Monday, March 16, 2009

Jury Duty

(Back after a long break... don't let me leave you again!)

Jury Duty. 40 people sit. Mostly quietly. The oldest man in the room, in his late sixties, is the biggest violator of the no cell phone rule. His loud voice echos through the room as others exchange annoyed glances. One guy snores. Magazines and newspapers are pulled out. But mostly, pure boredom.

The group is ethnically mixed, but the audience outside the jury room is a stark contrast. Most potential jurors are middle aged, only a few over 60, and fewer under 30.

The one lone staff member is a robust African American women who is very sweet, calls everyone "my friend." But the smile sees forced and she is clearly overworked and exhausted. Her voice falters as she gives the continued announcements, stating "I have to say this because it is on my script." She takes her job very personally and seriously. We are "her jurors."

One small joke gets a weak laugh from the bored civic slaves; we look at each other and wonder what we did to deserve this.

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