Back at the end of October, I got a jury summons - a day after I was supposed to report! Mail was being sent to my parents' house and with the wedding and honeymoon, I didn't get all my mail immediately. I panicked, thinking I was going to get fined for not showing. I called and pulled the married card out. It worked. I was fine and I got out of jury duty!

...or so I thought. They then reassured me that they could reschedule me, "no problem". Yay. So sooner rather than later, I received yet another jury duty notice (with my correct name on it) for January 31st. As much as I look forward to the opportunity to get out of work, this was not something I wanted to do. Aside from sitting in a room packed full of strangers, waiting for my name to be called so that I can answer personal questions in front of attorneys and a judge to determine if I'm "right" or not, I was more anxious about being picked and having to decide someone's fate after battling with 11 other strangers about the outcome. No thank you.

You are expected to call in the night before you are told to report...but I had a theory. I figured the longer I waited to call, the possibility of them not needing me to come at all would be greater. You know...have room for 100, send the invite to 250, and only expect 120 to respond. That's not really the case with this, though. I called at 7:30am Monday morning (expected to report at the courthouse by 8:30am) and here "All individuals scheduled for jury duty on Monday, January 31st, are needed." Ugh.

So I gas and stopped to grab some breakfast along the way. By the time I pulled into the parking lot, it was ten minutes after 8. I got one of the 2 remaining parking spaces left in the front parking lot. I gathered my things ( I came well-prepared!) and began walking towards the courthouse. As soon as I entered through the door, I saw security. I put my purse in a bucket and began emptying my jacket pockets. Just as I was checking with a security officer about bringing in my coffee, the guy behind the scanner asks "You got a camera in your purse?". I stopped and had to think. I didn't put a camera in my purse this morning, but it's highly likely I cart one around all the time without realizing it. "Ummm...I think so..." (beginning to hope he would confiscate it and hold it for me until I left for the day). He not-so-gently slung my purse back at me and gruffed "Go put it back in your car!". But it's cold outside! And I had to walk a long way! And if I do, then I'll be late reporting to jury duty! Mind if I leave my coffee, notebook, and breakfast here till I get back - it was quite a juggling act carrying it all by myself...

I contemplated paying the fine for not going. If this was the start to my day, it surely wasn't going to get any better! As I began walking back to my car, I noticed a vehicle driving slowly next to me, slightly out of my peripheral vision. Not wanting to be paranoid, I kept walking without looking over. After a few minutes, it became clear they were following me. Having no desire to be followed all the way to my car, I completely stopped walking and turned my body to the driver side window and stared at the driver. An older lady rolled down her window, and before she could say anything, I let her know "No, I'm not leaving. They're making me put my car back in my camera. Sorry." She complained about the lack of parking and I continued on after she drove off. By the time I got to my car, dug through my purse to find the dadgum camera, went through security, and located the listed room, just about every seat was taken. I felt like everyone in the room looked up at me to see what I would do. I knew I look disheveled and unpleasant at this point. No one looked overly eager for me to plop my rear and armload of items next to them. So I stayed right where I was and put my stuff down. There was a bookshelf against the wall that I put my coffee and notebook on. This is going to be a loooong wait.

I grabbed my book and began reading to take my mind of my tiring legs. I kept shifting my weight from one leg to the other, locking and unlocking my knees, as I leaned back on the wall. I watched as they took a newspaper from a man. Apparently we weren't allowed to read newspapers while on jury duty. But that wasn't mentioned on the card! Eventually someone came out and had us all swear in at the same time. Then we watched a video on what to expect once we were called. Shortly thereafter, they gave us a break. I took that opportunity to move my stuff to an open chair while everyone was up and shuffling around. Ahhhh....relief! Around 10am, someone came out with a stack of cards and began calling names. I realized my hands were shaking. I didn't want to be called. Not in the first group! She finished going through the stack of cards. Not me. That made me happy....Dr. Phil was about to come on! :)

As I watched about a 33-year old man who witnessed his dad killing his mom when he was a boy, they came out with another stack of cards. Here we go again! It's not even 11am - this is going a lot faster than I thought! Nope...not in the second group, either. We had been told that there were 2 criminal cases, and 1 civil case that day. So we were being divided into 3 groups. I was obviously in the third group. And had no interest in being called for a criminal case. But I figured the rest of us would be called within the hour, since the other 2 groups had already been taken out.

But that's what wishin' is for. We sat there allllll day...just waiting and waiting. I watched "Price is Right" for the first time in a long time. And "Let's Make a Deal", too! Who knew jury duty could be so entertaining! Although we got released for lunch, it wasn't until 4pm that we finally got told we could leave - they didn't need us. Now see?! If you had just said that on the phone when I called this morning...
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