So you have done your course as a Traffic Controller
(TC) Have been handed the sacred Stop/Go sign, and wearing your fluoro vest you do your first day on the lollypop. You are in for a few surprises. The number of drivers who will not see you till the last moment is one of the first. Despite warning signs and a strategic position you have to keep your wits about you. This is especially true of holidays, and I can only put it down to the "driving on automatic pilot" syndrome by drivers intent on getting somewhere, and not attuned to what is going on around them, In short Fuckwits. They will kill you are not careful .
Tourists are ones to watch, I have literally had to whack a car with a stop sign to get it to stop at an accident site, when a car load of asian tourists sped towards firemen working on a car .
The ones that really piss you off though, are those who are so important, and who's business is so vital, will try and intimidate you into letting them through a worksite immediately. They nearly always drive BMW's. After waiting a good 10 seconds fingers drumming on the steering wheel, the window will slide down and an annoyed " Will there be a long wait?". We are told to be courteous and polite, so my response is often to reply with another question. "Do you think we will have a warm winter?" or somesuch, it seems to baffle them for a while.
If it is late in the day, your legs and feet are aching from prolonged standing, the novelty has long gone, and the most exciting thing around you is watching the progress of a small beetle across the road, it is especially difficult to be courteous and polite. I have heard of one legend amoungst lollypop operators who after an altercation, and a "What are you going to do about it......" calmly opened the drivers door, pulled him to his feet, whacked him in the mouth, and put him back in the car and closed the door.
Most drivers though are friendly and understand that you are doing a job. Some will give you toffees, mints, a bag of fruit, at least a smile and wave. Guess who goes first.
We try and let trucks through as a priority, starting a large truck from rest is a hassle, and if it is a steep hill dangerous, if you know you are coming up on road works you are better off behind a truck rather than in front of it.
And always remember that we are all communicating by radio, so piss off the lollypopper and maybe the watercart will forget to turn off his nozzles, or a little tar/cement could end up on your car.
Labels: lollypop, traffic control