Florina Stoica, Lollipop Lady

I took the job as a lollipop just as part of my course while I was studying supported learning in primary school.  After I finished my course and took the job in school, I’m still working as a lollipop because I’m feeling happy and the people – 
children especially – are feeling happy and they feel safe when they come to school and just seeing 
me there, they think I’m very brave to step in the middle of the road stopping the cars for them to cross the road.  I’ve been doing this job for five years and I might be doing it for another few years from now 
on because it’s so nice to meet people and even if, you know, you think like a crossing guide or a lollipop is a job for older people: no, it’s not, it’s a job for everyone.

 

I’m also working as a learning assistant in school and people see me every day as a lollipop but when they see me without the uniform sometimes they don’t recognise me, they think I’m a different person.  So the same person, with a uniform, is not the same person as a learning assistant in school.  They don’t recognise the face, no, but when I’m starting to talk to them then they start – “Oh, you are Mrs Stoica!”  So sometimes the uniform change the… just…you know.  And sometimes being a learning assistant means more than being a lollipop, but it’s actually the the same person. I’m no different, if I’m a learning assistant or a lollipop, no matter what I’m wearing on the day.

 

Sometimes it can say something about the person: just looking in a portrait and to describe the person.  Just sometimes looking at them, seeing the eyes, if they’re happy or not happy, if they need a friend or 
is in the right place or just doing the right thing.  You cannot say 100% yes I’m right, but it’s so important 
to people to come together and to know each other’s job, just, you know, to have the idea of what people are doing and what they think about their job, might change the people’s thoughts about it.  
You know, because I sometimes have people saying “Oh, I didn’t know 
the lollipops are so young now, so 
I was expecting to see an old grumpy person”.  Talking to them and listening can change people’s ideas about something.  Every single one.  Policeman.  Gardener.  It’s all – we are all the same, no matter, 
you know, our jobs, we are all people with feelings.  The uniform doesn’t change anything.  We are all human beings, just contributing in 
different areas of the community.

 

I’ve been living in the area for the last seven years.  People seem to 
be like happy and close to each other.  Feeling like a community.  Giving a smile back is like giving 
me feedback, I’m doing a good job.  That makes me happy.

 

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