Jury Duty

Yesterday, I had the “privilege” of attending Jury Duty. After dreading it for months, it wasn’t all that bad.

I pretty much failed my Government and Media class in college… It was the one class I ever had to take related to law and government. The only reason I passed was because I tried my hardest to constantly express to the teacher that I was “trying really hard.” Ummmmmm BS – I was way more interested in my internships, the beach, and seeing how many bars would let me in with my fake ID each weekend to have time for a stupid law class.

I struggled to remember what was said in this class about jury duty, but I couldn’t. I googled jury duty almost every day leading up to the event to see if anyone gave advice on how to get out of it. I found nothing. No one I knew could even give me advice because they hadn’t been summoned yet. And the ones that had, ended up sitting there all day and got to leave because all the trials for the day had been settled. I figured I was going to get on some month long murder trial with my luck.

I left that morning and had to go to the bank to get cash to pay for parking. Yes, we had to pay to park there and it was 5 dollars. I then went inside the room where we would sit for hours – and sat down in the world’s most uncomfortable red chair… Seriously, they really need to invest in some comfortable chairs. I think I have back problems now from sitting there yesterday.

First, we had to watch some video from the 80s. The video was pretty much “jury duty for morons” so it was definitely right on my intelligence level…

Then, this judge came to talk to us. I was told not to make eye contact with the judge, so I played with the edges of my Cosmo magazine the whole time he spoke. Apparently, this was dumb of me because he was just welcoming us to the court and it meant nothing.

After this, came the waiting game. We had to wait. And wait. And wait. And wait. I stayed in the same spot – the whole time. I got up to go the bathroom once. I read an entire magazine of Cosmo – yes, I read each and every article. I also ate a special k bar to keep up with my diet. And occasionally scanned the room for some pathetic people watching – everyone was white and nicely dressed. You would think Jury Duty would be a little more diverse… but no.

The jury duty woman came in on the hour every hour to inform us that one of the judges did not need jurors anymore. They settled their cases… or whatever. FINALLY, at 12pm, after sitting in the world’s most uncomfortable chair, we were released. No one needed jurors. Everyone raced out of there in a mad dash.

I was off to Trader Joes. Finally – some time off from work and life. After a trip to TJs to find out they did not have the reduced guilt mac and cheese and only had two pesto tortellini meals left, I sadly left the store and headed to Legacy Place – an outdoor shopping world in Dedham, MA – and maxed out my credit card in celebration. Okay, fine, I didn’t max out my credit card… but I did purchase ultra necessary things… such as 2 nice bras from Victoria’s Secret (needed), an arm band for my iPod so I can start to run outside (also needed), and foundation & bronzer from Sephora (very much needed). I then left in a hurry, upset and happy about the damage I had just caused to my bank account. I was then able to spend the rest of my day cleaning and working out – two very productive things.

What I have realized is that Jury Duty is not a bad thing. Sure it interrupts your life for a hot minute, but it’s pretty much a day off from reality (unless you get on some wake-up-call-criminal-trial). Anway, you go sit in a chair for a few hours… and if all the cases are settled, you can go home. And if not, you might have to go serve on a jury and decide someone else’s fate. Whatever.

What I learned from my day at Jury Duty:

1. Wear whatever you want… One girl was in sweatpants and one man was in a suit and tie. I wore jeans and a tshirt. It doesn’t matter if you make yourself look trashy or wealthy – they don’t care.

2. You’re most likely going to be sitting (in an uncomfortable chair) for hours. They had the Today Show on the TV, but make sure to bring snacks, books, magazines (they had tons of magazines there for people to read – like a doctor’s office), your PHONE, and whatever else you may use to occupy your time with… SUCH AS this next one…

3. You can bring your computer. When I got there, some people were sitting at tables with their macbooks out. WTF, I didn’t get that memo. Some guy was watching a movie. Other people were working (come on people, it’s an excused day off from work, duh).

4. Most cases that call jurors in the day before will not happen.

5. No one talks to anyone. However, you can use your phone and talk to people out in the hall.

6. You have to pay for parking ($5) – in cash only.

7. If they have tables set up, SIT AT A TABLE. It will be way more comfortable than sitting in a lone chair in the front row, as I did.

8. You will most likely be out of there before 12pm – lunch is between 1 & 2… so if it’s approaching 1 and nothing has happened yet – nothing will probably happen at all.

9. Being a student is not an excuse to get out of jury duty (at least in the state of Massachusetts) (and not that I’m a student anymore… unfortunately)

10. Anyone can get summoned for jury duty… Even this cat:

Hate your job? Jury duty is a day (or more) off from it. Don’t have a job? Here is something to occupy your time with! Oh, and if you get on a longer trial, you might even start to get a little compensation. Love your job? Umm, everyone needs a day off. Enjoy your time off, wtf. Good thing you can bring your computer, I guess.

Samantha Matt

Hi I’m Sam. I made this website in 2011 and it’s still going. My first book, AVERAGE IS THE NEW AWESOME, is coming out in January (you can buy it right now on Amazon or from your fave bookstore!). I like pizza, French fries, barre, spin, more pizza, more French fries, and buying clothes. Writing is fun. Follow me on twitter & Instagram at @samanthamatt1... and on this site's meme account on IG at @20somethingproblems. OKAY GREAT THANKS BYE.

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