I do not enjoy working Saturdays. This should come as no surprise. I think that is a universally shared sentiment among most of the world. However, it is the price of working two jobs; especially when those are service-related.
I dread the Saturdays. After five days of being pleasant, my tank is rather low. I get to the last kiss in the bag of Hershey’s. All my favorite clothes are in the dirty pile. The roll of toilet paper runs out. You understand, right?
Such was my situation today. It did not help that the bus ran late, forcing me to ditch my leisurely stroll for a second bus ride. Part of me was willing to believe that things would shape up okay. Another part dreaded the notion of serving hundreds of picky people.
Adding to the gloom were the notes we had to read. Every week our manager cranks out e-mails and notes from higher-ups and requests that we stay caught up. Corporate really likes writing. In this week’s collection were notes about safety during protests, bomb threats, and other sorts of cheery notions. And, go figure, there were about four protests that had or were happening this weekend due to the new President.
Yet it all worked out nicely. The crowds came. And came. And came. Women were marching, not in protest of politics, but in support of equality. Women making it on their own. (Well, my understanding was that it was not in protest of anything. There were an awful lot of politician-specific signs. However the opinions of the individuals do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire mass.)
I like women. I like them strong, opinionated, and capable. Both my managers are women. All my closest friends are women. Women make my life cheery, interesting, and blessed. I have no problem treating them the same, if not better, than males.
I firmly believe that coming together in support of something is much stronger than coming together against something. MLK believed in winning those opposed to you through love. As did Jesus. As do most of my inner circle. The notion resonates with me. You can come together and try to love a little harder, or you can let the world splinter even more by gritting your teeth and hating the day away.
“Make America Think Again” was a clever sign. I liked it. I think encouraging careful thought is a splendid notion. It felt like it was poking fun of the other side, but Freedom of Speech and all; it was a sign worth marching around with. (Her daughter’s small, cruder, “trump” with a line through it was less endearing to me.)
However my favorite sign was probably the simplest. “Respect. Compassion. Integrity.” That was it. No pussycat hats drawn and no angry agendas. It was a call for folks to treat each other how we all want to be treated. I appreciate that sort of kind request.
Everyone was in a cheery mood. They were having fun and standing up for themselves and their loved ones. The early birds were all females, but by the end of the day, their kids and male counterparts were well represented.
The throngs of represented masses made it interesting to get home. Early estimates called for 45,000-50,000 people. I need to check for a final number, but before my shift ended I was told numbers akin to 120,000 and a crowd covering three solid blocks.
Closed streets make for fast intersection-crossing. So points for that. I avoided the main streets and simply strolled through a mile or two of alleys. On one side of me were cars and buses slowly chugging down 3rd Avenue. On the left side were thousands and thousands of people, many clad in some shade of pink, parading towards the place I had just left. People all over the city, and not one of them appeared angry or violent. (Take that, precautionary workplace documents!)
Yes I had to walk an extra mile to get to a bus stop that would serve my needs. Yes, it took me twice as long to get home. The end result was worth it. People assembled in solidarity. Groups came together as one all across the nation. I would prefer buses that operate on time and Saturdays off. But if we can work together like this more often, I am willing to undergo a little inconvenience.
(If someone wants to organize the next outing on a Sunday, when I have the day off? It would not offend me terribly. Just saying.)