Oh Boy . . .

It’s weird.  It really is true that half of us follow the rules and do what we’re supposed to do and the other half assume the rules are for the first half.  The jury summons said in several places that you must be there by 8 am.  To me, this would be like asking a normal person to show up somewhere at 3 am.  But, I did it.  I barely even flipped out when I had to take my shoes off like at the airport and let weird police-ish people search through my purse.  What horrible thing did those poor deputies do to piss someone off enough to make them have to handle stranger’s shoes and sift through a purse full of maxi pads, granola bars and lollipops?  (I am still carrying the bag I took with me to Universal last week.)  
Anyway, 1/2 of the 150-200 people in the jury holding pen were there at or before 8 am.  At 8:45 people were still wandering into the room and the judge who swore us all in and went through the general rules and exemptions did not even show until 9 am.  Really?  I could have slept for another 30-45 minutes??????   
As the judge went through the general exemptions, I was astounded at how easy it is to get dismissed.  First she asked if anyone there did not speak enough English to understand a whole trial.  Eight people raised their hands.  Of the eight, one woman had someone translating for her.  The rest were also exempted, but I’m thinking if they could understand what the judge was saying they probably had a decent grasp of English.  Next up on the exemption list were doctors and people who work in the justice system.  I get that.  But, when the guy in BRAND new (I mean the folds in his scrubs were fresh out of the bag) stood up and said I’m a cardiologist and was let go, I thought to myself, I could do that!  No one checked anything about him.  (Really, he looked nerdy enough to be a cardiologist and it would be pretty ballsy to fake it . . .  still . . . I think he should have had to show his doctor card or something.)  
And, then I sat for 3 hours, got a nice one hour for lunch and came back and sat for another 3 hours until my group was called.  I’m now nearly 400 pages into a book I don’t think I like.  And my tailbone hurts and my neck hurts from sitting in the stupid hard chairs in the holding pen.  They frown on people sitting on the floor . . . sigh. I’m not sure why, but I’m certain someone has a reason.  I sat on the chair after my first two warnings.  
Sadly, I was stuck sitting next to Mr. Carlin.  (If you’re not old like me, google Bob Newhart)  This guy spent the first three hours of the morning calling EVERY SINGLE person he’s ever known to tell them he had jury duty.  Honestly, not one person picked up the phone, but he kept leaving long, pathetic messages on people’s phones.  I had sympathy for him for the first 8-10 calls.  After that, I was ready to punch him square in the face – that’s when I tried my stealth move to the comfy floor the first time. 
Can’t talk about it, but I’m a juror.  I report Wednesday for what is supposed to be a 1/2 day and no more than a full day trial.  I think we all knew that was how it was going to work out.  I figure we’re lucky, though.  It’s easy enough for Mike to take Andy to work with him and Mike and my brother are both great about helping him with schoolwork.  The older boys have their college classes so they’re covered too. I am a MUCH luckier than the woman I was sitting next to this afternoon  – she’s a night nurse at a local hospital.  She arrived for jury duty right after her shift and we did not leave until 5 pm.  She had tonight off but was frantically trying to juggle things so she wouldn’t have to work all night on Tuesday and show up for trial on Wednesday.  As we were talking about this on our elevator ride down to  parking, an older lady also chosen for the jury said she’d bring Snuggies for all of us.  We were all freezing in the court room.  

So, not my chosen way to spend the beginning of the week, but it’s nice to know there are a lot of nice people out there who believe our system of government/trials is worth being inconvenienced every couple of years.  Now everyone cross their fingers that the nurse gets Tuesday night off and that Snuggie Lady pulls through! 

3 thoughts on “Oh Boy . . .

  1. I actually WANT to get called, but only have been called when I had a nursing infant. All three times.

    Suspicious Amy, in my time living in Germany, I could easily have understood the question about understanding German, but I sure would have been stumped by lawyer talk. And scrubs often come folded, very tightly, from the hospital laundry if your hospital does that. And, if one IS a cardiologist, one might well use a dry cleaner. But it is a TERRIFIC idea for getting out of duty. Probably more effective than the string. But not as fun.

  2. I think I'd have asked Mr. Floor Monitor to show me where, in the Statutes, it says one cannot sit on the floor when one is not under arrest or awaiting arraignment, yet forced to sit there all day. If you weren't blocking doors or fire alarms, or tripping old ladies with walkers, what the heck did he care?

  3. I know you can't talk about it, but I'm going to hazard a guess that – since you're in Florida – your case involves some spectacularly bad driver.

    Am I right? 😉

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