Melbourne lollipop lady rants about $3000 a week salary

·News Reporter
·3-min read

A Melbourne lollipop lady who is making upwards of $3000 a week has revealed downsides to the job.

Maria Kefalas, 21, posted a TikTok video in July about working as a traffic controller after she watched a number of videos of people talking the job up.

She’s possibly alluding to Chloe Taouk, who posted a TikTok video earlier this year revealing she made $148 in just 15 minutes of work on one occasion and took home about $3000 a week for working seven days.

But Ms Kefalas poured cold water on suggestions the job is cushy. In the video she says she often has to work in difficult weather conditions.

She points the camera to outside her car where it’s pouring rain and says “you get f****** drenched”.

Maria Kefalas, 21, is pictured.
Maria Kefalas says being a traffic controller isn't all it's cracked up to be. Source: TikTok/ Maria Kefalas

Ms Kefalas goes on to say positive reviews of the industry are “giving people false hope”.

“Traffic control has got to be the most inconsistent job I’ve ever done in my life,” she says.

“Don’t lie. That was just one of your good weeks.”

Ms Kefalas says the hours are not consistent – she has just returned from three weeks off without work.

“You can have a whole month with no work and then a whole month’s straight with work,” she says.

“All these people putting up TikToks saying, ‘oh, I made more than two grand in a week’. Why are you lying? Because I fell for those TikToks.”

She adds when she first applied she thought: “Oh my god, I’m going to be so rich”.

One suggestion to earn more money, she says, is to get a certification to work on railways but it costs $1000.

Viewers praise worker for exposing reality of job

Viewers were largely divided over the video.

Some people, who claimed to work in traffic control, thanked her – stoked someone shed light on a job many people view as someone simply standing around holding a sign all day.

“It’s about time someone said the real side of it,” one man wrote.

Another woman, who appears to also work in the same industry, wrote she is also struggling to get consistent hours.

Others thanked her for warning them about the realities of the gig.

“I was legit going to drop my permanent job to do that,” one woman wrote.

Some had no sympathy at all.

“You’re getting paid to stand there. That’s your job,” one man wrote.

“You think when I’m moving someone’s house and it starts raining we just go home?”

In 2017, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) NSW state secretary Brian Parker revealed some traffic controllers are on $180,000 per year.

Mr Parker defended the wage adding that while they “stand outside all day in all sorts of weather” they also cop abuse from people passing by.

However, job site Seek said most traffic controller jobs are offering a far more modest salary of between $50,000 - $90,000.

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