Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jury Duty....Need I Say More?

Ah...the dreaded jury duty. Yes, I had the recent opportunity to experience it. You know, someone at work about 3 months ago got summonsed and I was thinking " I have never been summonsed before." Well, if I can offer any advice at all, do not ever think about jury duty, ever! Sure enough, a few weeks ago, I got my official jury summons. I got home from work, got the mail, sifted through it, and there it was all official looking...almost as if there were police officers hiding in the bushes just to make sure I got it and opened it. I felt like I would be under arrest if I did not open it at that very moment. "Please arrive promptly at 8:00 am on May 18th, 2009 at the Tarrant County Justice Center." At that moment, I was not very happy.

So, I arrive promptly, and very stressed out mind you, at 8am on May 18th at the Tarrant County Justice Center. I got in a very, very, very, long line outside of the Center. Then, one by one we were allowed to enter the building but we had to pass through metal detectors first. It was like going to the airport. We put all of our belongings in a plastic bin, even our shoes! I had to take my shoes off and walk barefoot across what could possibly be a germ farm infested public building floor! Now, after working at a hospital for the past year and a half, you will not catch me with my shoes off anywhere. I even wear flip flops in my own home! Ugh, I was disgusted. So, I get through all of that and then they herd us into the "jury room". They scan your jury summons, which is what checks you in (basically that puts you in the system so they don't come arrest you for not showing). Then there is strange and awkward hunt to find an empty seat in a room full of about 400 people.

I sat in the very back, right next to the restroom, I could not have planned that better. There is a flat screen T.V. in the room where you can watch what the jury bailiff is doing. They also play this video about how jury duty is an honor, blah, blah, blah. I sat there for an hour, but it felt like 3. Then the bailiff started explaining the process. After that, we waited another hour before she started calling names and making assignments. At about 10:15 she finally called my name, after calling at least 200 others. I was assigned into a group that was to return to the jury room at 10:45 as the judge was not certain he would need us. I thought "score!!!" But then hte bailiff said "oh, never mind, I just was informed that the judge needs you and is waiting for you now. Please go to the criminal court room on the 8th floor." Ugh, criminal court!!! Really!! Great.

So, we get up there, wait for an hour and then another bailiff comes out and tells us to fill out a survey. We all fill out the survey and turn it in. Then the bailiff says, come back at 2:30. Really?? 2:30?? Ugh! Great. So I go meander and dilly dally around downtown for about 3 hours and then return to the court room. The prosecuting attorney questions us for about an hour. Then we are sent to the hall for 20 minutes. We return to the court room and the defense attorney questions us for an hour. We go wait in the hall for another half hour. We are brought back in and the judge says "When I call your number please come sit on the jury stand." I waited in severe anticipation and at this time I am so stressed and exhausted all I can think about is stress eating and mini sirloin burgers from Jack in the Box are calling my name! So they call about 6 numbers and then stop a number before mine. Then the judge calls 6 more numbers and skips right over me by only 2 numbers!!! Whew. The fella next to me looked at me in rejoice! I have never been so happy in my life!!!

So, on the way home, I stopped to get some mini sirloin burgers. Ah, it hit the spot! I still have their little catchy commercial jingle stuck in my head.

Also, for the record, I have never been so happy to be back at work. I could have kissed the hospital floor on Tuesday, germs and all!


Oh....Update!!! Cheers to Kris Allen!!!

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