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May 8, 2010

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King of sound goes above and beyond the call of duty

SO you've just bought a nice, new apartment and want your home entertainment system to be perfect. What do you do?

Talking to Guo Qiang, a BOSE shop assistant in Shanghai, is a great place to start. This guy knows speakers and sound systems. And the hard-working 33 year old has just earned a National Model Worker of 2009 award, handed out in Beijing during the May Day holiday, to prove it.

Guo goes above and beyond the call of duty. He visits customers in their homes. He makes design proposals that include surrounding decor. He installs the sound systems and makes adjustments until the customer is satisfied.

And he often does it for free during his spare time.

Guo says everyone is different and every home is different, therefore, only the "products that suit the customer are best, even if they are not the most expensive or technically advanced.

He says the size, decor and environment of a customer's home will all be taken into account when he recommends a set of speakers or a sound system. He also considers wiring issues, which products will match the furniture and the style of music and movies the customer prefers.

After visiting a customer's home, Guo offers a design proposal.

Such is his love for his craft that he even will set up a sound system for people if they buy the equipment overseas.

Asked why he's willing to do it even if people don't make the purchase in his store, he says, "I feel happy and satisfied when helping people get the sound effects they want."

Nonetheless, Guo says he didn't always feel this way, especially when he started his career 14 years ago.

"But once I started the job, I felt like I had to do it well," he says.

Always keen to learn more, Guo reads periodicals about all the speaker brands and he also takes them apart to study how they work.

Guo's hard work has not gone unnoticed. His BOSE outlet recorded the highest sales among the company's stores on the Chinese mainland last year.

And the model worker is gaining more recognition within the industry. So much so that Guo said he even helped design the audio and video systems for several foreign pavilions at the World Expo.

Guo's dedication includes keeping a handwritten diary of his work.

"I started the diary about five or six years ago," he says. "At first I just recorded what I did while at work. Later I began to keep track of my designs and solutions to certain problems."

Guo also says proudly that he "invented" a night-light for one customer's home theater.

"I just copied the idea from the lights on the walls of cinemas," Guo says, smiling. "But my lights are more beautiful. They are LED."

As new technology is springing up all the time, Guo keeps busy updating his knowledge base.

So what's next for Guo?

"I just do what I'm supposed to do," he says. "And help my colleagues."


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