It was fifteen minutes past the schedule. 8.15 am, and their leader was a no-show. People were in disarray, clueless and almost hopeless without someone to tell them what to do.
Staff form the office were running around the stage, keeping busy. One of them kept telling the crowd to stay and be patient while they rectify with situation. Everyone knew that those were just some comforting words. It didn't help either that the sound system suddenly went kaput that morning. Shouting from on top of the stage only magnified the helplessness of the whole team.
The crowd began to gradually decrease in number. A few groups were seen leaving the crowd to create smaller factions. Those who detracted from smaller groups to join the largest party before, were now going back with their old gangs. Those who stayed started becoming frantic.
At a later point, the leader's second-in-command, somewhat young and inexperienced, decided to step in. Instructions were given, probably from a text read on an electronic console. While the front-rowers were struggling to keep up, those at the back were clearly disoriented. Arms were flailing in abrupt motions and some gestures of anti-order were seen formed within the crowd. Others blatantly showed resistance by keeping still with arms folded.
Kudos to the second-in-command though, because if she were not to step in, it might have turned into full anarchy. The session managed to be completed albeit over a shorter duration. Everyone from the office was especially relieved after wrapping up although it was definitely a lesson learnt.
That is what happens when your local aerobics instructor goes AWOL.