you've been summoned

Sometime in January, I received a piece of mail that had my name and address the words “Jury Summons” written on the front of it. I’m pretty sure my initial reaction was somewhere along the lines of crap, because jury duty isn’t supposed to be any fun and it wastes a perfectly good day at… work.

Other than the fact that you actually have to miss work (or a day off if you’re not working), it’s great.  If you don’t like your job, even better.  A paid day not to go to work.  Perfect.  I received a jury notice once before, except I was around 700 miles away going to college when they wanted me to show up.  At least they were understanding and dropped my requirements.

On Tuesday morning, I had my filled out form in hand and drove to the county courthouse.  They have a radio-frequency body scanner, which means that your belt and shoes are fine to leave on but the couple dollars in your back pocket is going to have to be removed.

They had another form to fill out and we waited in large room.  There was a video about the jury process with some people who looked a little too excited to be on camera for a county government production.

I’m guessing the room started with about 300 people in it, and slowly, name by name, people were called.  Some in large groups, some in smaller groups, but they were all making their way to jury selection processes.

After about 45 minutes, the lady who was calling the names said she needed to go check what was taking so long.  And the remaining thirty or so people including me sat.  She came back and said there were some issues with the trial and would be just a little bit longer.

And longer.

And we sat.

An hour later, they called of our names, said thank you very much for coming and you have fulfilled your jury obligation for this year.  They didn’t tell us what happened; we were just released back into the world a little bit sooner than anyone expected.

While I had no desire to be on a jury for a trial that lasted a few days, I was honestly looking forward to going through process a little more than just the first room.  It would have made for a better story than “Hey, remember when I had jury duty? Yeah, neither do I.”