2.08.2010

Jury Duty, Day 1

8:30 AM:

I'll be updating this post all day, because I'm sure that I'm going to have plenty of time to do so. And so far, today's been a real treat.

I discovered the hard way that Egg Beaters and half & half, while sharing similar carton shapes, taste radically different when added to coffee.

I left the house late.

My wife was in a fender bender (she and the car are mostly fine - one minor bruise on each), and neither of us have paid up our tags.

I arrive and am sent through the metal detectors and back to my car two separate times - once for a keychain multi-tool with no knife on it, and once for my actual multitool in my laptop bag.

I get to the check-in window, where I discovered, after arriving nearly 20 minutes late, that I left my picture ID in my wallet, which was left next to the coffee/egg dribble stain on my desk, which is where I was looking up all our information for Andrea to give the police dude on the scene of her fender bender.

And now I'm in the jury assembly room, where Fox News is blaring from four televisions at high volume, and headphones are forbidden (since they may have to call your name to go fulfill your civic duty to judge your fellow man). And this talking head on this stupid morning show is billowing all sorts of shit that sounds remarkably like "Everything in the world is Obama's fault, especially shit that happened before he took office - always remember that, since facts are merely what we've convinced you to remember."

I want to puke.


*****

8:55 AM:


The best part about being sworn in and told how jury duty works is that they have to turn off Fox News to do it.

I also love that they have wifi here, and that they've allowed just about every other instant messaging service except AIM. My guess is that whoever does IT support for the court system here is a big fan of Google Talk.

They're talking about lunch and breaks. I'm fortunate in that I live about 10 minutes from the courthouse, so I can get back to the house and let the dogs out and fix myself a delicious sandwich, because the food near here is complete garbage. Unless of course you LIKE Long John Silvers, in which case, let's never have lunch. Ever.


9:45 AM:

We just watched a video entitled "Jury Duty And You." Actually, that might not have been the title, but it might as well have been. It was very obviously produced in the 80's and contained all of the near-crayola-colored clothing and feathered hair that an 80's production requires to be held in good standing as a relic.

When I'm in my office working, I never really get the urge to goof around. I get stuff done, and I enjoy the pace I work at. But sitting here in this jury room, all I can think about is my Xbox 360.

I want very badly to be home on my couch playing my Xbox 360. I've been playing it a bit more in recent weeks, thanks to Mass Effect 2. Before Mass Effect 2, I played it probably twice in three months, both of those times to prove my superiority in Tekken 6 to idiots who think they could beat me in Tekken 6. But Mass Effect 2 has made me appreciate my Xbox 360 again.

And right now, I think it feels neglected being left there at home all alone. It thinks I hate it. And I don't; I love my Xbox 360 very very much. And I can't show it because I'm here sitting amongst the other residents of my county, listening to Fox News with one ear (because I need at least one hand to type, and my fingers on my left hand won't stretch far enough apart to plug both ears).

I love you, Xbox 360.


11:10 AM:

The first jury pool was called. The clerk actually called for someone named - and I'm not making this up - "Ghana Rhea." I know the spelling because she spelled the name aloud "so she wouldn't mispronounce it." I think she actually spelled it because she didn't want to pronounce it correctly.


11:30 AM:

I'm called into a jury pool of 60. I was only a minute away from going on an hour and a half lunch. Instead, I sit in a courtroom and listen to the basics of a case that requires a 25 page questionnaire to be filled out. Obviously I can't talk about the case, that's no good. But I can tell you that I was blown away at just how long it could take some people to fill out a damn questionnaire. I had mine done in about 20 minutes, and we were forced to sit there until every single person turn theirs in.

Jury duty is a frightening prospect, if only for the fact that I'm discovering who might be called upon to judge me one day.

Anyway, we get dismissed at 2:00 PM and are told to return at 2:30 PM - cutting my hour and a half break to a thirty minute dash to my house for a sandwich (because, as I told you before, I'm NOT eating Long John Silvers).

I end up returning late, along with two others who also apparently had issues parking due to the fact that there was no less than six cars taking up two to three spots each - YES, two to three spots. Each. You'd think that, since this is pretty much cop central, a few of them might see this shit going on in the parking lot and issue a citation or 30. Or better yet, enact a little bit of police brutality that I, for one, would turn a blind eye toward.

We all pile into the room to be told by the judge that, due to an oversight in something I'm not going to get into because it's borderline contempt of court to actually write the words I was thinking right then, the lawyers hadn't read the 60 twenty-five page questionnaires. We were free to go, and we have to return tomorrow morning.

THIS IS WHY CELL PHONES WERE INVENTED, for fuck's sake.

And just as I'm leaving, I'm asked to return to the jury room to show them the photo ID I didn't show them initially, which then resulted in a fifteen minute wait for someone to show the hell up so I could get the hell out.

Civic duty be damned. This is not even barely enjoyable, and I cannot wait until it's over.