I got called for jury duty this morning. Mostly I just get the summons and call in the night before to hear that I'm not needed. But this time I was told to report. Exciting to be a part of the American judicial system but stressed because of all the work I was going to miss which meant a backlog of work to be done the next day.
This summons was to a big city in my county where the courthouse is tall and possibly the crimes more intense (stereotype). I was a little nervous. What if I was asked to be on the jury and thus a trial may go on for a week, a month, or if it's like OJ even longer.
So, I sat and waited... and waited... and waited. I observed all the people around me. People of all colors, shapes, sizes, hairstyles, clothing, shoe choices. Each person expressed themselves in their own unique way to tell the world who they are. People watching in a jury room is almost as exciting as watching people in the international terminal of an airport.
A couple hours in they finally started to call names. I actually started feeling butterflies. It was as if I was waiting for my name to be called for "The Hunger Games". But my name wasn't called. Phew! I didn't have to be on jury 1. Darn, I wouldn't get to see the process. But they weren't done with me yet.
I waited... and waited... and waited. The facilitator started speaking again. Are they going to call my name? "The bad news is the court isn't ready for the next jury group yet. The good news is you get a VERY long lunch".
Lunch was more than 2 hours long. My excitement started to refill again as I walked around this city exploring the area and soaking in some lunch. I wonder if I'll get called after lunch. What will happen at work if I'm not there for a few days? Will the case be criminal or civil? Will the case freak me out or just be a process to be worked through?
So, I returned and sat. And waited... and waited... and then they started to call names again. But this time it was to make sure we were all back from lunch and in the room. And then we waited... and waited... and then they said "Congratulations! The judge has chosen his jury from the first group you have all done your service and can go home now."
YAY! Woohoo! I'm free! Wait... Oh man, I was actually looking forward to being a part of the judicial process.
I never made it up the elevator to the courtrooms. There's always next year.