50 years as a crossing guard: Joan Mayer reaches a half century milestone of safety

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Joan Mayer, a crossing guard working with the Rochester Police Department, started her 50th year on the job Wednesday.

At 81-years-young, she helps students of all ages get across the busy intersection of Genesee Street and Brooks Avenue. This long-term career started off with a simple motivation:

“I needed a new TV, that’s it!” Mayer said. “I love the job, I love the work. I didn’t think I would, but I kept coming back.”

She first works 8:15 a.m. to 9 a.m. Her second shift is 4:15 p.m. to 5 p.m. This was a second job for her for a long time.

“I worked in tailoring,” Mayer said. “I started out as a long distance telephone operator, I worked in a nursing home. A jack of all trades.”

Joan Mayer, on the job

Like reporters, mail carriers, news photographers, and delivery people, working in inclimate weather is part of the job.

“That’s why they give us the rain coat!” Mayer said.

But does she question the love of the job? There are some moments when she has a fleeting thought or two.

“Oh, every other day in the winter, when I’m on ice here,” Mayer said.

Through 50 years, there have been many changes in the world. But how much have the kids changed?

“I really don’t think that much,” Mayer said. ‘If you respect the kids, show them that you’re here to help them. They seem to respect me, I’ve never had anybody — I’ve worked in the 19th Ward all these years — I’ve never had anyone say anything disrespectful. I’m very happy with my job.”

After 50 years, Mayer doesn’t have a specific plan for her last day.

“I’ll know it’s time to quit. Better than sitting home!” she said.

Mayer shares a unique memory from the job:

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