Using the word chaotic is probably an understatement to describing this particular event. There was a book signing at the Orlando Library in which Gabby Douglas was attending to sign copies of her new book entitled “Grace, Gold & Glory”. She is an Olympic gymnast who won two Gold medals in individual and team events in 2012.
This event was extremely unorganized from the beginning and nobody at the library bothered to plan for it. Not only were they sold out of her books way before the signing was supposed to start, but any other rule they attempted to implement failed miserably. Luckily I was able to purchase several copies of the book days before the event took place.
Upon arriving at the library, there was already a huge crowd of people that gathered around a small stage with a podium. The count of people was easily in the hundreds and there was no rhyme or reason in keeping anybody orderly. People were just jam packed in every possible space they could fit, whereas the smart thing to do would be to rope off certain areas and allow a line to form orderly for those who purchased a book.
Gabby had finally arrived on the stage and the crowd went nuts with loud applause and cheers. She gave a short speech and did a question and answer session before the book signing. At this point many of the employees looked confused as to how to actually begin this book signing. You could just see the huge look of “Oops!” upon many of their faces as they had no clue how to control this many people and have an orderly signing. People became frustrated, but soon enough Gabby began signing and taking photos with people as the mob filtered their way onto the stage like a swarm of zombies on the attack. People were getting pushed and shoved, crammed in with others, children crying, and handicapped people neglected. Police were even on the scene and tried unsuccessfully to control the crowd. Library employees constantly got on the mic and asked for people to back up and give more space, but any messages given to the crowd fell on deaf ears. The whole ordeal was just absolutely terrible and could not have been much worse.
Eventually we made our way to the table and were able to have the books autographed and take a picture, but afterwards it was very refreshing to be able to leave and be freed from all the madness.