I worked so hard and multi-tasked so well today that I decided to leave work about a half hour early so I could be sure to make it home before my on-call shift was scheduled to start. I’d walked out of the building and was heading in the direction of the bus when I realized the street was completely empty and there were police everywhere blocking off the intersections leading into Sixth St. It was really really eerie – Sixth St at any hour usually has people everywhere, but between 4-6, it’s insane at times. To see it completely blocked off, for as far as I could see, was ridiculous. And really, I panicked a little – was there some sort of bomb threat or other situation somewhere and that’s why it was blocked off?
Silly me, I should have looked on Facebook or Twitter before I left work; I could have saved myself some worry. The streets (Sixth and Grant, from what I saw) were blocked off for a McDonald’s union protest. Literally, I turned the corner from Sixth onto Grant and I was met with a gigantic wall of people holding picket signs. Along with an enormous Ronald McDonald effigy, I saw signs for raising the minimum wage to $15, signs protesting Trump, and signs proclaiming Black Lives Matter. I guess if you know there’s a protest going on, that’s your invitation to pick up a sign and root for your cause? I’m not saying there’s a right or a wrong way to protest; I know nothing about it, but as a passerby, I was a little confused about what the official message of the protest was. Judging by the creepy large clown effigy, I’m assuming it was for McDonald’s and raising the workers’ wages to $15/hr, but I’m honestly not sure.
What I do know is that I learned my lesson about leaving early, even if it was for a good reason – the protest added an extra 45 minutes to my commute home since it completely snarled rush hour traffic Downtown. The lesson isn’t that I won’t leave early from now on; it’s that I’ve learned to check social media before leaving the office. 😉