australia. The Oldfields will greet the 25th anniversary of wedding in 2018, the tenth year in Beijing.
“Beijing is a fascinating city. I like Beijing,” said Mr Oldfield, who has lived in different cities in Asia for the last 28 years. Beijing is the city where he receives the most international guests among the cities he has ever dwelt in. Beijing is an interesting city either for work or for live in, he often has such comments in talking with his friends.
Multicultural family and many years’ international working experiences enable Mr Oldfield to hold an open attitude, he respects and enjoys diversified cultures and lives based on it.
“Beijingers are warm, helpful and very friendly,” said Mr Oldfield. He likes and enjoys interacting with locals. He greets strangers when on the streets. “He can make quite a few friends in minutes,” his assistant said.
He is rooted down in Beijing
Mr Oldfield is fond of exploring Beijing by bike in his spare time, and he likes the city’s long history and rich culture. Although he has visited many times the city’s famous scenic spots and historical sites including Houhai, Drum Tower and the Fragrant Hill, Mr Oldfield said there are still a lot of places he wants to explore.
In addition to Beijing’s history and culture, Mr Oldfield is also actively embracing high-tech products and emerging lifestyle here. “It is fantastic. It is very comfortable to take the high-speed railway. The food is good and staff are very nice,” said Mr Oldfield who often takes the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway. Mr Oldfield also enjoys the convenience and promptness of online shopping like many local Internet users, “It is very easy and this tie is shopped online.”
Mr Oldfield sends a flower to a female worker on the 2018 International Working Women's Day. [Photo provided to Qianlong]
Mr Oldfield enjoys exploring Beijing by bike in his spare time. [Photo provided to Qianlong]
Mr Oldfield likes climbing mountains in his free time. [Photo provided to Qianlong]