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Part 2 of n

Started: 2004-04-17 19:19:12

Submitted: 2004-04-17 19:42:27

Visibility: World-readable

This changelog is the continuation of my story of jury duty at the United States District Court. Part one is here.

I returned to the jury holding area with the three other jurors who had been dismissed without cause. (I recall one guy was definitely a professional and was likely dismissed for the same reason I was; I think the other two jurors were women, and I don't recall noticing anything special about them.) We handed our cards back to the jury handler and sat down to wait for something exciting to happen. I called Gem, updated her on my status, and continued reading Eastern Standard Tribe. After forty-five minutes, one of the jury handlers called my name and said that the computer had "kicked me out" for some unapparent reason, so I could go home for the day, but I was still in the jury pool and therefore eligible to be called on Mondays throughout April. It was 1045.

I departed the courthouse and contemplated my options for getting home. The F and H bus routes I intended to take were single-purpose commuter routes, inbound to Denver in the morning and outbound during the afternoon. I walked ten or so blocks back to Market Street Station, consulted the bus time tables, and concluded my best option for returning home would be the B route heading back to Boulder. I waited a few minutes for the bus to arrive, paid my fair, and boarded.

I read Beyond Fear (which I got, at my request, for Christmas but haven't read much of) on the ride back to Louisville and wondered why exactly we were taking an obscure frontage road from Westminster to Broomfield between US 36's 104th and Wadsworth exits. (Had I been going to Boulder I could have taken the express route, which skips all the mundane non-Boulder stops, which unfortunately included the one I needed to take.) I got off at Superior Park-and-Ride, walked across the bridge over US 36, and found Lyta in the parking lot. (Since Gem was driving to Denver every day to practice for the passion play she got conscripted into, we decided she should drive Yoda, which gets better gas mileage than Lyta.) I got home around noon, ate lunch, and contemplated my options for the rest of the day. If I had gotten home in the middle of the afternoon, I would have taken the rest of my PTO day as vacation time, but since I didn't know if I would be called back, I decided to head to work for a fun-filled half-day. I changed out of my suit and back into casual business attire and headed into work.

I called the jury recording again the following Friday and was relieved to see that my name was not on the list. I called the recording again yesterday and was most unpleased to see that my name was in fact on the list again. I was only mildly annoyed to have to take half a vacation day (the first time, in fact, that I've been paid for not working) to wake up early and play a role highlighting a certain facet of my personality, but now that I showed up I don't want to have to show up again. (I tried to come up with any compelling reason I could convince myself I didn't have to show up, but nothing came to mind.) I can't help but think that the district court has insufficient respect for working professionals; it's not always easy to reschedule my work life with three working hours of notice (from when the recording comes online at 1400 to the close of business Friday, 1700), and the US$40 per diem compensation is worse than a joke compared to my salary.

I think I'll wear my suit again and try not to get picked for any corporate malfeasance trial.

You will always find those who think they know
what is your duty better than you know it.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance"