So today I performed my civic duty, I answered the call for jury duty. I’ll be honest… I bitched and moaned pretty much every day for the last month since I received my summons, but secretly I was rather looking forward to it. I had elaborate dreams about what a good juror I would be; certainly the courts upon recognizing my superior skills of objectivity and reason would surly assign me to a truly exceptional case, or even fly me to California to replace some moron placed on the Michael Jackson fiasco. I would be humble in my juror-perfection, well coifed, professional…simply, the beacon of justice.
The day went a little differently then I had expected…
6:45. What? The alarm is going off? 30 minutes early? Oh why did I stay up late watching GI Jane last night?? Damn Demi Moore. And Ashton Kucher. Not that he was in the movie, but damn him by association.
7:00. Shit shit shit. No time to wash and dry hair. Will find classic tortise shell clip and fashion a french knot or chignon or whatever they call it.
7:10. Crapola. Cannot find fancy clip. Rusty barette will have to do. So much for visions of being well coifed. Fuck it.
7:15. Mascara, check. Lip liner, check. Blush (a nice gel made by Hard Candy that I am partial to), check. Lip gloss? Hellloooooo lip gloss where are yooouuuu?
7:19. Does Jury duty have a dress code? What if I finish early and want to go to the office? Nah. Jeans will do. And my favorite (aka old) black sweater and boots. Professional…? Maybe not. Whatever.
7:20. Officially late. Run to the T.
7:40. Arrive at Park Street, change trains to the Red Line. I feel like I am going to throw up. Why didn’t I get a coffee??? I can’t see straight. My eyes feel Soooo heavy. Damn Demi Moore!!
8:20. Arrive in Dorchester. Yes, Dorchester, that’s almost an hour from my apartment. Why couldn’t they assign me to one of the many downtown courts that are practically within walking distance??? Legal system jerks.
8:35. Arrive at the courthouse 5 minutes late. Not bad. I look like crap and I might smell. Oh well.
8:36. Security Station. I put my bag through the machine. I walk through the detector. I set the bells off. They confiscate my camera. I asked for some kind of receipt for it, so I could claim it later. They laughed at me. I am sent to the jury pool room which is half full already. I grab a diet pepsi (egh. pepsi) in lieu of a coffee. I wait.
9:10. you get the point. This was a major theme throughout the day.
10:00. The jury liason comes in, tells us the rules. Shows us a tape shot circa 1978 showing us the rules again. She repeats the rules one more time. Alas, the magic words… at 11:00 a coffee truck will be outside and we will get a break.
11:00. A trial needs a jury. Coffee break is cancelled (damn!) and we are led into the courtroom. The defendant is on trial for drunk driving and leaving the scene of a crime. He’s the only person in the room who looks like he is having a worse day than me. I am sure he is.
11:10. I am picked as one of the 6 jurors for the trial. Then the lawyers start striking us down (or whatever they call it). They strike anyone who looks even vaguely non-caucasion… and me. The judge said not to take it personally. I should’ve worn a suit.
11:30. I start chatting with the two girls behind me, Lori and Amanda aka Mandy. We bond in our jury pool room. They also had to trek from Boston out to Dorchester. The rest of our conversations are punctuated with various explamations of exasperation the rest of the day.
1:00. We are sent to lunch. Lori and I go to the only place within walking distance… a KFC. You may be surprised to know I had never been to a KFC before. And I have no future plans to revisit.
2:00-3:00. Spend time staring at the door below in picture of the day #2 hoping the jury liason will come back and take us somewhere (note the comfortable chairs). Finally she does. She lines us up and leads us down the hall towards a court room. Just as we are about to go in, she yells, “Stop! Go back to the jury pool room” and she ushers us back to our cave. No explanation is given for the retreat.
3:30-4:30. Waiting some more. The fried chicken isn’t sitting well.
4:30. We are quickly lined up again and marched through the hallway. After we are all seated, the judge outlines the case for us. The court clerk reads the list of witnesses in this case, of which there are over 20. This is going to be a long case… the judge tells us it will take 2 or 3 days. I pray my number won’t be called again, but of course #03-02 is called to the bench after 2 others. That’s me. I take my seat in the jurors box.
4:45. The lawyers review our papers and start to strike the jurors they don’t like. I am the first one called to return to the jury pool. I am relieved, but also a bit offended and disappointed. What’s wrong with me? Oh why am I being rejected again? Can’t they recognize that I am the epitome of objectivity and reason? Are they blind? My two jury buddies are called as well, and are not stricken. I am sent home.
And that, my friends, was my big day in court. I guess my superior juror skills will have to be proven another day. Next time I’ll be sure to shower first.