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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Quiet Quitting

  1. FADE IN

  2. Act 1

  3. INT. STUDY - 10:00

  4. Smart phone in hand, PETER is checking answer requests on Quora.

  5. PETER (V.O.): "What's the meaning of quiet quitting?" That's the question.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I haven't heard of the expression before. But I can discern its meaning.

  8. Surfing the web, Peter sees an article "Australians are quiet quitting work..."

  9. Reading.

  10. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The idea is to meet job expectation but won't over perform or pursue career development.

  11. Recalling.

  12. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Days ago, another Quoran asked me whether it's right or wrong just to do the minimum. Is this a movement?

  13. Act 2



  16. A. Castle Peak Hotel, 1969-1974. In a waiter's outfit, Peter (15-19) is always on the move to serve customers.

  17. B. Kwai Shing Estate, 1974-1976. Peter (20-22) heads a hawker control team stationing in public areas.

  18. C. Yuen Long District, 1976-1980. Peter (22-25) leads a demolition team in demolishing structures.

  19. D. Tuen Mun District, 1980-1981. Peter (26) leads a clearance team, exhuming graves near the half-completed Tuen Mun Highway.


  21. PETER (V.O.): Working as a part-time waiter, if I didn't over-perform, how would the manager hire only me among dozens during the low-season periods?

  22. Pausing.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I became a Housing Assistant, if I didn't over-perform, how could I be sure to pass my probation?

  24. Recalling.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While doing squatter control in Yuen Long, I heeded my senior colleagues' advice not to over over-perform as I might be beaten up by squatters.

  26. Recalling.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Exhuming graves in Tuen Wan was no different. I was content to do the minimum on such matters.


  29. A. Attorney General's Chambers, 1985-1991. Peter (31-37) appears in courts and provides support to Law Reform Sub-committees.

  30. B. Intellectual Property Department, 1992-2014. Peter (38-59) appears in the Executive Council and the Legislative Council, explaining Bills to Members. He also does a lot of public speaking.


  32. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): On law reform, apart from formulating legal policies, I've a lot of administrative work to do. I was extremely busy.

  33. Pausing.

  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): On designing and building Hong Kong's intellectual property regime, I had to make it consistent with international standards and norms. Later, I championed IP Trading.

  35. Reflecting.

  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I had the hustle culture mentality. Work was my life.

  37. Pausing.

  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Not only that my performance met expectations. I strived to exceed them.

  39. Recalling.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But some colleagues were just doing the minimum, quietly.

  41. Pausing.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It seemed that they didn't love their jobs but wouldn't quit either.

  43. Peter continues to read the texts on his phone screen.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Those practising quiet quitting don't want jobs to define them.

  45. Reading.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): There was an isolated instance that practising quiet quitting enabled one to get a raise and better position!

  47. Pausing.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the labour market, Great Resignation and Great Reshuffle are happening.

  49. Pausing.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Well, the generation now is way different from mine. They may be intelligent than me, are they wiser?

  51. Act 3


  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): With the can-do mindset, I've struggled long enough.

  54. Pausing.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As an elderly, time has become more precious to me.

  56. Pausing.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That I won't give up my core value also defines my life.

  58. Reflecting.

  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've all the passion and wisdom to sustain an authentic life without quiet quitting.

  60. As Peter types his answer, we see on screen: It's a developing anti-hustle culture.

  61. THE END

  62. FADE OUT

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