Nearly two million people coursed through the District of Columbia yesterday. Many of them didn’t know where to go or how to get from one place to another. So they asked the folks who were manning security checkpoints and other crowd-control stations.

Professional crowd controller Jim McClory got a lot of those questions. Too bad he came in from Philadelphia for the event. “There’s just an unbelievable amount of people,” says McClory. “And when they’re all asking for directions, you’re trying to give them the best ones possible, even if you’re not from the area.” Most of McClory’s time was consumed by directing—-he didn’t have to get out the pepper spray.

McClory works for Contemporary Services Corporation (CSC), an organization specializing in peer group security and crowd management.

The 80 crowd controllers from the company were assigned positions at 6:30 a.m., and they rotated spots every few hours. At around 2 pm, McClory’s post was at New York Avenue and 14 Street NW. “I feel like it’s a bit more controlled up here, but still, I just become completely inundated with questions. It’s important to stay calm and answer clearly. This sort of thing is more like customer service crowd control.”

“Joe Temp” chronicles the District’s inaugural working class.

Photos by Charlotte Kesl