It's been interesting to watch the tone of the coverage of the March change throughout the day. When I first tuned in around 10 this morning they were saying thousands of women were there and focused primarily on the abortion aspect of the march. Now the intro states hundreds of thousands of women and they're actually getting some of the big picture stuff about healthcare and reproductive rights in general right. It's very heartening. Also pretty cool is the fact that only a couple hundred anti-abortion protestors showed up, and some of them got arrested for protesting without a permit. God I wish I was there.
The Bus Company
Ok, here are the "facts" as I know them:
We were told to arrive at a local high school around 8 pm and that the busses were scheduled to depart around 10. So I assume that means they probably asked the bus company to arrive around 8:30 or 9. 9:30 rolled around and still no busses, but one of the leaders was on the phone with the bus bank people (not the drivers themselves) and was told they would be there in 15-20 minutes. No problem, we'd have to load a little faster than planned, but we'd still make it in time. We were estimating a 12 hour drive to DC, then 1 hour on the metro to actually get to the mall. People were supposed to start gathering on the mall around 10, the march would start at noon, then a rally from 1-4. We absolutely had to leave DC by 6 pm as our parked cars might be towed by 6 am so that teachers could park for school. Ok, so 10:30 rolls around and still no busses, but they're "right around the corner" and so we all line up and gather our things and prepare to load the busses. About 20 minutes later still no busses, so we all start putting our heavy bags down. By 11:30 most of us are sitting on the ground in the parking lot and starting to talk about contingency plans. Who's prepared to drive all night to get there? Do we have enough drivers who can stay awake? How much longer should we wait? Over the next hour people slowly start bailing out, either to drive to DC themselves or just go home. Meanwhile, our leaders have been on the phone every five minutes with the bus bank, being told the busses will be here any minute, then that the drivers are claiming to actually be here. So we send out drivers to other local schools in case they're lost and somehow don't notice the lack of 300 people waiting for them at some other school. All the drivers come back with no sign of the busses. Finally, around 1 am two busses pull into the parking lot. We're waiting for 5 total busses. It looks like only 4 are expected to arrive at all. So we start to load the first two busses. Still no sign of bus numbers 3 or 4. Half of us are now sitting on busses, half still sitting on the pavement in the parking lot. One of the leaders gets on and tells us the updated schedule - if we leave right now, we'll miss the march but make the rally. Anyone who doesn't feel like it's worth it is free to leave. Now it's close to 1:30 and no sign of busses 3 or 4. Now it looks like we'll only get about 2-3 hours on the mall. About half the bus departs for home. Bus number 3 rolls up, but now the drivers are balking because they won't have the required 8 hours between driving there and driving back. It's over. We're not going.
Now, I want to give this company the benefit of the doubt. I don't want to think they screwed us on purpose. But I just can't rationalize any plausible explanation. Even if they were completely and totally lost a) this is a local company, so they should know they're way around atlanta b) we all found the school, so it's not like it was complicated to find and c) even if that were the case, why would they claim for 5 hours
to be "right around the corner"? Atlanta does have really terrible traffic and frequent accidents. But if they were stuck somewhere, again, why claim to be 15 minutes away? Why not admit to being stuck in traffic? And lastly, why weren't the busses all together? How come two arrived almost an hour before the third, and what the hell happened to numbers 4 and 5?
All right, that's all I've got. Time to head to Caribou and get some work done. I'll leave you with a quote I just heard from Janeane Garofalo on CNN -
"A touch of the misogyny."