A lot of people seem to think that being a Lollipop Lady is easy and consists of walking in and out of a road. To a certain extent those people would be right, but it's no where near that simple(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ battery).

I've been a lollipop lady for just about 4 months now, and it's been pretty much nothing like I expected. I originally took the job as a stop-gap measure until I could get myself a full time job. I'm still working on getting that full time job, but I wouldn't have passed this experience up for anything(Sony VGP-BPS8 battery).

Duties

My duties are to help all pedestrians cross the road outside my school safely. It sounds very simple, but lets look deeper.

As well as the simple act of crossing pedestrians [and the occasional cyclist], I have to keep an eye on the children. In the mornings, due to insurance issues, they aren't allowed to go onto school grounds before 0830h. As a consequence they collect beside the foot entrance and by my designated crossing(Sony VGP-BPL9 battery). I have to keep an eye out that no one is directly behind me or I might hit them with my stick, as well as stopping them/ traffic if, for whatever reason, they run into the road. I also have to keep my eyes open, when crossing other children, for the ones who will see you are crossing and run to try and cross as well. In the afternoons, all the children come out at roughly the same time, and [seemingly] all from the same foot entrance, so I have to make sure that the pavement doesn't get too overcrowded(Sony VGP-BPS9 battery).

Then there is traffic. Stopping cars going at 30mph isn't as easy as it sounds, especially when you get the idiots who think it's fun to speed up just as you display the sign. Unless the traffic is crawling along it can be pretty daunting to step out into the path of a moving vehicle and trust that the driver is good enough and a decent enough person to stop(Sony VGP-BPL11 battery). I've had people serve around me when I've been walking to the middle of the road before. As well as stopping traffic, you also have to try and keep it flowing. This is hard, especially when you are dealing with the fickle minds of children(Sony VGP-BPL15 battery).

The keeping an eye on the children and the traffic are the main constituents of my job, but there are always those fun little hidden extras. The lights, for example. Because of the position of my crossing, there are hazard lights at either side of my crossing that I have to turn on(Sony VGN-FZ460E battery). This isn't required by the job per se, but the Headmistress has asked me to inform the children when it's 0830h so they can go in [if it's raining, I'm nice and let them in 5 mins early]. Then there are 'drive through's. This is where a driver completely disregards the fact there is a florescent human being stood in the road with a great big metal pole and drives past them anyway. When this happens, you're supposed to get the licence plate, but it's very very difficult. I've only had this happen to me twice but both times it was very scary(SONY VAIO VGN-FZ4000 Battery).

I think that's mostly it with the duties. See, not so simple eh?

Uniform/ Equipment

As previously noted, I have a great big metal pole. It's about 3 inches taller than me and I'm supposed to use it to stop traffic. What I like to do with it, however is almost decapitate cyclists and almost scratch paintwork of cars who's drivers are not the kind, considerate, stopping type(Sony VGP-BPS13 battery).

I also have to wear a florescent yellow coat [waterproof during winter and cloth during summer – both like dresses on me] and a florescent yellow hat. We get two choices of hat: a baseball style cap and a peaked hat. I wear the baseball cap because it makes me feel marginally less silly. I also have a pair of florescent waterproof trousers to wear, but thankfully the weather has only required them once. I found being bright florescent yellow needed quite a lot of getting use to – it made me feel quite vulnerable(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ21M battery ).

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times

One of the main things I like about my job are the pretty cars I get to see. The school I work at is in a pretty affluent area so there are always Ferraris, BMWs, Mazdas and the like going by. The other things I like are that it forces me to wake up early, and, when it's nice, being outside(Sony VGN-FZ150E battery). The confidence it brings [dealing with children, public and stepping into traffic] is an added extra, as is the money. I think two of the best moments have been stopping a white coach with four horses that was on it's way to pick up a coffin, and some guy pulling up to the crossing leaning out his window and saying 'you do a thankless job, so thank you!'(Sony VGN-FZ15 battery)

The things I don't like mostly include obvious things, like asshole drivers [an incident stands out in my mind: it was late, the road was empty except for this one car that was far away. I held up my stick and the twat must've decided to speed up, because I was almost to the centre of the road when he almost hit me], and bad weather [standing around for half an hour in freezing fog is not my idea of fun] (Sony Vaio VGN-FZ18M battery). My pet peeve though, is drivers who are trying to be helpful. There'll be one child waiting to cross and a whole gaggle a few yards away, but not close enough to make crossing worth it. A driver will see the one child waiting to cross, but not the gaggle, so they stop and look at me impatiently, then when I motion them on, they scowl at me like I'm the source of all the world's ills and drive off. But then, though, the gaggle has reached the crossing and it's impossible to stop the traffic. That's a very *headdesk* type moment(Sony VGN-FZ31E battery).

Conclusion

I really like my job. All right it sucks occasionally and I hate being wet and they pay isn't even enough to live on, but it's cool and fun. You don't need any qualifications, and from what I can tell, School Crossing Patrols are always in demand(Sony VGN-FZ220E battery). People are generally nice to you when you're on duty, and I've certainly never had any problems with either the children or the general public. I wouldn't exactly say it's a career job, but I know of at least 3 retired people and 2 mothers who find the work useful for their way of life. Even if you only plan on doing a year, I'd say do it just for the experience(Sony Vaio VGN-FZ31Z battery).




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