I rarely, if ever, say that I miss work, but last week when I was subjected to FOUR days of jury duty, I missed work. I have never been so bored in all my life! Coincidentally, I have never played so many rounds of Words with Friends (do you want to be my friend? You can find me with AlecBaldwinismyhero) sitting in the jury lounge, an area on the fifth floor of the courthouse that offers picturesque views of the city and little else.
If you have never been selected, let me paint a picture. There are magazines from 2011, vending machines with $1.35 sodas, and on any given day about fifty citizens who would rather be anywhere else. There are televisions for abc family sitcom reruns and piping in really obnoxious jazz. I watched Eddie Murphy star in ”A Thousand Words”. Twice. It was one of the featured afternoon movies.
I learned that if you moved here from Vietnam thirty years ago and didn’t bother learning English, you can get out of jury duty. I get it, in the thirty years that I’ve lived in this country I still don’t understand the foreign language that is Boy. I got hit on by a fellow juror. He was the opposite of cute so I pretended that I was really busy with my Facebook newsfeed and didn’t encourage him. I later spied him chatting up another helpless juror. How about you not troll for dates at jury duty?
I was selected as an alternate juror for a criminal case and testifying police officers helped me conjure up scenes from “Magic Mike”. As an alternate, I was privvy to the courtroom happenings until it was time to deliberate. Then, I was banished back into the jury lounge where I continued to wait for a day and a half, the time it took for the regular jury to make their decision. By Thursday afternoon, the forgotten alternate was finally sent home.
Being uptown for four days wasn’t all bad. The employees at the adjacent Cluck n Cup got to know me quite well. Every afternoon, I treated myself to a couple of their chocolate chip cookies. And on Wednesday I indulged in one of their notorious chicken pot pies.
Today, we have a staff meeting and I’d rather be at jury duty…