Chapter 14 – Welfare Allocation for the Workshop Director

“Ningning, are you okay? Dad was just lost in thought and didn’t secure the bike properly,” Xu Aiguo quickly spoke, realizing that he could speak again.

He tried, and whenever he attempted to talk to Ningning about her words just now, it was as if he became mute, unable to utter a single word. However, if it was about something else, he could speak.

Encountering such inexplicable phenomena suddenly made Xu Aiguo anxious. After all, such strange happenings were considered superstitious and taboo.

What puzzled Xu Aiguo the most was how Ningning could know about the affairs in his factory. He hadn’t even mentioned this to his wife. Moreover, Ningning had just arrived at Qinghe Production Brigade today and returned home, so how could she know about this?

Could Ningning have a prophetic ability? Was his daughter a divine figure?

The inner thoughts and complaints from Ningning that followed made Xu Aiguo’s imagination veer into uncontrollable directions.

[Dad, do you know that the next batch of fabric will be assigned to you to manage? They mentioned that as long as you handle this batch well, the position of workshop director is yours. Originally, they had high hopes for you to become the workshop director.]

Xu Aiguo: This is true; he vaguely heard about this.

[But this is Cao Jiandang we are talking about. In order to prevent you from becoming the workshop director, he secretly set fire to this batch of fabric in the evening and then created an illusion of saving the fire afterward.]

[So, you became the one who failed to oversee it, while Cao Jiandang became the hero who saved the day.]

[Because of this incident, he was visited by newspapers, widely reported, and became the year’s good person for his heroic deeds. Meanwhile, not only did you lose the position of workshop director, but you also lost your job as a workshop worker, and you ended up returning to the countryside to farm!]

Xu Aiguo never expected to learn about his future “fate” from his little daughter’s mouth.

His mind seemed to be brainstorming continuously, constantly pondering whether his daughter’s words were true. Could his daughter be a divine figure, or did she possess some magical ability to foresee these events?

After thinking for a long time, Xu Aiguo couldn’t come up with a reasonable explanation. However, deep down, he was inclined to believe his daughter’s words.

As for whether it was true or not, he would find out soon enough. Regardless of his current belief, he decided to treat it as true and be cautious around Cao Jiandang.

If it turned out to be true…

Xu Aiguo squinted his eyes slightly.

Admittedly, he and Cao Jiandang had been friends for several years. Although not as close as with Zhang Changzheng, if Cao Jiandang encountered any difficulties, as long as Xu Aiguo could help, he would certainly lend a hand.

However, if Cao Jiandang really did what Ningning said, their friendship would be over.

Cao Jiandang’s thoughts were too profound. But why?

Just for the position of a workshop director?

Xu Aiguo acknowledged that being a workshop director was indeed better than being a workshop worker, both in terms of salary and overall treatment. But was it really worth deliberately setting fire just for that position?

He never considered the potential loss and damage to the high-quality fabric that was burned. What kind of losses would the factory have to bear?

He didn’t think about the consequences for himself as the supervisor if the fabric had problems.

Even if he knew that after doing such a thing, he would be fired and lose the position he had just been given, would Cao Jiandang still go ahead with it?

“Dad, don’t you want to become the workshop director? Do you know the benefits of being a workshop director?” Xu Jinning asked.

“What benefits? Higher salary or better treatment?”

Xu Jinning could tell that her dad was thinking too simplistically.

However, if she didn’t know the plot, she wouldn’t have realized the considerable allure of becoming the workshop director.

[Dad, you’re thinking too simply. Do you know what being a workshop director implies? It means getting a separate house.]

[Your factory will be allocating houses soon, but those are only for those with seniority or those who have made outstanding contributions.]

[Originally, workshop directors didn’t qualify for separate houses.]

Although Xu Aiguo and Cao Jiandang both had eight years of seniority, for the old workers who had been in the factory for a decade or more, or even several decades, they were still considered relatively young.

When it came to allocating houses, it was undoubtedly the workers or leaders with longer seniority who would get houses first.

In that era portrayed in the book, housing in the city was extremely scarce. Some families, large or small, had to squeeze into small, old houses with just a few square meters.

So, getting a welfare house from the factory was a coveted opportunity for every worker.

Originally, neither Xu Aiguo nor Cao Jiandang qualified for separate houses. However, the factory’s leadership, in order to motivate the lower-level employees, implemented a measure.

[The factory will allocate three additional welfare houses based on contributions, and they will be given to workshop directors.]

[After Cao Jiandang’s heroic act of saving the fire, not only did he become the workshop director after you were fired, but he also successfully received a house due to the contribution of saving the collective property.]

[So, Dad, don’t let Cao Jiandang’s surface fool you. Be careful.]

To be honest, knowing that Xu Aiguo was set up and lost his worker position, Xu Jinning wanted to warn him.

After all, she had transmigrated, she was now Xu Jinning, and her well-being was directly related to the well-being of the Xu family.

She naturally hoped that her dad, Xu Aiguo, could continue working as a factory worker, and if he could rise further, that would be even better.

For rural people at this time, being a worker was such a proud thing, elevating their status. Moreover, it came with a good salary and various welfare benefits.

Xu Jinning wanted to speak up and remind her father, just like she did with Zhang Changzheng before. However, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t bring herself to do it.

After several attempts, Xu Jinning felt somewhat defeated.

Could this world only follow the plot of the book? Was it unchangeable?

But the author’s book, although she had read it, was mostly accompanied by criticism because there were many aspects of the story that didn’t align with her values.

Take the case of Cao Jiandang, for example.

In the book, he became a fire-fighting hero, became the workshop director, and even received a welfare house. His life continued to prosper. However, until the end, Cao Jiandang’s initial act of arson was never exposed.

On the contrary, he continued to rise within the factory, and his son and daughter-in-law were eventually arranged jobs in the textile factory.

As for Xu Aiguo…

Xu Jinning lowered her head and looked at the can of milk powder in her arms, lost in thought.

What could she do to warn and prevent it?

On the other side, Xu Aiguo didn’t expect that Cao Jiandang would do such a thing just for the sake of getting a separate house.

When it came to allocating houses, it wasn’t impossible.

At this moment, Xu Aiguo found himself believing Xu Jinning’s words even more. In recent years, the factory had indeed built a batch of welfare houses, and discussions were underway about how to allocate them.

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One thought on “Cannon Fodder Group Ch.14

  1. It’s so interesting how even though they are not able to confront each other with words but Ningning’s thoughts can get to them. Thank you for the updates!! I’ve been eagerly following them 🫶🏻

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