Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Thoughts From the Jury Assembly Room

I am sitting in a jury assembly right now waiting to see if I get put on a jury panel.  Although I dreaded coming in for jury duty, it really is not all that bad.

The worse part of it by far is the sitting and the waiting.  I had to be here at 7:45 a.m. (which is early for me) and since that time I have had to sit here and basically do nothing.  But it could easily be worse.  Lucky for me, they have Wi-Fi access in the jury room.  So I've been able to pull out my laptop and get a little surfing done.  I'm even able to do a little bit of blogging.

Of course, one can only surf so much before one gets bored out of his mind.  So while this is OK for now, I could not imagine having to do this for several days in a row.  Lucky for me, the Los Angeles County Court system has a one day, one trial policy.  That is, if you do not get called for a jury on your first day, you are done with your jury service.  Similarly, as soon as you serve for one trial, you are done with your service.  This is a big improvement over the previous system where people have told me they had to come in for two weeks in a row and just sit and do nothing.  That would suck.

The one thing that this experience is making me realize is that I am glad I have my job.  There are lots of job which are as interesting as sitting in a jury assembly room.  You do nothing all day but watch the paint dry or wait for someone to ask you a question.

Sitting and doing nothing is fine for someone like me to do for a day.  It actually can be a nice little break.  But if I had to do this day in and day out, it would drive me crazy.  Few people love their job.  I am not one of them. But I at least find it interesting and challenging on a regular basis.  There are days and even weeks which fly by and seem like almost no time has passed.  I cannot imagine that happening if every day my job was to sit and wait.

I still have at least two hours to go.  Part of me hopes to just get called for a jury.  Might be more interesting than just sitting and waiting here with nothing to do.


  1. [...] more than 30 minutes after I wrote my last post and penned [...]

  2. I guess things have not changed much in LA county. I had jury duty there back in 91. Of the two weeks I was on call, 5 full days of sitting around and doing nothing, from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Yeah, I am still bitter about that after 18 years.

    Here in OC, I've been to jury duty 3 times. Showed up and signed in. Just after 30 minutes, a jury trial started right away. Twice we were sent home because the parties settled. Even on the day we had a jury panel, I was home by 2.

    I just pulled a permit from the city to build a room addition, and I could not believe how cooperative and helpful the city workers were. My property tax bill was incorrect, and several county workers got involved in fixing it. Problem handled. The department's supervisor personally apologized.

    Say what you will about the GOP stronghold full of religious fanatics here. I probably agree with you. Two neighboring counties, but they are a universe apart. Governments actually work here. And oh, we pay less in sales tax.