2014-08-26     "This is a recording"  .... at the MTR


When organisations first began using recorded messages some decades ago, many recordings used to end with the phrase "This is a recording" to let callers know that they had not reached a live operator. With the introduction of lines like "If you want Cantonese, press 1; if you want English, press 2" etc, there was no need to tell people they were listening to a recording!

"This is a recording" soon became a common joke in English when people were not following instructions. So parents might say to their child "it's time to do your homework; this is a recording" if the child ignored their first message "it's time to do your homework".

Last week I caught the MTR from Prince Edward to Jordan. At Prince Edward Station, the stairway was obstructed by hawkers. At Jordan Station also, the stairway was obstructed by hawkers. Meanwhile a recording could be heard "hawking is an offence under the MTR transport bylaws and offenders will be prosecuted".  But the hawkers take no notice, because no one is ever prosecuted.

This little column has previously raised this issue, and now once again asks that the MTR or police or hawker control officers please do something about the MTR stairway hawker problem. This is a recording!