Yesterday was my first experience with the much-dreaded jury duty. I got my summons a few months back and was actually really excited. As I still don’t have a real job, I thought it would be a fun way to spend my time and do my service to the great commonwealth of Massachusetts. You know what I learned instead? Jury duty is really, really, really boring. Here’s how it went in a nutshell:
- Arrive at the courthouse and go through the metal detector. Despite taking off my watch and belt, I still manage to set off the metal detector. Get pulled off to the side and waved around with the wand-y thing they use at the airport.
- Go to the Juror’s room and sit there for an hour. Notice huge stack of magazines, all of which are a year+ old, and romance novels. Decide to check twitter and facebook on my phone instead. Get startled every time another juror’s phone goes off for a text message or phone call.
- The next part feels like something out of a field trip: after an hour or so of waiting, court officer comes in and plays us a video about the history of the court system and why we should take our service as jurors seriously. This film also features suspiciously happy people talking up jury duty and why it’s (supposedly) awesome. After the film, a judge walks in and greets us, telling us what to expect during our jury paneling and selection.
- Get the first break of the day. I decide to go up the street to my mom’s office and sit with her for a little while.
- Head back to the courthouse and wait for another hour and a half. Watch my phone battery slowly but surely diminish.
- Enter courtroom for first jury selection of the day. Get read a series of question pertaining to the case. Judge/lawyers call certain potential jurors up to the sidebar to talk with them. I fall asleep. Safe to say, I’m not picked on this panel.
- Go back to the waiting room, where we’re told we can break for lunch. I go up the street to get sushi and eat it at my dad’s office.
- Back again at the waiting room, this time we only wait for a half hour or so. Get called in for another paneling. Judge asks the potential jurors if there is any extenuating circumstance that would keep them from being able to show up tomorrow. I instantly cross my fingers and pray that I don’t get picked.
- Guess what happened? I got picked. So, I’m back at it today and will be sitting on the jury.
I guess that the only good thing to come out of this is that I didn’t wait all day at the courthouse for nothing. I think that that would have sucked way more. At least I’ll get to say that I was actually on a jury! As you can tell, my jury duty experience so-far has been quite anticlimactic. I’m hoping that it will get more exciting as the case moves forward.