Bob Slade, a 65-year-old retired British dockworker who's served for four years as a beloved crossing guard ("lollipop man") has quit because his bosses ordered him to stop high-fiving the kids. The local authority -- which initially counselled him to make contact and socialise with the kids -- says that high-fiving kids means that his attention is taken off the road, and they complained that while he high-fives the kids, his hand is not being sternly held aloft, stopping cars. The lollipop lady we used to meet every morning on the way to my daughter's daycare knows the name of every kid who crosses at her street -- and she still recognises me, a year and a half later, and asks after my daughter by name. They're quite a remarkable bunch.
He said: "I really enjoyed the job. I have been doing it for more than four years without a single accident. When I got the job they told me to make contact with the kids and be friendly.
"But then they changed their minds and I stopped high-fiving them earlier in the year because they told me to stop.
"They also said I was going out into the road without looking properly. They said they would suspend me for four weeks but I said I would rather leave.
"I appreciate the support of the parents but I won't be going back again. This is the end of it now."
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.