Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hear ye, Hear ye

Ah, jury duty: The scourge of the earth and home to yours truly yesterday. Apparently, there are people who like jury duty (the ability to catch up on reading? Balance your checkbook? No idea), so I purpose this: Let them serve. If there’s 1 there’s a 100. Let’s poll everyone and then draw from that list of people who like it or feel specially obligated to participate. Lawyers would love it- no more people in Princess Leia costumes or spouting off their love for Satan. Defendants and Plaintiffs would love it too- a panel of their peers who actually want to be there and are not plotting your demise or making dinner plans.
Anyway, so off I go to a courthouse I’ve never been to before with my purse full of books, carrot sticks, water, and a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. I’m set! If I had studied the tiny map that came with my summons, I would have noticed that parking for this courthouse was 2 blocks away from the building. Lovely. Now I’m running late as I’m running down the street. Thank god for my new kicks or this would have turned tragic.

When I get there, I find out the survey I was asked to complete and return was never entered so I have to do it all over again. What convenience. The gentleman behind the glass divider was taking the quiet policy extremely personally and would not speak above a whisper. This made for a very interesting survey.

[side note: I really do not appreciate taking my belt off in public. Sure, it can be seen as my fault that I wear a belt that is sure to set off the metal detectors, but it’s the only one I have and I don’t wear it just for fashion. I need it. I don’t like the idea of my pants falling down or my exposing my pasty belly to onlookers.]

Then I walk into the holding tank, er, jury room. I was worried on my way there about my juror #26 number. I’m used to the federal court where that would put me in the 1st or 2nd row and that is bad news. Apparently at civil court, 326 puts you in the back as there could not have been more than 30 people in the room. I plop down in a chair and start reading. And reading. And reading. Without fail, of the 5 times I’ve been called to duty, 4 of them ended with my being dismissed before we even entered the courtroom. 3 of those ended with being dismissed after several hours of sitting around, and once I went all day with myself and 50 other sad souls camped out in the hallway. I’ve only been let out early once and yesterday was not one of those days. Thank god for snacks.

After what seemed like forever, and I had come close to finishing my book, they started randomly calling names and asking for people who lived in specific cities to come to the front. Hum… I bet I’m going to get out of here soon. Sure enough, someone came into the room and dismissed us. So glad I could be of service. So glad I missed out on a day of work and the possibility of making money. So glad I could sit in an uncomfortable chair around vaguely sick people. (I am glad for whatever deal they struck, but couldn’t they have done that before we all gathered?).

So, this is the… sixth time I’ve been to jury duty and I’ve only been eligible for 10 years. If I may make one request- Quit it! I don’t want to see another summons for years. My Dad’s only been called three times in his life. What gives?!?

No comments:

Post a Comment