(Minghui.org) Being a Falun Gong practitioner means being truthful, but it is easier said than done. In this case, my honesty initially drew criticism from my coworkers and even pressure from my managers.

I work in a publicly traded company that specializes in agricultural and livestock products, from production to sales. My job is to inspect and test raw materials. As a Falun Gong practitioner, I always report my test results honestly.

Like many other industries in today's China, many suppliers offer us kickbacks in exchange for better results. This is because the inspection, especially my test results, will determine the quality of the raw materials, which is then used to set the purchase price. I know receiving kickbacks is unethical, and I always refuse them.

Criticized by Coworker

One supplier did not give up and tried to convince me to better the test results through a coworker. The coworker took me to a separate office, closed the door, and said, “If you agree to increase the test results by 2%, the supplier promised to pay us extra—about 100 yuan per ton. It's not a small number, because we buy so much from them.”

I told her I would not do it. As a Falun Gong practitioner, I said, I could not do anything unethical. She was very disappointed and said, “All right, then. But please do not tell anyone else about our conversation.” I nodded, because I do not gossip anyway.

However, the incident was far from over. I tested the batch of materials and the result was much higher than normal. Suspecting something was wrong, I prepared all the reagents fresh, tested it again, and followed each step closely. This time the result was in the normal range and confirmed my hypothesis—either the reagents or the testing sample had been adulterated.

Seemingly uninterested, that coworker was observing me throughout the process. When I reported the retest results to our supervisor, my coworker glared at me, but I continued talking with her as if nothing had happened. After all, it was likely she had attempted to alter the results to make some money, but it did not work out. I really felt bad for her.

After that, however, my supervisor and manager started treating me differently and often picked on me. On the other hand, they were very nice to my coworker. I did not know what had happened and thought about explaining the whole thing to them. Then I remembered Master's words in Zhuan Falun,

“How can an ordinary person tolerate that? How can one put up with that? 'If someone makes trouble for me, I’ll return the same. If he has supporters, I do, too. Let’s fight.' If you do this among everyday people, they will say that you are a strong person. As a practitioner, however, that is completely awful. If you compete and fight like an ordinary person, you are an ordinary person. If you outdo him, you are even worse than that ordinary person.”

So I calmed down and did not worry about it anymore.

Pressured by Management

Another batch of raw materials came in. I tested it, and it did not meet the accepted criteria. Although my former coworker was no longer involved in my testing, my supervisor really pressured me. “Go collect four more samples from this batch and test them again,” he said to me coldly.

I worked hard on it, and new results came out about two days later—it failed again. “Go get five additional samples and retest them,” said my supervisor. In addition, he had me do two more tests on these samples. “If you cannot finish them on time, work overtime,” he insisted.

His words brought me to tears. “Come on,” whispered my problem coworker to me, “don't you know what results he [the supervisor] expects? Please don't be a fool again!”

By then, I remembered more of what Master said in Zhuan Falun,

“It suggests that this person is very smart and can read what is on his boss’ mind. He can learn things quickly and know how to please his boss. People call that good enlightenment quality, and it is usually understood this way. Once you rise slightly higher above the level of everyday people, however, you will find that the principles at this level, as understood by everyday people, are usually wrong. This is not at all the enlightenment that we refer to.”

I did not feel bad anymore. Seeing that the results from the third rounds of tests still didn't meet the acceptance criteria, the supervisor shrugged, “Well, it is what it is.”

Interestingly, although my coworkers considered me foolish for turning down kickbacks, the manager and my supervisor always asked me to prepare protocols, plan experiments, and write reports. One of them told me it was because my work was the most reliable.

As the economy shrank, so did my company. There were several rounds of layoffs in the inspection department, and the workforce went from 15 people down to two: only the manager and I stayed.

From my experience, I learned the value of honesty—it is needed in society and it is important for ourselves also.