7 Things I Learned At Court
If you follow my blog, you will know that I was recently summoned for jury duty. I have to admit I was not thrilled to receive my summons. I sternly reminded myself that this was a privilege and honor to do for my fellow citizens and my civic responsibility. With that in mind, I began to prepare for my week at the courthouse in downtown Albuquerque. I read everything I could online but the information wasn’t quite as detailed as I would have liked. It was frustrating and I had to resign myself to not knowing what to expect. After my term of service, which wound up being three out of the five days, here’s what I did learn:
- You do A LOT of sitting around and waiting. It’s boring, boring, boring! Yes, I had my iPad with books to read, the internet to browse, and games to play. But the hours dragged by.
- The boredom tends to make you want to people watch. One young woman was working on her laptop computer which entailed watching videos of women in lingerie pole dancing. She appeared to be editing the videos in some way but I couldn’t tell for sure and I certainly didn’t ask! Wonder what her job title is?! Another gentleman was reading a book that had him laughing loudly at times. I became so intrigued by a book that would cause so much laughter, I made a note of the title: A Man Called Ove. Must read that at some point.
- Every employee at the courthouse was very nice and friendly. It was almost uncanny. After we were dismissed the first day and were exiting the building, the security personnel were waving at us, smiling, wishing us a good day. Maybe they knew the majority of us didn’t want to be there and were trying to make it as pleasant as possible. I lost count of how many times I was thanked for being there and serving as a juror.
- Every time one of the court staff entered the room, there was immediate silence. Secretly, you hope your name won’t get called but then again, you are curious to find out what happens next if you do.
- Eventually my name was called and I wound up in a courtroom with 20 other jurors. We were given a brief rundown of the case by the judge and then the lawyers started asking us questions, presumably to determine which of us would make the best jury of six. Yes, a jury of six and not twelve. Guess that’s all you need for misdemeanor trails. All I’ve ever known about courtrooms is from what I’ve seen on television. Yeah, it’s really not like that. No slick talking, clever lawyers. In fact, they seemed rather nervous and it was a bit disarming. I did find the judge to be a bit stereotypical – not happy with interruptions and stern when necessary. The most interesting thing to me was that they played “white noise” whenever the attorneys approached the bench to talk to the judge – so, of course, you couldn’t hear what they were saying.
- Courtrooms are FREEZING! Are judges’ robes made of wool? Hah.
- I was not chosen as a juror and I’m not sad about it at all. I really have no interest in the law, don’t want to be on the wrong side of it for sure, and I certainly prefer a TV drama to the real thing! But I did my duty and let’s hope that will suffice for a long time.