Many workers plan to take time off for Obama's inauguration

Miami HeraldJanuary 16, 2009 

Don't be surprised if your mail is late, the doctor seems preoccupied or your professor cancels class on Tuesday. Regardless of profession, many workers plan to watch the historic presidential inauguration live, even it if means hiding out from the boss.

Workers like Marie Bertot, communications director for Florida's Miami-Dade County, plan to tune into at least some of the day's events on the television sets in her office. The events begin with a call to order at 11:30 a.m., followed by a swearing in, national address, parade and inaugural ball that will last well into the wee hours Wednesday morning.

''I'm doubtful I'll get to see all of it,'' Bertot said. "We're too busy here.''

Some generous employers are giving time off to workers to attend watch parties. At least 3,000 downtown Miami workers from hotels, banks, accounting and law firms and nonprofits are leaving their offices to see the inauguration and swearing in on a theater-size screen at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center will offer a boxed lunch for $10.

John Richard, the new CEO of the Arsht Center, said he's not at all surprised that even with the intensified focus on productivity, so many workers are coming to the concert hall in the middle of the workday to watch Barack Obama sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.

''Most good businesses are comprised of people who are civic minded and want to see the community come together to witness change of leadership,'' Richard said.

Read the full story at MiamiHerald.com

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