I recently had the pleasure of being Summoned for Federal Jury. Yes, pleasure.
I’m not going to lie, going in I was torn between wanting to be sequestered and not wanting to go at all.
Since I do not know another soul in my inner circle that has been called for such a special duty, off I went. Not sure how I hit this lottery, but I’m glad I did.
As you know, Federal Courthouses have very intense security systems in place. I thought this was due to things like terrorism, however, now I’m not so sure. It’s all about the power of the wand.
On day one I put my belongings into the designated bucket, walked through the metal detector, and heard the Marshall say, “Whoa I was expecting sparks when you came through!” Of course, I thought he was referring to my dazzling personality …. he was not.
You’re required to serve for two days, so on day two I wore less dazzle.
This time, I was given the once over with the wand, instructed to sit in a chair, and had my boots felt up so thoroughly I felt dirty, weirdly satisfied and craving a cigarette. No dinner. No number.
Federal jury duty is indeed the country club of Civic Duty. There was a spread of food, drinks, carpeting on the floor, comfortable chairs, and cozy sitting areas. White collar crime is where it’s at!!
First up was the premier of a 5 Star video on the importance of our service. It was narrated by a local news anchor, along with words of wisdom from some senior judges. Oscar worthy … really.
Next, Carol the court clerk explained all the details of being paid for our time. We would be reimbursed for everything under the sun and then some in addition to our guaranteed $45.00 per day. Cha-ching!
I did not get selected on day one which meant I sat, waited and was bored out of my mind. I should have brought a bigger book!
What’s a bored girl to do? Walk the halls of course.
This is where I came across the FBI’s list of the 10 Most Wanted criminals in the country. FYI: The longer you look at these photos the more you will think “I know him!”
As I was standing there trying to determine if #6 was actually the guy who lives down the street, I heard “Hey are you looking to wrangle some of them in?”
Me: “That depends on what you mean by wrangle.”
We both laughed and I spent way too long wondering if this guy always used words like “wrangled.”
A small group gathered in one of the sitting areas. We introduced ourselves and became fast friends. It was like a cocktail party without the cocktails on the government’s dime.
Our group was a very mixed crew coming as far as 2 hours away to Philadelphia locals like myself. My absolute favorite juror was a woman from a wealthy Philadelphia suburb named Nina. Interesting and unintentionally hilarious were her traits.
It was about 12:45 or so when she realized we hadn’t had lunch. This is when she revealed she informed Carol the court clerk earlier that she is accustomed to eating lunch at 11:30. I burst into laughter assuming she was kidding … she was not.
After my awkward “oh I thought you were kidding apology ” I gracefully informed her that Carol is wearing a cow neck and a hair mane from the 80’s … she doesn’t care when you eat. Nina was not having it.
We all watched as Nina marched right over to remind Carol that it was long past her lunch time. This is when belief met disbelief…I’m still laughing.
The only one in our group to be chosen to serve was Tom a/k/a #79. He was a “survivalist” from a small town in upstate Pennsylvania. Think Rambo.
He wore head to toe camouflage gear both days, was able to profess love for his grand babies and describe how to break a neck without missing a beat. Intrigued is an understatement.
As for the rest of us a/k/a #’s 31, 43, 77, & 92, well, we went to a much needed lunch, exchanged emails and hugged our goodbyes.
Good energy is contagious … Enjoy the Ride!