Luck of the Chinese?? 8.8.8

So I haven't blogged in 3 days! Whew am I behind! I'm sure the 3 of you who even follow my twitters got a twit full yesterday as I sat in the jury summons room with about 350 other poor souls. Here is my story:

It was Wednesday evening, over the hump day was slowly coming to an end and I was frantically putting together a rather larger packet of materials for my boss' very important meeting the next morning. I planned this event top to bottom, with the help of some logistical organization from my other staff members. I felt good, I put together this packet that looked very professional, had all bases covered 24 hours prior to our Board of Trustees meeting and felt almost under control. I got on the phone for the 4th time that week to call in to see if I had to serve jury duty.

Now, keep in mind it would be for me heading in on a Thursday....and the phone call went something like this: For English Press 1. For Jury Summons information Press 1. Now enter you badge Idea #...check! LONG PAUSE (probably for dramatic effect....I think the county likes to play with our minds). Your jury service starts on Thursday, August 7 @ 7:45am. My heart dropped as I realized that all my joking about not being picked for the first time in years was not a joke anymore and crap! I had to go in.

Unfortunately, I had ALL my paper work for this very important meeting that now, somehow at 7pm when they were finished being bound at the local print store I was going to need to get them to my boss. An arrangement was made, so I didn't have to drive 45 minutes one direction back to work late in the evening.

Yesterday morning I met my boss in front of what seemed like a Chinese park/ceremonial memorial place to make the hand off of things. This was fairly stressful as he and I hadn't had anytime the day prior to go over these materials and I prayed that it was all OK. We departed from there to where I proceeded to the "3rd street lot" The 3rd street lot has become a common friend of mine. Every year I park in the same spot (right next to the guard) so I can assure my brain that no one will hurt my vehicle or me as I would arrive later in the evening back in this lot. I hoped on the little red trolley and chatted a bit with the driver as we made the circle around the court house.

Now, the lines you wait in to enter the courthouse are always seemingly long. They have to make sure that the criminals out on bail (that you are standing in line with)....ya, that they aren't bringing in any kind of weapon inside. I stood on line thinking it's always comfortable to know that the guy behind probably committed some crime that someone today will be called into a courtroom for. Some people like to chat with one another. I'm not like that, I just want to be unnoticed for the most part and hang out. A man approached me with the Watchtower booklets and was courteous as I said, "No thanks." Maybe it was his Indiana Jones style hat or hanging belly with his khaki shorts that were too short that put people off, but I don't think he was that successful in that line that day.

We got inside and shuffled upstairs to the jury waiting room. I always wonder why I get there so early? So many people show up at like 9, 10am, and are fine, but there is something in me that can't be I'm here! I forgot that you could bring a laptop or I would have written this while sitting. A woman who looked about 8 months pregnant sat next to me. She looked annoyed. I was annoyed and I didn't feel uncomfortable like she certainly did. Looking at the time it was now 8:30am and they started with 2 cases at a different building. Please do not call me I thought! I don't want to have to do the trolley/car drive thing all over again to drive somewhere else!

Nope, didn't get called in that group of 45 people. The next announcement was crushing, "Folks, this is going to be a long day for you all. Probably until 5pm you will sit here because we don't have scheduled courts in session today, we just have to wait and see if they need you. You are all "on call" jurors." Ahhhhhhhhhh! This is why I hate the system. Do you know how many people lost good money just by sitting there for a big, 'what if"?? I was fine, annoyed, but fine on the $$ side of things because of how my job works, but seriously, some people have major hardships and I was annoyed for them.

Hours passed on my cell phone and after the 2nd 45 minute break I was more than annoyed. Your brain thinks about all the things you could be doing when you're stuck somewhere. It was like the plane trip that had no destination with sitting in those seats. I starred at past judges from 1800's on the wall all day. Thank goodness for my iPhone, it saved my day. By the way, CUBES is a great app if anyone wants a good free download. I called Steven for lunch because we had 1.5 hour to do anything. We sat in the Jack-in-the-box parking lot and chatted about church and a good deep conversation (yes! something stimulating to offset the rest of my brain numbing day).

We got back at 1:15pm and nothing was said to us. One time, the lady jokingly got up and turned on the mic. "Ok folks, I just wanted to let you know that nothing is going on" and she laughed. While I laughed and a couple others did I think it was a boredom we had nothing else to do, so we listened and laughed. Around 3:30pm....a miracle! OK folks were are going to be letting some of you go for today. A cheer in the crowd arouse! Don't get too excited, she said. I can only let 78 of you go. The other 100 or so must stay until 5. I immediately calculated my odds (44%). I turned to the lady next to me, who happened to be the mom of a girl I knew in high school. She said, "How good of odds do you think we get called on the go home list?" I knew, but said I just have this feeling it's not good." Counting every name I was let down once again "Lee, Lopes, Maren, Martin, ....." Dang! (although I don't think I thought that exact word!"

We stayed until 4:38 when they finally said, You are free! Jumped on the trolley, went home, got dressed in something more comfy and went to Disney. Long, boring day, but worth not being called into a court room and being told you have to come back on Friday, your day off.

Thanks for reading if you got through it! What are some of your jury stories?? Please do tell!

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