Summer time (a week) up here in Alaska has come and gone. Our local Village Council, in it's finite wisdom, saw fit to drag about 10 people per village from the 5 villages in our region to "Qualify" us as Alaska Roadside Flaggers.
Then in a fit of Nepotism, only the immediate relatives of the Village Council members got to work the 2 year construction job in my village.
I now share my thoughts from an updated version of the Flagging Handbook.
Page 2. Tools.
Flaggers should have the standard "Stop" / "Slow" paddles, which are at least 18 inches wide with letters at least 6 inches high.
Page 3. Flagger’s Position.
When on duty, flaggers should remain out of sight of approaching traffic until the last possible second.
Then flaggers are to suddenly appear "as if out of nowhere" and stand at the side of the road holding the "Stop" / "Slow" paddles in a non committal manner.
Page 4. Flagger’s Behavior.
As the first car(s) arrive and the drivers are looking at you to determine whether or not to proceed by looking at your sign, turn the paddle sign facing them.
Then switch the paddle sides in an abrupt manner, followed by turning the paddle sign so that it is "Edge On" when facing oncoming traffic.
This action should confuse the first few drivers and elicit car horn honks and gestures from the annoyed vehicle occupants.
Page 5. Driver Contact.
When performing as a flagger, you should always be ready for those inevitable moments that a driver or passengers will leave their vehicles and initiate conversation with you.
Memorize the following Suggestions and use them as templates for future contact you may have on Alaska’s highways with Alaska’s drivers.
If you are a female and another female with a small dog on a leash approaches.
Squat down on your heels and gesture at the small canine.
Say; "oohh.... my husband & I were stationed in Japan for 6 yrs and we loved these!! They taste great with kalamari and rice."
Attempt to coo and coax the dog into your arms.
If you are a female and a man with his wife approaches you.
Say, "I’m really glad the tax season is finally over, what with being cooped up in the office all spring."
"My partner isn’t so lucky though, he’s in prison in the lower 48 for 10 years! "
And I’m enjoying the sun and great scenery. (Inhale deeply and stretch)
"No more pesky clients or their lawyers calling me.!!"
Another suggestion for females is to say.
That you "only do this on the weekends" and your "other job is as a dancer at Crazy Horse 2's" but your true ambition in life "is to attend cinematography school and direct."
If you are a male and a woman with two teens approaches you.
Say, "That you couldn’t work in your sisters day care because she thought you might mess up by giving your mood inhibiting medication to one of the kids by
That your probations officer "doesn’t think it’s a good idea for you to be around the general public anyway."
Briefly fake a neck twitch / tremor and jerk your head and drool.
If an old couple approaches you step up to them and announce loudly,
"They said about 15 minutes."
Then walk to the next car in line and say "They said they’re almost finished!"
Walk to the next car or group of people and say. "Anyone here from Connecticut?"
as you whip out a note pad and glance at the plates muttering something about an important emergency message that was to be given to a certain vehicle....
Then walk away.