The power of the high-vis jacket.
To hold one of these emblems of power is stronger than Superman’s cape itself. For the man or woman in a high vis jacket, (Walkie talkie optional) it is the being in control. The examples are numerous. How many times have you been speeding on the motorway when out of the corner of your eye you see the gleaming neon one hundred yards up on the left? What do you instinctively do? Hit the breaks. Hopeful that the speedcop hasn’t seen you with his gun. Only to realise as you get closer that it is an ESB man with a cable and a shovel and you automatically hit the accelerator again. Cursing him as you pass.
Or how many times have you been at the shopping centre’s at Christmas and as you wonder how can the traffic be actually be this bad as it is another three weeks until the big day? You get closer after an hour to realise there is a nineteen year old directing the traffic....complete in his high vis jacket. Never mind the Gardai getting trained in this for years and many more years of experience dealing with traffic nightmare situations. Just give a student a yellow jacket and tell him to “go out and keep that entrance clear son” and before you know it the city can come to a standstill. See the power as the high vis raises a hand in your direction albeit that he is actually in two lanes of traffic and in a precariously decent chance of getting himself run over himself.
Or the football ground highVissers? Directing you to sit down or “Don’t come in that way....can’t you see your seat is at the far end?” No well actually I don’t work here but you do and you are supposed to be directing me.
Or the crowd control Vizzers?? As they hold one section of a crowd back with a flailing arm as they converse by the aforementioned walkie talkie to their compatriot across the way. And as the static breaks up they shout across instead “What did you say?” Then there is the blank stare. The “I cant let any more over?” They turn to the crowd that they have just been holding back to berate their colleague with a “That Fu*|?> doesn’t know what’s going on so he doesn’t. Go ahead there....and no running.”
The high Vis is an icon in our society. Builders, Lollipop ladies, you can’t avoid them. It’s not that they are bright yellow that we respect them. We have an underlying fear of the power! Once you put on a high vis jacket you are Clark Kent transformed. Your high vis jacket coupled with your black trousers and jumper are a match for the superheroes blue attire. Your overflowing belly in a white shirt that ledges over your pants make his red pants ridiculous. Your hush puppy shoes worn at the heels make Supermans boots look silly. You hold the power. You have the jacket and with your glasses perched on your nose and your security company name on your back, you are unstoppable.
Recently I was at an indoor sporting event. Coffee and tea were forbidden in the arena. High vis man prowled the crowd perimeter daring anyone to step out of place. Of course rules are there to be broken and one guy in front of me brought his insomnia cup right into the second row. High Vis man with his x ray vision and extra sensory powers bestowed to him from the neon cells that were masked to his body sensed the betrayal. Bounding from twenty yards away, brushing past children as he went, walkie talkie flailing like a sword he singled out the man with the offending cup.
“Hey....hey.....is that tea or coffee?”
Our villain now rumbled was quick off the mark however.
Like a chain of kryptonite hung around our heroes shoulders this answer stopped him dead in his tracks. How could he have been defeated in front of everyone? The power drained from him in a fleeting second. Not being used to this lack of power this not being the one to get the last word in he looked back at the coffee/water impersonator, determined to have that last semblance of control.
“That’s ok then.” He nodded stuck his chest out turned in a miliatryesque stride and made his way back to move those pesky kids from the walkway.