Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Slow, slow, quick

Last week at a construction site down the street from where I work, four dump trucks arrived to carry away debris and dirt. They lined up along the narrow street early in the morning, crowding slightly into the lane of traffic. It wasn't quite enough that traffic was all limited to one lane, but cars did have to encroach slightly into the other lane to get around the trucks. A man stood just behind the first dump truck with a "Slow" sign--not alternating the traffic, just reminding us to go slowly as we crept around the huge trucks.

He was there Monday morning, and Tuesday morning, and Wednesday morning. He was always multi-tasking, though, hanging onto his "Slow" sign with one hand while he gestured harriedly to someone on his other side, or spoke into a walkie-talkie. He barely glanced at the traffic he was ostensibly directing, he was so frazzled and distracted.

By Thursday morning he'd had enough. I drove past to see the "Slow" sign standing on its own, stuck into an orange traffic cone. Traffic was warned, and the flagger was freed to do his other duties.

I was oddly happy for him. Congratulations on the brainstorm, construction dude.