09:00 – Overhearing the Lift Operator’s and Passengers’ Daily Conversations

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09:00 – Overhearing the Lift Operator’s and Passengers’ Daily Conversations


Beep ——————————————


There are two manually-operated, folding-gate, and side-opening freight lifts in The William Industrial Building, with three operators responsible for the lifts from 7am to 7pm, working in shifts.

This kind of freight lift uses metal gates for their doors, and both the lift and each floor have their own gate. While the gates are open, a buzzer in the lift will make a ‘beep’ sound until the operator closes the gates. When the lift arrives on the ground floor, the operator can press a button outside of the lift to stop the beeping.


“Are you going upstairs?”

“Not yet…”

“I have asked, no, he said, um, if you…if this is your first time, you need at least two years.”

“Yes, yes.”

“But you can, um, if you do not want to pay in instalments, you can pay at once.”

“So…so I can pay at once and in cash?”

“Yes, pay in cash.”

“Does it mean…”


FatBoy is one of the operators, his friend who came to chit chat stopped their chatter, got into the lift and closed the gate.


Beep ——————————————


“Today is my birthday.”

“Oh, happy birthday. Um, wish you a long life”


(Silence, fan spinning)


“Cough, cough.”


Beep ——————————————


“Hey hello, hey hi, hey, hey, um are you waiting downstairs? Um, seventh floor, we are coming down, um…please wait downstairs, hey…”




Beep ——————————————


“You should bind them together with tape.”


(Silence, fan spinning)


“Okay, thank you.”

“They won’t fall if you bind them with tape.”


Beep ——————————————


“Old Wan!”



(Song humming)


Beep ——————————————


“May I ask how to get to Block B? Is it here?”


“Eleventh floor.”




Beep ——————————————


“Always buying…He’s always playing…”

“Where are you going?”


“You need to press the button.”

“Yes, press the button, have forgotten to press the button, thank you.”


(People got out of the lift)


“You could see it…none of them is polite. No greeting, not pressing any button but keep talking, (sigh) how impolite they are.”


Beep ——————————————


“Please let me in.”

“He’s going to the sixth floor, you to the fifth. You have been resting for almost a month, haven’t you?”


“Doesn’t it mean you earn much less…here’s the fifth floor.”

“Okay, thank you!”


(People got out of the lift)


“Hey, going down?”

“Yes, thank you. Haven’t gotten off work?”

“Not that early, get off work…the ones beside have. It’s only 3pm.”

“Um, still have hours to go?”

“At least two hours…okay, bye bye.”


Beep ——————————————


“Sometimes in peak hours, you’re too busy to sit, that’s how it works. Yes… you keep going up and down, still, there are always people waiting for the lift, and the buttons seem to be on endlessly. It’s even tougher when only one lift is left in service. For each round trip between the ground and other floors, we might have to open and close the two gates eight times. On average, with so many passengers and goods, if there are a hundred people taking the round trip, we would need to pull the gates eight hundred times a day.” —

FatBoy told me so. “I’ve been working for around ten years.” William Industrial Building is the only place in San Po Kong Eight Streets still hiring operators for freight lifts, and FatBoy has already stayed there for ten years. Talking about the three Fai chun on the lift’s wall which say, ‘Wealth comes with Harmony’, ’Good Health’, and ‘Going up and down Safely’, FatBoy commented: “Well, they fit our needs. I make them solely for all the good fortune that everyone wishes to have.”

Remembering my past experiences in lifts, they are mostly quiet, perhaps with sounds of chains and the fan spinning. But in the William Industrial Building, the lifts are filled with daily conversations between workers, passengers, and the lift operators.


Bee-Beep Bee-Beep Bee-Beep Bee-Beep ——————————————


The repeated beeping is the signal of someone pressing the lift button upstairs. FatBoy gets into the lift, pulls the gates, and continues with his work.


09:00 – 偷聽揸(車立)人與乘客的日常(對)話


嗶 ——————————————
















嗶 ——————————————









嗶 ——————————————




(叮 )


嗶 ——————————————









嗶 ——————————————







嗶 ——————————————








嗶 ——————————————






「係吖,撳(車立)阿,唔記得撳(車立)阿,thank you。」






嗶 ——————————————






「好,thank you!」






「邊有咁快脆阿,收工… 隔籬嗰個收咗喇。依家先係3點。」


「仲要整兩個鐘… 起碼都。好,拜拜。」


嗶 ——————————————



肥仔對著我說。「做咗十年咁上下啦」, 新蒲崗八街裏只剩緯綸工業大廈有揸(車立)人負責操作貨(車立),而肥仔在這個地方做了十年。談及(車立)內寫著「和氣生財」、「身壯力健」和「上落平安」的三個揮春,他又說:「啱用阿嘛依啲,我整都係為大家咋嘛,唔係為啲咩,個個都希望有依幾樣嘢㗎啦。」




嗶嗶 嗶嗶 嗶嗶 嗶嗶 ——————————————


:: Open 24 Hours — (Freight) Lift-ride in San Po Kong Eight Streets
24小時營業 — 在新蒲崗八街遊(貨)(車立) 河

00:00 – Lifts as the Destination 以升降機為目的地
09:00 – Overhearing the Lift Operator’s and Passengers’ Daily Conversations

15:15 – Sleepwalking with the Lifts’ Reverberation: Luk Hop Industrial Building

23:11 – To be or not to be: The ‘Not To Be Used As Passenger Lift’ Freight Lift
To be or not to be:「不可被用作乘客升降機」的斬頭門

24:00 – Murmur 念念