Footage of a young cleaning woman who appears to be drinking water straight out of a toilet has sparked a heated debate on Chinese social media this week.
The caretaker of a fertilizer company located in Shandong province, China has put herself at the center of controversy after a video showing her drinking water out of a toilet she had previously cleaned went viral online.
The young woman, surnamed Luo, reportedly resorted to the extreme gesture in order to impress her bosses, who can be seen applauding her as she downs a plastic cup of toilet water.
Accused of encouraging the employee to humiliate herself, representatives of the company insisted that the caretaker’s gesture was voluntary, adding that she has done drunk toilet water several times over the last couple of years.
“This is proof of perfection she wants to show, to tell others how dedicated she is at her job,” a spokesperson for Xhongcheng Fertiliser Technology Company in Shandong, east China said. “She wants to show she is so confident at cleaning the toilet that she can even drink the water from the toilet.”
“I hope that all positions in the company can do their work to the extreme,” the caretaker can be heard saying after downing the cup of water. Luo’s colleagues have confirmed that she has been very committed to doing her job perfectly ever since she was hired, in 2014, and refer to her as the company’s “benchmark employee”.
Talking to journalists, a spokesperson for the fertilizer company defended their employer, denying that anyone had pushed Luo to drink water from the toilet. The woman reportedly did it of her own free will, as she had done several times over the last two years.
While a few social media users declared themselves impressed with the woman’s dedication to her job, most found her gesture disturbing and degrading.
“People have dignity. How can the water in the toilet be drunk? Even if the drinking standard is reached, it is a toilet and insulting!” one person commented on Weibo.
“This is unnecessary,” someone else wrote.