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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


  14. INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS


  15. MONTAGE OF PETER'S WORK ATTITUDE (Part 1)


  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.


  20. END MONTAGE


  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.


  28. MONTAGE OF PETER'S WORK ATTITUDE (Part 2)


  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.

  31. END MONTAGE


  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


  52. INT. STUDY - CONTINUOUS


  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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