Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Civic Duty

What is new and exciting in my world (other than the fact that I am a brazen liar - this, my next post, is NOT going to be about why I am eccentric!)? I am now a Grand Juror. I know a lot of people are not happy when they are selected for jury duty, but never having gotten to serve, I am actually interested in seeing what happens. (Ok, so maybe this is a little about what makes me weird, but it's not the primary subject of this post.) Anyway, I am finding the whole experience fascinating thusfar and am learning a lot.

For example, I learned today that in a room filled with over 200 jurors I and another person were the only women I noticed who were not wearing pants. I also learned that about 50% of the people on the jury that selected me hate their jobs (and here I thought it was just me...) I also learned that if I go to jury duty without eating anything all day that around 12:30 p.m., I start feeling decidedly sluggish and have a difficult time paying attention to fascinating lectures on courthouse security. Thankfully I had already heard the lecture this morning in the general assembly room and remembered that I was to bring neither firearms nor knives nor liquor nor illegal substances to court with me. Apparently some people do. The first security lecturer (by far the better of the two and not only as a result of my blood sugar levels!) gave us examples of things they've confiscated from people at the security checkpoint, causing me wonder "What kind of jackhole comes to court with a bottle of whiskey?" I think people will never cease to amaze me.

Anyway, I think this will be an interesting experience with the added bonus of getting me away from work for a month, so I can evaluate my feelings about being there with a bit more distance. Right now I am feeling a bit burned out, which could lead to a rash decision. So, I think the time away will be good for both me and my employer, even if the company will never know it.

But back to jury duty. I am serving on a grand jury for a month. I suspect it will be a sobering experience as the jury I am on deals mostly with person on person crimes, which means (according to the judge who spoke to us) a lot of weapons crimes, rapes, assaults, etc. That has to be disturbing. We don't actually have to decide on a verdict, however. The function of this jury is to decide whether a case should even go to trial. I think I will learn a lot. Besides, it's my civic duty.

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