I answered my summons for jury duty on Monday, and appeared at the municipal courtroom of a neighboring town at 9am.
I stood in the security line into the courtroom (which also happens to be the same room they use for city council meetings).
Security consisted of a single walk-through metal detector and an older guy wearing latex gloves. No fancy-schmancy x-ray machines like they have at the county or Seattle courts, so he had to go through everything we were carrying in by hand. That includes every pocket, zipper compartment and opening of bags and purses. He actually pulled out my wallet and stuck his finger in every slot. Do you know when the last time my wallet was out of my purse? When I changed purses months ago. I carefully lifted it out of one and set it in the other. My wallet is set up so I can get money, cards and ID without pulling it out every time. OCD? Yes, but it works for me. My only regret was that I'd pulled the loose floating tampons out of my purse at the last minute that morning. I should have left them in there for entertainment.
Mr. Security was friendly and talkative and generally a nice guy, which made the whole experience quite pleasant. TSA - are you reading this? Happy, nice people make inconvenient experiences PLEASANT. Ahem.
Once we were all inside, checked in and properly displaying our pin-on Jury badges, the clerk spoke to us briefly explaining that there was a lot of waiting that happened, and to make ourselves comfortable. We were currently waiting to see that the case would even go to trial, as many of these cases are often settled minutes before trials are scheduled to begin. She said that shortly the judge and attorneys would come out and speak to us about the case, then jury selection would begin.
I pulled out my book. I wasn't in the mood.
I pulled out my laptop and tried to work on an editing project. Way too much distraction.
I opened Solitaire on my laptop. Perfect! This I could play while stealing glances around the jury pool, secretly trying to figure out who was going to be argumentative, who was going to be difficult, who was going to be most friendly, etc.
I had sat down next to two old guys (seriously, who's going to be the friendliest in the room? The old retired guys, that's who) and they chatted about a locally owned hardware store. I kid you not. One guy clearly taking time off work was diligently working a spreadsheet on his laptop. Two older ladies were reading books. And a couple of women in their 30's and 40's who had brought nothing with them but the clothes on their back and their purses, sat behind me discussing how they had brought nothing with them but the clothes on their back and their purses. Clearly they were bored and not used to down time.
I could have offered up one of the two magazines I brought in addition to my book, my laptop, my lunch and my snacks. WHAT? It pays to be prepared.
At 9:45, the judge came walking into the room, her black robes swishing around her. With a very friendly attitude (these people are nice in this little municipal court!) she gushed thanks to us for showing up, but explained that the defendant had failed to show up. Therefore, we were free to go once we turned our badges in down the hall.
Free to go? Really? I could have complained about taking a day off work, loss of income, inconvenience to my patients. But see, we here in Seattle were having our third day in a row of record breaking warm April temps (don't get excited, that simply means 75 degrees here - yes, that is highly unusual for April). So "free to go" meant "go forth and enjoy this gift of a glorious day"!!
Today it's supposed to rain non-stop. All day.
I loved my Monday.
(Confession: I was a wee bit disappointed that I didn't get to at least find out what the case was about. But sunshine wins out over disappointment every time for me.)