A couple weeks ago I came home to that great trifecta of mail: a credit card bill, a car insurance statement, and a jury duty summons. Now Drew has had 2 jury duty summonses since we moved back in 2009, and both times he’s been dismissed the day before over the phone. So I figured, this is no big deal.
Last Friday I called in after 6 pm, and instead of the message I was expecting (something like “Yay you! You’re dismissed already!”) I was told that I was on phone standby, and instructed to call in Monday morning at 11:15. So I figured, oh well, I’ll get dismissed then.
Last night right before I went to bed, I realized that work totally thought I was going to be in jury duty all day, so I actually could have just stayed home from work. I thought very seriously about it. I had a busy weekend and it would be nice to get a little morning off, go to the gym, do some laundry, call in at 11:15 and be dismissed, and then just hang the rest of the day.
But I am a responsible adult so I got up this morning at my usual weekday time, dragged myself to the gym (so not feeling it today), came home, showered, packed a lunch, and went to work.
Then, of course, I was totally called in to the courthouse to sit in the jury assembly room and wait.
Here are some things about the Redwood City courthouse:
-They have computers and internet for everyone to use (although they ask that you limit your time to 15 minutes)
-They have wifi and power strips everywhere so if you have your own laptop you’re totally good to go
-They have cafeteria with relatively cheap stuff (a sandwich for $4.00? a soda for $.85?)
-They do NOT have cell reception in the basement, and you can’t really leave the basement because then you can’t hear them page you
-When you are on stand-by, you’re NOT in the courtroom. You’re most likely sitting in the jury assembly room killing time.
How on earth did I get out of the house today without a book??
I sat and worked on my Script Frenzy script for most of the time. I also stared off into space. I also ignored the people around me who wanted to start conversations by saying things like, “You were called in too?” (“….Yup”) and “Were you here this morning?” (“No, or I would be in the courtroom already.”) I wasn’t overtly rude to anyone but I really wasn’t there to make friends. Sorry, fellow potential jurors.
They showed us a video on being a juror, and it was amazing. But when I looked around everyone else was either not paying attention, or they were just staring at it with glazed over eyes. So they were missing such gems as the “confessional” set up shots where “Former Jurors” said things like “My favorite part was the deliberation, because you get to speak your piece and you’re making a decision that affects another person’s life.” One “Former Juror” said, “When I got called for jury duty, yes, I was scared, because I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. But I brought a book and it was all okay.” I mean, they’re so serious about it.
I started to get nervous that we would actually get called, but then the final courtroom called into the assembly room and said they had filled their juror box and we could be dismissed. Oh happy day! I hurried out of there, partly because I really had to go to the bathroom. But I preferred to go home and use the bathroom there.
So overall, not the best jury story…that would have been getting onto one of them month-long juries…oh wait, then I wouldn’t be allowed to talk about it. But I’m just so grateful that’s over, and I’m free to go back to work tomorrow (seriously), and get back to regular type life. At least until this weekend.