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October 23, 2010

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Staff happy to face Expo challenges

WORLD Expo ticket office staff are expected to be extra busy as throngs of people visit before the event concludes on October 31.

The ticketing team consists of more than 1,000 vocational school students who work in ticket offices at the Expo site from 7am to 9pm.

They look for counterfeit notes and invalid tickets, working quickly and efficiently.

"The ticket office staff have to verify tickets carefully to guarantee authenticity, but many visitors are too anxious to wait," said Dai Xiaofu, an official in charge of vocational education at the Shanghai Education Commission.

"The students have to deal with a lot of misunderstandings," she said.

Students are instructed to be patient and keep smiling when people complain about waiting.

Though misunderstandings are common, ticket staffers are still happy to do the job.

"I served several foreign visitors in fluent English today," Guo Yiren, a Shanghai Business and Tourism School student, wrote in his service diary on August 9.

"They praised me and I felt very happy and proud," he wrote.

Recognition from visitors encourages staff members to handle the continuous challenges that their jobs present.

With ticket rules changing regularly, the team has to adapt quickly to ensure high-quality service.

Zhang Shishi and Tang Yajing, both Shanghai Commercial School students, have faced some setbacks in their work.

They failed to notice a used ticket when someone exchanged 12 standard tickets for peak-day tickets.

They had to pay 160 yuan (US$24), the price of a standard-day ticket, out of their own pockets for the mistake.

However, such mistakes are not common, said Wang Zhiying, an official with the Shanghai Business and Tourism School.

"Students from our school only made one mistake on average for every 1,000 transactions they were involved in," Wang said.


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