Gonna do this one day at a time. Partially because I've been too busy to just sit down and write it all out even though I keep meaning to. Also because, over all I imagine this is gonna be a long story. So here's day 1. It's Monday and the shortest and simplest day:

So I've never been on jury duty before. I'd only ever gotten one summons, and that was while I was in college and too busy to even show up. I just checked the student box and sent it back in. So I was totally interested when I got my summons. A new experience, and who knew what it might be about? Also, they pay me at work while I do jury duty. So I would get my normal pay plus whatever the county pays jurors (which turned out to be $40 a day) for just sitting around and (in my mind as I anticipated it at least) watching a live courtroom drama unfold. So I was all about it.

So they want me there at 8:30. I go into work for a couple of hours (I usually start around 6), and head over to the courthouse place a bit early, just to make sure I can find it and show up on time. I got there about 20 minutes early, and the thing started like 15 minutes late. Fortunately I brought my Kindle to keep me entertained. Ended up in a big room with about 150-200 people.

The judge came in, he was really friendly, and he started going over the various reasons that we could be excused for. As he said each reason people would go up and have a whispered conversation with him and for the most part he'd motion that they could just go afterward. Though there were a few times he'd shake his head and smile and the person would walk dejected back to their seats. Those people usually got up more than once to try different reasons. When he got to the being sick excuse he was like, "If you have the flu, for instance, I don't even want you in the same building as me. Don't come up and talk to me, just go. Please." Surprisingly, no one tried to fake that.

It's amazing how many people just either refuse to listen or really suck at it. People would walk up to make their excuses when he was on a totally different subject. He had to repeat over and over again to wait until he got to your reason before coming up, but, you know, if someone is that poor a listener or that incredibly dense, that they didn't get it after like 3 repetitions, you probably don't want them on the jury anyway.

So after they'd pruned the group down some he told us that there were two trials they needed people for, one starting that day and going for 4 days, one starting the next day and going for 3. I was sort of surprised that they could pinpoint it that accurately, but whatever. He also told us both of them would probably be pretty interesting. Maybe he says that every time. I dunno. Then he left and a woman came in and said that she'd be back in a few minutes with the names of the people who'd been chosen for the cases.

After a bit she came back and started calling out the names of people who'd been chosen for the trial starting the next day and said if our name was called we should make preparations to come back the next 3 days. Mine was one of the first few names called, and I was like, wow, that was easier than I'd been led to believe. I took the paper she handed me and went back to work.

They gave me a paper to give to my employer to prove that I'd been there so I could get paid. I showed it to my supervisor, who I'd informed beforehand, and told him I'd been there for an hour. I'd been gone from work for almost two hours, but the actual process there, not including travel time and me leaving early, was about an hour, and I didn't want to claim any time from the company that I didn't deserve. In retrospect that was a little overgenerous of me, considering how things went.

I told him I'd be gone for the next 3 days because I'd been picked for the jury but that I'd come in at the normal time each morning and work for a couple of hours since I didn't have to be at the courthouse till 8:30. Technically, if you're on jury duty for 8 hours, then the company is supposed to pay you for 8 hours of work as well. I didn't need to come in, though he didn't bother to mention that. I learned that talking to a different supervisor. In actuality though, I wanted to come in because I'd applied for a much better job with the company and was expecting to get an email about an interview that week, and I didn't want to miss it because I was gone for 3 days. Then, of course, I got the email later that day and set up the interview for that same day, since any other time they were doing interviews, I'd be in jury duty (I did ok in the interview, but found out yesterday that I didn't get the job). So I'd already promised to get up early and work 2 hours on top of the time I was in jury duty for absolutely no reason. Go me.

Also, I worked a little extra at the end of this day because I wasn't sure I'd get there exactly on time for the rest of the week and wanted a few minutes of cushion so I didn't end up with less than 40 hours (they've started measuring it down to the minute now. they used to just round to the nearest quarter hour). So I ended up working like 7.25 hours plus the hour of jury duty. Apparently, though, my supervisor decided instead of putting an hour for jury duty he'd just go into the time system and make my hours 8 total for the day. So I ended up with only 45 minutes credit for jury duty the first day and no cushion for the rest of the week. I'll admit that irked me a bit since I'd intentionally rounded down when I told him an hour and then also stayed late.

So that's day 1. I promise the other days get more entertaining. Just trying to give things order. Tune in next time for a surprisingly popular witness and to meet the rest of the cast.