We started early at the clinic this morning. However, so did the protesters. I get a ride with the clinic counsellor, D, and usually when we get there at around 7:20 there is only one protester out - Father Crazy. This morning when we pulled in at 7:15, there was already a whole posse. They were in a *very* heated argument with a passerby, who had stopped his truck across the driveway to get out and argue. When he saw that he was blocking us, he got back in and drove away. Good thing, too, because it really did look like it was going to come to blows. D and I were both a little shaken.
It was my second week as receptionist. Things went pretty smoothly - we had a lot of patients booked but had two no-shows. The police were called twice; once just to inform them of the argument, and the second time when one of the protesters (Glare-y Junior) was creeping over the property line. The police put me through to dispatch that time so a cop actually showed up. He informed me they were allowed to protest (I already knew that) and there was nothing he could do. He did talk to Glare-y Jr. about his proximity to the fence, though, so that was good.
I bought a tarp over the weekend in case Mrs. Idiot decided to bring her ugly sign out, but she didn't. The escorts used the tarp to block Glare-y Jr.'s glare instead. One of the escorts found a syringe out on the sidewalk, so we had to dispose of that (JS did it with a rubber glove - there is a box for them in the clinic. You know, because all of us baby-killers are heroin addicts too).
One of the patients asked me how one becomes an escort. At first I thought she wanted to volunteer, and I got excited, but she is from out of town and was just curious. She was very good with the protesters; every time she went out to smoke and they started with her, she basically told them where they could shove it. Good to see women being assertive about their right to choose.
All in all, not a bad day - way less crazy than it could have been. I'm going to start getting the escorts to come earlier than 7:30, and I'll probably have to schedule more than four on each shift, too. I'm hoping the crazies are just riled up because of Mother's Day, and their upcoming March for Life (anyone wanna counter-protest with me?), and that they will settle down a bit once Dr. Morgentaler's court case is out of here next week. Fingers crossed.