China’s toll booth worker trained to smile, turn and wave like a robot

‘Is this really a human?’ Internet is creeped out by China’s ‘robotic’ toll booth worker who smiles, turns and waves like a machine

  • Web users said the man’s robot-like movements gave them an eerie feeling
  • Footage showed him waving at the driver with a big grin in eastern China 
  • It’s claimed that the worker chooses to perform like this to impress his boss

This toll booth worker really did stop traffic in China – for his eerie, almost robot-like movements.

A trending video shows the man greeting and taking cash from drivers like a machine, and apparently he did so to impress his boss.

But many Chinese web users claimed the worker’s big grin and rigid actions have left them feeling a bit creeped out.

 Uncanny: A highway worker has sparked controversy in China after acting like a robot

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The toll booth worker, named Deng Chuan, reportedly works in Nanjing on the Nanning-Hangzhou highway, according to reports on Chinese media. 

Footage of him turning his body towards the window, showing a big grin slowly and waving at passing drivers in his small office appeared on Weibo, a Chinese social media platform, on June 13.

According to the footage, Mr Deng was working a night shift on May 11. 

It’s said Mr Deng decided to act like a robot because his managers required all workers to show ‘a perfect smile’ to their customers. 

According to Chinese website Sohu, highway managers often monitor their staff’s performance through CCTV cameras and give them ratings based on what they see.

Apparently, some managers would also drive through the toll booth pretending to be a customer to check on the workers’ performance.

‘He looks scary’: Many people in China said they were creeped out by the worker’s big grin

Total perfection: A popular video shows the worker turning like a machine to greet drivers

While some web users praised the man’s dedication at work, others found his body movements disturbing. 

‘That’s so not human-like, his smile just freaked me out,’ said a Weibo user ‘zhiyuli’.

Another user ‘kankayee’ commented: ‘He looks scary in this.’

A third user ‘mujiace’ wrote: ‘I would have a heart attack if I stop by his booth at night.’

The one-minute clip has also sparked controversy over the bureaucratic credit system set up by Chinese highway companies.

‘It’s not about making mistakes anymore. It’s about how to perfect the job,’ commented one user ‘siaoduolejouyou’. 

‘You will get a higher rating if you can provide a better service, such as a polite attitude and a friendly smile.’

‘If you don’t smile, the manager can deduct your salary,’ said ‘linger’. 

Always ready: According to the CCTV video, the man was working a night shift on May 11

See you later: The man apparently acts like a robot to get a higher rating from his boss

Mr Deng is considered an exemplary worker and a role model that exceeds the standard service one toll booth worker can provide.

Web users believed that working in a toll booth does not guarantee a lifetime employment to the employees and sadly, most of them had to follow the rules to fit in the role.

‘People like Mr Deng are working like machines to keep themselves from getting fired. 

Companies should abolish these rules and stop turning human to robots!’ said ‘meitianxuehaode’. 

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