Monday, April 30, 2007

This is Why so Few Actually Like Jury Duty

Maybe it's just not a good time of year to go. Maybe it's because I was concerned about how my work was getting done since no one did it last week. But I really did not want to serve on a jury today.

Don't get me wrong, one day I do want to. Just not today, not while I work for my current employer in an understaffed department with all the mess I know I'll have to clean up tomorrow. Some day. Not today.

The day started great. I got to the courthouse just before 0730, the time they want us to report. I had to go back to my car because electronic gaming systems are not allowed in the courthouse. Nice that they tell me that at the door and not, say, on the letter they send that's supposed to tell us what not to bring. Going back to the car took thirty minutes, most of it waiting for a bus that's supposed to run every five minutes. *sigh*

Then I got there, showed them my pocket PC, got in, and stood in a long line to get in to the Jury Assembly room. A long line. A good forty-five minutes of line. Then I got my old summons stamped (remember, I was supposed to be here last week, but had to move the date) and sat and waited.

And waited.

They lined up a bunch of people and moved them out. And I waited.

I guess it was luck of the draw that this happens to be jury appreciation week. This means that they had coffee and donuts for us, where they normally have nothing. Thanks guys!

Around 1100 or so, I got into a pool and sent to a courtroom. Then the selection process began. For the record, I knew the defense wouldn't want me on their jury, but for some reason, I got sat in the box. Then I got dismissed from the box. Then us rejects went back to the assembly room, by now it was 1230 and lunch time. Break for an hour.

It was a nice little break, really. I dinned with a very interesting fellow-reject from the previous pool. We were back in the assembly room by 1330 and waited some more.

And some more.

Then around 1500, I got into another pool, and we went into the courtroom and sat on those hard wooden benches. And sat.

And sat.

Everyone was up at the bench talking to the judge. We were sitting. On those hard benches, and after a day of riding, that was really not so fun.

After a good thirty minutes, they broke their huddle, and the wonderful, glorious judge said, "Hello prospective jury, I have good news. We don't need you!" He got a cheer from the 24 of us who were really tired from sitting all day doing nothing.

If they had let me have my GameBoy, it wouldn't have been so bad!

Then it was back to the assembly room, where they told us they were done and we could go home.

What a not-pleasant way to spend a day.

And you know what's really sad? My dad went in to work, and he beat me home! Granted, he left early. But that's really not fair!

I'm in the clear for another three years. Maybe next time it won't be such a waste.

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