Saturday, August 22, 2009

On The Road, Part II

I would like to address everyone who drives a car. As you may or may not know, I am a flagger. I am the person who ignorantly holds you up in traffic. You sit there at my intersection, honking your horn and yelling angrily out the window at me, acting like I have nothing better to do than make your life miserable. You take it personally that I have the audacity to make you late from where you want to go. You see me as an annoyance, something to run over, swerve at, or rev your engine at. You think I have an easy job because I'm just standing there.

What you don't know is that the reason you are sitting there and not moving is because right around the corner, where you can't see, there is a paving machine. The paving machine is the size of one entire side of the road. On the opposite side of the road from that paving machine is a line of traffic that will smash head on into you if I release you from your safe little spot.

I have a radio. You do not. I can hear which way traffic is going & that is how I decide when it's safe to let you out onto the road. I am there to keep you safe and to keep the crew I'm working with safe.

As far as my job being easy, when was the last time you spent 14 hours standing in 95 degree heat, not being able to sit down, walk around, or pee while angry people drive by you and hurl insults & let their non-winning scratch off tickets blow out the window at you? Still think it's easy?

Construction is a part of life, my friend. If you have not grasped this yet, then this must be your first day in PA. I am there for your safety. Sometimes you will have a little wait but I promise you, I'll try to get you as far away from me as possible as quickly as possible. You have places to go and I understand. I want you to get there safely. I want my crew to feel safe too and be able to work without worrying about you. It's MY job to worry about you. Even if you hate my guts for it and I make you 5 minutes late for your daughter's piano practice. I assure you, there are more important things in life than piano practice and life goes on. But not if you collide with the chipper or the oil truck because you tried to zoom around me.

So please, when you're out there and you come upon a construction zone, be patient. Have compassion on your friendly neighborhood flagger and maybe smile or say thank you once in awhile. It's the highlight of our day when kind people roll past. And please, don't throw your milkshakes at us. Drive safe.

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