Feb
18
2009

This Should Come as No Surprise …

… but jury duty really grinds my gears. Especially the way this state conducts its juror summons. I’ve ranted a lot about this today, though, so I will simply sum up my experience:

On the plus side:

– The jury assembly room is really nice (though the chairs are horrific. I think I permanently lost an inch or two from having to hunch in them all day, and those are not inches I have to spare.).

– The instructional video went down smoothly with a big heaping spoonful of irony. 2 minutes in when the narrator said “You may not get selected for jury duty. Don’t worry — it’s nothing personal,” I started laughing pretty loudly and didn’t stop for … oh … the rest of the morning.

On the minus side:

– There is very much a social hierarchy in the land of Civic Duty not dissimilar to high school. And, also not dissimilar to high school, I was not one of the cool kids. I was working the whole time, brought my lunch instead of purchasing food, and actually asked questions of the clerks in front of the room (I’m curious about our city’s legal system … so sue me!).

– Anyone you meet while serving jury duty is a fairweather friend. A very nice 40-ish gentleman sat down next to me at the start of the day. We chatted, discussed our work and our hopes and dreams — it was very pleasant. I thought we had a real connection. They called his name and excused him, and it was like I didn’t even exist. I got a hurried and incomplete “nice to meet y…” as he gleefully fled the building. I felt so discarded.

So, all in all, an annoying thing to have to deal with but not a totally terrible experience.

And I forgot the biggest plus: the recommendations for how I could get out of serving, my favorite of which was to swallow a bunch of coins so I couldn’t make it through the metal detector at the entrance to the court house.

Jury duty, you are Meccanized.

Written by lindsay in: Opinion | Tags:

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