As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I was one of those happy Americans selected to report for jury duty.
This was my first time getting a summons, and I was kind of excited, except I wasn't going to be in the criminal courts, which kind of put a damper on my thrill ride. But still! Jury duty! I'd hold the fate of someone in my hands! Do you understand how much a bossy, controlling person would enjoy that?
Ah, if only it was so sweet.
I got to the courthouse at 8:20am. As an attorney, I am allowed to bring my cell phone to court. But, because I am a rule follower [except for posted speed signs and evidently, from my driving record, those No Turn On Red signs], and jurors are not allowed to have cell phones, I did NOT bring my cell with me.
I was pretty much the only one who didn't.
I brought my newspaper, a notebook [I'd spend my time writing! In longhand! Like the pioneers!], a bottle of water and not nearly enough Motrin.
I ended up at a table with 3 kind of older men. Two of whom would not stop talking. To me. About cars. And delivering stuff. And cars. And their kids. And the new diets they're trying. And cars. And their jobs. And cars. And how many times they've been on jury duty. And property issues. And cars.
The third guy? FEIGNED BEING ASLEEP.
We spent the morning waiting to be called. There were only 2 cases that needed jurors. We all had fingers crossed that we'd be out of there by lunch.
I went to lunch and sat alone, enjoying the quiet. And the lack of talking about cars.
Back to the jury room.
At which point Jury Overseer dismissed half the group, since one of the cases adjourned for the day.
I was not lucky enough to be in that group.
The two talking guys were, though. And Fake Sleeper? Started laughing about how they wouldn't stop talking to me. I almost punched him.
We sat back and waited to be called down.
You know what's awesome about being in the courtroom either as an observer or as an attorney? You get to see everything that happens [it's actually pretty entertaining - I highly recommend going, but go to a criminal trial. A LOT of stuff goes on there. Opposing counsel arguing for evidence to be brought in or kept out, families giving each other the evil eye, attorneys gossiping about everyone in the courtroom.]. The juror room? NOTHING HAPPENS. You wait and watch the clock and wait some more.
As noted, I wasn't going to be in the criminal courts. I figured [rightly] that this would be an insurance issue. Is there anything more dull? Maybe a property issue. Maybe.
We were FINALLY called down to the courtroom for jury selection. I kept tensing up as the clerk called names and questions were asked of potential jurors. I kept looking out the window and at the clock, hoping that the jury would be selected soon, before finally giving up and reconciling myself to the fact that I would have spent the entire work day in jury duty - and make $25! WOOHOO!
At which point my only prayer was that I wouldn't be selected. During a break, a couple of people and I were discussing whether or not we'd be selected. The guy said he'd tell them he was going to wear his iPod. The woman said she worked checking disability claims. We all hoped we wouldn't be picked.
They were picked.
One after the other.
And they were kept on the jury.
And I escaped, having done my civic duty by showing up and sitting around.