Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Because I'm Happy...

A few months back I got a letter in the mail asking me to fill out a questionnaire to see if I qualified for jury duty.
Then I got a letter summoning me to jury duty selection today.

I was dreading it for weeks leading up to it.

No one ever speaks highly of jury duty. 
One coworker kind of enjoyed it as her number was called and she got to hear the details of the trial but ultimately wasn't picked to be on the jury. 
Everyone else told me that it'd be boring and that I'd sit in a room for hours and to bring lots to keep myself entertained. 

I had my excuses for being excused ready but lots of people also offered better suggestions for avoiding being selected.
These included dropping racial slurs, crying when called before the lawyers, and my personal favourite: arriving drunk and explaining that I'd just had my morning medicine. 

But being a good citizen, I downloaded 3 books, stocked up on snacks, packed my magazines and my phone charger and was ready to spend the day sitting in a waiting room. 

I arrived on time, in wet shoes from the rain, made friends with a nice woman (she asked if I was there for jury duty, I joked that it was easy to tell who was there for jury duty by their unimpressed faces), and got myself settled into my chair in the waiting area - all by 8:30.

We watched a 20 minute video on the jury duty process then a court representative came to give us an orientation talk. 

He thanked us for coming and then explained that the selection process often requires potential jurors to be there for 3 days to a full week. He then explained that mid-week panels are often auxiliary panels and it's usually the Monday panels that go that length of time. 
So mid-week panels are basically just back up. 
And we weren't needed.
So we were released.
At 9:15 am.

There was a round of applause in the room and I practically skipped home.

The downside was I only got to read about 1/4 of my book.

So here's what I learned:
  • Jury duty is an important civic duty.
  • If you get summoned to a mid-week (Wednesday on I assume) panel you might be sent home sooner.
  • If you're summoned on a Monday.... start brushing up on how to be excused as a juror.

No comments:

Post a Comment