The notation on the official-looking letter I received a couple of weeks ago told me all I needed to know about what was inside:
Today I had the privilege of showing up at the County Court House in Clayton to be in a pool of potential jurors. I was actually excited to go do my civic duty, because it had been a long time. I served on a jury in 1981, but the next two time I was called (in the mid-1990s) I had obligations that kept me from serving.
This morning the alarm went off an hour earlier than it usually does. I showered, ate breakfast, made my lunch, and packed a tote bag with the food, a water bottle, my Kindle, my iPad, and the crossword puzzle page from the newspaper for the waiting around I knew I would have to do. My summons told me to arrive at 8:30. That's right in the middle of morning rush hour. I wasn't sure how long it would take to drive there, so I left the house an hour early. It took me less time to reach Clayton than I thought it would, but I burned up the rest of the hour getting into the juror parking garage. By time I walked to the courthouse and went through the metal detector at the door I was right on time. I joined a long line of people waiting to be checked in, then took a seat in the assembly room. By 8:45 the room held a couple of hundred people.
Fifteen minutes later a judge came in and addressed us. He explained how important it was that we were there, and talked about the nuts and bolts of the day. My summons said I would be there for two days. However, the judge said that if it's determined that no more jury trials will be starting during that period they'd dismiss us after the first day. I also knew from Hubby Tony's jury duty experience last year that the dismissal could come at any time during the day.
All in all the morning was pretty boring. At 9:45 they came and got a panel of 36 people. At 11:15 they took a larger group of 50 people. By then (thanks to my early breakfast) I was hungry and started nibbling on my lunch. At 11:45 they dismissed us to go to lunch, warning us to be back at 1:30. My lunch was already gone, so I used the time to take a brisk walk. I had just gotten situated in my seat again at 1:40, when they announced there were no more jury trials scheduled and we were free to go.
Although I was sad I wasn't going to be able to do my civic duty, it was nice to be able to get out of the area before rush hour hit.
Five years ago today: If Only My Crystal Ball Had Been Working