Friday, January 7, 2011

Civil Duty leads to Civil Unrest!

So the past couple of days have been quite annoying and interesting, well not really, I was the lucky citizen victim of jury duty! I am now 33 years old (really still 25 and inside 13ish) but I have so far escaped the claws of the judicial system. I feel like I did "my time" because I was a Criminal Justice major and had to go and observe court proceedings in college. Over Christmas break I got a present in the mail from my county, a stupid jury summons. I looked on in horror and thought, oh no, not me, please, not me! What if it snows! The only thing that I was thinking was it might provide a few days off of work and the trial could be an interesting criminal case perhaps. Well it proved to be a big pain in my behind.
I know I said I would work on my constant complaining, but I have to share with you this silly story of mild discontent. I began my trek to the court house and was confused and unsure as I went driving down the long and windy road anticipating this week's snow and how I would fair in the days ahead. I wasn't sure I was in the right parking area until I looked around at other freezing citizens gripping and re-reading their court summons papers while still their warm cars. So I got out and made the long trek into the court house. They really make you earn your $15 a day. I thought to myself why couldn't I get jury duty in the spring or summer months. Not in the 20 degree weather, where you immediately turn into a human popsicle as the frigid air attacks your unsuspecting warm body. I made my way throught the metal detector and off to the jury assembly room that was already quickly filling up!
I had to sit in the front row. I will now admit that I am claustrophobic and don't like sitting this close to complete strangers. Especially during the flu season where everyone is coughing and sneezing. We sat there for a long and annoying 20 mintues before the guy came and told us what the process would be and what we could expect. He was funny and tried to make it less painful, but it was already getting to be too much for me. The elderly and rude woman behind me grabbed the back of my chair so hard (to help her sit down) I nearly went flying. She did this at least 3 or 4 more times!! People are so oblivous its frightening! I'm suprised she didn't take a handful of my hair with her! I could tell she was also a negative Nancy complainer because she said in her old bitty way, "I am sure we will be here AWHILE" which led to my immediate eye-rolling.

Then "SNIFFLES" (the woman to my right) began her constant and non-stop sniffing. I know its cold and flu season. I know you are probably breathing all your cold germs all over me but the incessant sniffing was becoming unbearable. I was one of the smart ones who had brought along a book. But I couldn't concentrate over the constant sniffing, I mean it was every 5 seconds!! I understand that you might have a bad snot drip,  lady,  but go to the damn bathroom and BLOW YOUR DAMN NOSE!!! I kept looking around the over crowded room for some help, there was none, just other bored citizens packed in like sardines, sitting and waiting their jury fate. Some unfortunate souls were stuck on the steps because they didn't have enough chairs. They explained this is the "new system" and they are bringing in 200 people a week instead of just 200 a month, so they weren't used to having 80 people crammed together at once. Great. Also I was hot because we had all of our coats and I had taken off my oversized scarf and was not trying to juggle that, my travel mug and my book simultaneously in my hands. Not fun. We were stuck in this phase for a freaking hour! My ass was DEAD ASLEEP and the constant shifting wasn't helping!
Finally, we collected our riches (the $15) and it was off to our jury selection! Whoo hoo, now things were moving along. WRONG!! This began the series of questions where each individual jury member has to go up to the judge and lawyers ONE by SLOW ONE and see if they are going to be struck from the final group. After more long hours passed, it was time to pick the final lucky eight. I thought well, I could do this but I would rather not, please don't pick me, please don't...and then they called my name! Of course. So now I looked back at all the other people who were going to be set free, while I was givin my new juror sentence number and pad and pen. Then they let us go for lunch and told us to be back promptly at 2. I know that area of town,  sort of,  but of course I went the wrong way and had to cause my heart to skip a beat as I made a very illegal u turn and blocked on coming traffic. I had a nice lunch at home and pondered my next 3 or 4 days of jury duty. When we got back we heard the boring and complicated opening arguments from both sides. Then the judge let us go early at 3 pm and told us that the attorneys were going to try to stream line the boring civil case for us. So I go home and get up the next day to start my adventure again. I realize that in all the glory of my being a "chosen one" I had left my travel mug in the court room. This may not sound like a big deal to most, but it is to me. I take a long time to find a good travel mug. You need to find one that is the right size, dishwasher and microwave safe and that is fairly easy to clean. I have even searched high and low for a bottle brush just to clean my precious travel mug.
So I hurriedly made my way to buy a magazine before getting to court. Made the long and bitterly cold walk  to the court house. I anxiously asked the security guard if there was a lost and found and told him that I had left a travel mug in the court room upstairs. He pulled out my beautiful shiny purple travel mug and handed her over! Oh Thank you I screamed! He smirked and probably thought to himself that I was a dumb blond or a dumb woman. I ran upstairs and was immediately told that the court case was over and they had settled. It was all over! Whew! Now for another 3 years that I am free of all that! I think my unsuspecting husband might receive something in the mail soon....if he is lucky his sentence, oh um, I mean civil duty will be in warmer months!

1 comment:

  1. i just gave you an award over on my blog! come on over & retrieve it if you want it!