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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Jury Duty

As some of you know, I had jury duty today.  I was summoned about a month ago, and as I scanned the list of "excuses" to get out of jury duty I realized that "mother to two small children" wasn't a valid reason to be excused.  Thank goodness for good friends.  My friend Danielle was able to come over and watch the girls while I was gone and the girls had a great time with her.  In fact, I heard several mentions of "Da-nell" that night.  

So for those of you who have never had the honor of serving our community (that's how they phrase it over at the ol' courthouse), let me give you the picture of my day:

  • 630 - Wake up.  Realize that the sun comes up at a ridiculously early hour.  Feel kind of bad that I haven't seen this hour of the day (on purpose) in a really long time.  Attempt to get ready before baby wakes up and wants to eat.
  • 745 - Danielle arrives and I attempt to explain to another mother how to handle children.  I then feel very foolish, apologize profusely, ...and then start doing it again.  
  • 800 - Leave the house at the same time as my husband for the first time ever.  Laugh about how I feel like a "working stooge."  Stop laughing when I see my car covered in ice and I literally can't open the doors.  Steal husbands car and leave him to scrape my car free of it's icy fortress.
  • 810 - Park in the deck, get out and realize I don't know where the courthouse it.  Call husband and get laughed at for not paying attention to his "Raleigh tours" he does every time we drive downtown.  
  • 825 - Check in at the juror's lounge and sit down in a very depressingly decorated room.  The other jurors seem equally tired and slightly unhappy about our duty to society.  I begin to wonder about other people's interpretations of "business casual." 
  • 915 - Watch video on "our great service to our community."  Begin to feel like I'm in 9th grade civics again - especially as I watch people sleeping through the video.
  • 1030 - Still sitting in the lounge trying to read, but Dr. Phil is playing quite loudly so it is hard to concentrate.  Other jurors seem equally bored - except for the woman who tried to bring her whole office to the courthouse and is madly pouring over dozens of papers.
  • 1115 - Six out of the 90 jurors were called to be interviewed to sit on the jury for a case.  I'm filled with both relief I haven't been called, but also a twinge of sadness that I haven't even seen a courtroom yet.  Begin to think they should have a walking tour included in jury duty.
  • 1130 - Switch from my book to People Magazine because the TV is now loudly showing The View and my concentration level is about at that of a 4 year old.  
  • 1230 - Jury Clerk announces that "good things come to those who wait" and I have been excused from jury duty for at least the next two years.  Join the other jurors in a mad dash for the elevator.  
So that was my jury duty experience.  If any of you ever are required to go for jury duty I recommend packing a good book, a decent magazine, and snacks.  And be prepared to sit for a long time.  


Allison Vasquez said...

I wish I had known you had jury duty! Since you just had a baby, the best excuse is that you are breastfeeding (assuming you are . . .). They gave me an entire year. Just for fun, I asked what might happen if the baby was still nursing after a year. The receptionist for jury duty said, "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it." I think it's possible to get out of it for 2, but I didn't get the chance to try since Mia was done with nursing at 15 months (2 months before I got summoned again).

Shannon said...

I had to do Jury Duty in Greenville about 2 years ago and had a very similar experience. Except I ended up on a Jury, thankfully it was a civil trial and not the criminal one that other people were chosen for. We just had to hear everyone out and decide how much money to award someone. Sad case but easy for us.

Sounds like things are going well. Have fun at the scrap exchange on the 28th (that's my birthday, and the day we leave Colorado!)