Beijing boy's 'leave application' note to father's boss now draws ire from netizens

Yang Lele wrote a letter to his father's employer asking him to let his father go on a few days' leave.
Yang Lele wrote a letter to his father's employer asking him to let his father go on a few days' leave. PHOTO: WEIBO/CHARLIE_YOUNG1986

BEIJING - The Beijing boy who wrote a "leave application" note to his father's employer reportedly got his wish for a summer holiday.

Yang Lele's father said his boss readily granted his leave from work, and they had left for a vacation in Yunnan in Southwestern China.

However, the father's update on the "good news" - one day after the note was posted on social media on July 25 - had got netizens asking if the entire post was just a marketing ploy.

Their suspicions were based on what the father - a Mr Charlie Young - had written and a letter that accompanied his update.

Mr Young wrote in Chinese: "I didn't expect Lele's note to attract so much attention and support... My boss had readily granted my leave, and we received a surprised invitation from Wukong self-drive holiday.

"Are you still working? I'm already on Wukong self-drive holiday!"

Accompanying the post was a letter by Wukong Zi Jia You's co-founder Zhu Xu, who invited Mr Young and his son on a self-drive holiday in Yunnan.

 

In the letter, Mr Zhu said that as a father-to-be who is busy with work, he could totally understand working parents' dilemma - the desire to spend time with their children but the inability to get away from demanding work commitments.

He also said he was touched by Lele's innocent words in the "leave application" note.

The eight-year-old boy had reportedly written a note, asking his father's employer to let his dad go on a few days' leave, so that they can go on a holiday together before the summer break ends.

Lele added in the note that his friend, Xiaoming, had gone on a summer holiday with his parents, and he, too, would like to do so with his father.

Lele even quoted Xiaoming as saying that people who don't go on holiday during the summer break are silly.

A picture of the note was posted on July 25 on Mr Young's Weibo account - China's equivalent of Twitter.

Mr Young wrote in Chinese: "I had earlier promised to take my child on a holiday this summer, but I couldn't keep my word as I've been busy with work.

"It didn't occur to me that he would write the letter and ask me to hand it to my boss. He even told me that Xiaoming said those who don't go on holiday during the summer break are silly.

"So, do I hand in this note, or not?"

The post was shared 13,372 times, and netizens commented about the importance of parents spending time with their children, and not to neglect them due to work.

The update on July 26, which was shared 30,688 times, however, attracted much criticism.

Some netizens were furious that Lele's story - which they had thought was heartwarming - was likely an advertisement for Wukong Zi Jia You.

Wrote one netizen on Weibo: "Now I really don't know which of these so-called social stories are real and which are fake. Why can't all of us treat one another with honesty and sincerity?"