Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Civic Duty

Panel 6, Seat 1 - That's me. For the last three days, I've been required to sit in a slightly padded, red theater type seat with a #1 underneath the seat. The fact that it was #1 was a good thing. That meant that on one side of me, there was no one. That's a good thing when you have to be in a room surrounded by various scents of
cologne, aftershave, and the such.

Early on Monday morning, I parked the car and got on the shuttle bus that would carry me and several other people to Government Plaza. After arriving and standing in a security line for a while, the security staff showed up for work and the line began to move. Then, it was on to the glass elevator that would take us up to our home away from home - our assigned room on the eighth floor. This is where we would spend literally hours sitting and waiting to be needed.

On Monday, my group (panel 6) was sent to a courtroom and questioned by the judge and lawyers. When they finished questioning us, they released us for lunch while they determined which of us they would choose for the jury. When we returned from lunch, I was happy to find that I wasn't chosen! It was to be a murder trial and I just didn't want to be on that jury - it's a huge responsibility. I'm a coward, huh? They released the rest of our group for the day.

Tuesday, we again all met in our assigned room and seats. Again, we
waited. Eventually, my group was told we could leave. After more than 2 hours.

Today, we again all met in the same place. By now, we're feeling more friendly and comfortable with each other. After some waiting, we're told that there are 3 judges needing juries today. One group of 30 is called and then the woman in charge leaves the room. We wait. Someone on the row in front of me begins to count. There are 60 people left on our side of the room. Looking across to the other side of the room, we can see that only a few people will eventually be left uncalled. We continue to wait. Eventually, she returns and we're told that the cases are over and we're free to go after receiving our checks, which they promptly brought out to us. Hurray!

So, that's how my week of doing my "civic duty" went. Lots of sitting. Lots of waiting. Glad it's over.

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