Think being an overnight internet celebrity is all fun and games? Think again. It just might cost you your day job–as it did in the case of “Sister Broom” Zhang Xiufang. Zhang was a Beijing street sweeper who achieved overnight internet fame for incorporating tai chi and acrobatic stunts into her daily work. Zhang created a series of tai chi-based exercises to keep fit while on the job and encouraged her coworkers to do the same.
Zhang’s talents eventually found its way online and since she skyrocketed to fame, she’s been invited to different television talent shows all over the nation to perform. However, all the performing began causing Zhang to miss work. After missing 20 days in one month, and making her disgruntled shift partner to pick up on all the slack, she was unceremoniously fired.
Even though she lost her job, Zhang says she hopes to continue wearing the uniform to perform. “I was a street sweeper when I attracted audiences’ attention, but now I am not anymore…I want to show my colleagues that everyone can have a dream.” She says she hopes to land a job where she can use her unusual flexible talents.