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August 6, 2010

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How traffic cop keeps his cool

MANY people have to work outdoors in the extreme heat now, but few are able to stand working outside in summer for their whole career.

Traffic policeman Wang Long is an exception.

The 58-year-old, who began working on the streets in 1979, plans to carry on directing the traffic until he retires, in less than two years' time.

Wang, dressed in his long-sleeved uniform and white gloves, was standing at the intersection of Beijing Road W. and Jiangning Road in Jing'an District when Shanghai Daily approached him yesterday, directing traffic and guiding passers-by.

Every day, the devoted veteran leaves home in Pudong New Area just after 5am and arrives at his post before 7am. But starting work early doesn't pay him back with an early finishing time. Wang usually reaches home around 8pm because of staff shortages during the World Expo.

When talking about the long hours in the sun, Wang doesn't seem to mind.

He has his own tips to deal with the searing heat, standing under the shade of trees or in the shadow of high-rises.

Plus, calmness helps, the traffic policeman said. "Keeping emotionally stable or patient makes me feel cool."

And when dealing with difficult drivers or pedestrians, Wang believes soft tones work better than shouting. "When I'm talking to people who break the law, I treat them gently like my daughter when she made a mistake," he said.

After years of working outdoors, he always has to wear long sleeves - even when it's over 39 degrees - because his skin has developed an allergic reaction to the sun. Whether he's directing traffic or dealing with emergency calls, this is one man who really keeps his cool in summer.


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