Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ain't Nobody Got Time For This

About a month ago during what was supposed to be my first days of orientation for my new job at the school, I got selected for jury duty for the first time in my life.  Since the timing was just awful, I was determined to plead my case to the judge and get the heck out of there and back to my real life.  You can guess how well that turned out.  I angrily texted Jacob to let him know my fate just after I was sworn in.  His reply was,

Note to self, be more crazy

It was a three day civil case of a woman suing her HOA for a sewage backup in her condominium. Which happened over four years ago.  That every "witness" couldn't "really remember."  Which made for a lovely three days of constantly asking myself, "How did I get here???" over and over and over again.  While I did actually pay attention to all the evidence and all the "witnesses" (really, an old BLIND man that supposedly didn't respond to letters that were mailed to him???!!!), I would be lying if I said this wasn't me every time I walked into the jury box:

I won't bore you with all the details, but I will share some tidbits of wisdom that I have collected from this experience.

Things I Learned From Serving on a Jury

10.  Judges do not care if you are missing your first day of work at your new job to come and possibly be selected for jury duty. In fact, they probably secretly delight in your misery and talk about it with all their judgey friends when they get together for canasta.  "Haha, I totally picked another one that absolutely didn't want to be there.  You should have seen her face!"

9.  If you are the bailiff in charge of ordering pizza for the jury to eat while they begin deliberating, don't get two extra larges for 7 people.  That's way too much.  Just get the pizza and then maybe some garlic knots.

8.  If there is any way possible to mediate a solution to your case before going to court and handing your case over to a jury, for the love of all things good and holy, please make that happen.  We had absolutely no idea what we were doing.

7.  The seersucker suit not only still exists, but is thriving among the over 70, balding, slightly wacky, farsighted, lawyer demographic.

6.  To make "sidebars" more fun, have a stash of small candies in your purse to eat each time the lawyers take one.  You will gain five pounds, but your annoyance at the constant interruptions will be mitigated.

5.  Don't got through awkward goodbyes with your fellow jurors right before lunch, because you will each go your separate ways and then end up sitting every other table at your local Zaxby's.

4.  So much of what you see on TV does actually exist in the courtroom, but the eloquence is turned down by about 20 levels.  There are a lot of awkward pauses and "uhhhhs" and "ummmms" while the lawyers think of how to say things without getting an objection from the opposing side.  But not once did anyone yell, "You can't handle the truth!"  So in that regard, it was kind of a letdown.

3.  The court stenographer is the real hero in that courtroom. I don't know how he manages to keep up with everything that is being said and not completely lose his mind at the stupid things he has to hear, day in and day out.  Words I really wish we could have heard during the trial include, bat-a-rang, snozzberry, rumpus, frenemy, talk to the hand, and cyberslacking.

2.  Using the pad and pen they provide you to draw cat doodles is totally acceptable because in the end all the papers get shredded and no one sees your drawings.  Wait, that's actually really sad, because my liger was incredible.

1.  If you are quietly filling out your first preliminary form for jury selection and you happen to casually glance over to the big guy next to you and see that he has written down that he has been on trial for murder, and then you later get placed on a 7 man jury with that same big guy, don't sweat it.  Apparently he's just really excited to see "how things work on the other side" of the courtroom.

No comments: