I have to write about traffic wardens. I’ve tried to avoid it for ages. But a little snippet in the paper has now given hope to a subject as painful and unignorable as warts.
I don’t mean traffic wardens are warts. I’m sure they’re lovely, though I’ve never got close enough to find out. It’s the job – handing out 100% bad news 100% of the time. No wonder they stride up and down the street avoiding everyone’s eyes except those of other traffic wardens, at whom they grin and rush like long-lost lovers. If there’s no other warden around, they do the same at lamp posts, sidestepping at the last minute.
Who can blame them? Imagine the anger, tears, excuses and abuse they must meet at every turn just for doing their job. Traffic wardening must be one of the most stressful, unrewarding jobs around. Which is why there should be a reward – or at least a contribution towards Caribbean holidays or counselling fees. And what better source than the poor box?
I don’t know its origins, but what a great idea: the Irish tradition of donating to a ‘good cause’ instead of facing conviction for some criminal cases. Last year nearly €1.3 million went to charities and individuals chosen by judges via the poor box.
And what better cause than traffic wardens, those selfless servants of the yellow lines? There’s got to be some compensation for the crap they meet without even opening their mouths.