Pre menu next



By Angel CHAN (Jockey Club Harmony Hall)

Imagine a day without cleaning ladies in our Student Residence. A day with the Common Rooms so messy and dirty that you dare not stay in there for a single minute.  A day with rubbish bins so full and packed that they stink and attract flies and many other unrecognized bugs. Not until that day comes will you realise how impossible it is to do without the cleaning ladies in hall life.  Now it is time for us to celebrate their hard work and devotion in maintaining a high-quality living environment for us. This month we proudly present Sister Mei, Sister Kwai and Sister Yuk from the cleaning team of the Student Residence. As we chat with them, we can get a clue of what a cleaning lady’s day is like.

Sister Mei, who has worked in the cleaning team for almost a year, is now taking a leading role among her fellows. Her role requires her to get engaged in all imaginable fields, from floor cleaning in residence halls to mass cleaning in Multi-functional Halls. “Besides on-the-ground tasks, I am responsible for the arrangement of manpower and many follow-up inspections.” In her soft voice she went on to reveal the difficulties faced by her colleagues, which sounded not that simple to us. “Each of us is assigned in-hall cleaning tasks. Things go quite well on most of the days but during the interval between the  two semesters, with lots of students moving in or out the halls, we are busy like bees and, to solve the temporary labour shortage, we hire additional cleaning ladies, which may cause problems— they are unfamiliar with the halls’ situations and too worried about touching the belongings of student residents, so they often find cleaning rooms a big challenge.” 

Sister Kwai, who has stayed in her post for 6 years, should be the best qualified to comment on room cleaning, “ Ya, to me cleaning the rooms of students is really difficult, I just don’t know what to throw away  or keep sometimes.” (The reporter herself even saw a cleaning lady grumbling about rotten food in the fridge in the Common Room, which she dared not throw away!) Sister Kwai patrols from hall to hall observing work done by her colleagues and sometimes to her surprise she and other colleagues can spot supposed trash in bins. “Burnt cigarette ends- I heard that a small-sized fire started in a hall just because students threw burning cigarette ends in the bin near the fire escape.”

Without waiting for Sister Kwai to end her depiction, Sister Yuk, who works for Hall 3, could not wait to lean forward and tell us her stunning news, “I don't how to say it, it is embarrassing! I found a condom stuck on a bin!” Maybe she felt sorry for letting us know such a discovery, so she added some pleasant comments immediately, “students are well-behaved, they are actually very caring, and always ask me to put on more clothes on cold days and eat more. It really warms my heart.”

It is hard to imagine that these three ladies, so tender and so soft, can actually put on safety belts and bend over the glass roof to do the mopping at the Multi-functional Halls. But it is the case. The cleaning ladies, all of them, with sharp eyes, brave hearts and full attention to their duties, are doing much more then you can see.  So next time, salute when you come across one of our cleaning ladies.