Monday, January 10, 2005

My Adventures in Jury Duty

I got a summons for jury duty recently. That is something I have been patiently awaiting for 20 years now. I have always wanted to do that...except that January is a busy time for us in the Library and this week especially would not be a good time for me to be away. Monday was even worse. But there was no way out of it (even being a county employee does not help) so away I went.
I arrived at the Courthouse a few minutes early and found a parking space (behind the County building rather than next to the Courthouse). I went to the Main entrance, dropped all my things in the bowl at the metal detector, and stepped through. Then I had to explain to the security guard that my Lexar Jumpdrive Secure was not a weapon of some sort.
Past that, I spent a few minutes wandering through three floors looking for a sign of where we were supposed to go. It turns out, of course, that we were to gather in the basement. Then it was sit and wait. Fortunately, I had added eReader to my new Treo 650 and I passed part of the half-hour lost in Little Women.
Eventually, the Clerk of Courts came in to explain what was happening. 16 trials had been scheduled for this week, but during our half-hour wait, 12 of them had opted to settle out of court. Therefore, most of those gathered would not be needed. They proceeded to take numbers of people who wished to speak to a judge about leaving. Then they decided to let all of those go.
A few more minutes pass and 2 more trials had been cancelled (including the 3-day civil trial). It is then decided to cut the pool to fourty souls. The information sheets are shuffled. Fourty are chosen off the top and the rest are called. A few who had their numbers called opted to stay. I did not. When my number was called, I smiled, acknowledged the crowd and headed for the exit. 5 minutes later and I was back at work.
I still want to serve on a jury someday but this just wasn't the time.