I’ve always wondered how tollbooth attendants handle their job. They’re stuck in a booth in which they can barely move. The booth is in the middle of the highway, with all of the exhaust fumes from vehicles passing through the toll plaza. The volume of fumes that they inhale on a daily basis is concerning. The booth isn’t air-conditioned. When it’s 40 degrees with the sun hammering down on the aluminum booth, it might be another 5 degrees hotter inside. That’s suffocating.
Worst of all would be the limited human interaction. That’s why I believe taking tolls from a booth is much worse than operating an elevator. Not only is there no time to really interact with the people passing through the toll plaza, you have to handle cash. At least an elevator operator just punches buttons, and has time to have brief conversations especially with the building regulars. People that work in the building might have a chance to know your name, at the very least. I’ve handed tolls to hundreds of attendants, and I’ve never had the chance to learn a name of a single one of them. I can remember at least three elevator operators. Not just their names – where they’re from, if they’re married, how many kids they have.
I don’t live in the US so it’s not Labor Day weekend here, but to all tollbooth attendants across the world I hope that you all escape to a better job soon.