Note from Audra: My friend Stephanie walks 12 miles per day pushing her toddler all around the streets of Dunwoody. Stephanie is probably the friendliest person I know and she mentioned to me recently that she has been chatting with the “GIRLS” who stop traffic for the current Mt. Vernon Road construction project. Several friends joined in the conversation discussing how interesting it is that there are “GIRLS” in this job and how we all see them every day lately and are curious about them and their jobs. So…we talked Stephanie into interviewing the Mt. Vernon Traffic Stopping Gals! We’re starting with Tiffany and hope to feature the other “GIRLS” soon!
Submitted by Stephanie Kayhan:
This is Tiffany. I told her that so many people have noticed the fact that there are girls directing the traffic on Mt. Vernon, and considering that we’ll be seeing them for the next few months, we’d love to get to know each one of them. She was a little reluctant at first, probably because she was a little taken aback at my request, but once I started talking with her, she opened up and became excited about her chance to be a little “famous” in Dunwoody and mentioned on a blog with her picture!
So…Tiffany told me that all of the girls are friends and have worked together many, many times over the years. All of them are a part of an organization that helps women who are going through a rough patch in life. Tiffany said, “We’re really like family.” My understanding is that this organization is subcontracted by a company that controls similar traffic jobs all over Atlanta. The girls are all single moms who are working hard to make a life for their kids. Tiffany has 3 boys…12, 9 and 7. She says they are her heart and soul and she works to give them as good a life as she is able.
I asked her questions about what kind of routine they have for directing the traffic. She says that they treat it like a 4-way stop usually with the intersections involved. But, depending on the time of day, she says she counts 25-40 cars when she can see the line, and then lets that number go before she flips to “STOP.” Tiffany said that the Dunwoody people have been very friendly, often waving and that so far, none of them have been ‘ugly.’ That made me smile. She has gotten nervous a few times when they have a ‘runner.’ (a car that disregards her direction) She said that when that happens, collisions are possible and an accident would be just awful. She mentioned that not too long ago, a driver didn’t heed warning when one of the big trucks was hauling the pipes that they’re working with and as it was backing out, one of the pipes almost hit the driver’s car. She stressed over and over that she’d really appreciate it if people were careful and followed direction. Their main focus is safety and efficiently moving traffic.
I asked her about lunch breaks. She said they don’t get any. It’s all a group effort and when any of them need a bathroom break, they have to coordinate via walkie-talkie. She said that a few drivers have given her bottled water and she is greatly appreciative, especially since it’s been so hot out. She told me that she loves fruit and that would also be a very well-received gesture should anyone feel so inclined to offer a little treat. When I asked her about what she thinks about when she’s standing out there, she laughed. She said that she daydreams and thinks about what she’s going to make for dinner. I asked her if she takes notice of the cars and sees any that she’s really liked. She said, “I’ve seen a lot of Porches. You don’t see many of those in the other places we work.” I joked with her, asking if she was working on her tan, as I noticed that on the barrel she was standing by, was a bottle of suntan spray. She laughed again and said, “Yeah, I guess. What else am I going to do?”
I’ll ask more questions and talk with the other girls so you can get to know them a bit, too. So as you all drive down Mt. Vernon, smile and wave at Tiffany. Porche drivers, honk and give your special hello. And know that it can be hard to stand out there for 8 hours – no chairs allowed…so keep in mind that Tiffany would always love a bottle of water and I’m sure you’d be thanked with a smile and very polite, “Thank you, Ma’am or Sir.” Dunwoody is a wonderful place to live.
You are rich according to what you are, not according to what you have.