Okay, I know it's my civic duty. And I know every adult has to do it. But no matter how many cheerful videos they show me of happy jurors fulfilling their responsibility and how many reminders I get that I'm only within blocks of delicious food in Chinatown, and great shopping, I still don't like it. To me, it's still a lot of sitting around in uncomfortable chairs without my computer or cellphone, with only the occasional break to wait to see if your name is called.
On the positive side, yesterday I got to observe people from behind my dark sunglasses, seeing how they all behaved in a room full of strangers. Interesting actually. Some people made a conscious effort to talk with their fellow jurors. Others went into the "lunch room" (actually a table and chairs and two vending machines) and sat silently drinking coffee, while most read newspapers and magazines and tried to ignore the others in the room.
As a writer, observing behavior is a top priority. And, sneaky little spy that I am, I took notes. I figure I can use this info--like the guy who came all dressed up in a suit and spent the day loudly complaining about how much money he was losing every minute he was on jury duty. (As thought the rest of us were just waiting to live on that $40 a day). Or the older woman who remarked that she kind of liked jury duty because it was a change in her schedule. Or the two 18 year olds who were comparing notes on which colleges they were going to, and exchanging cell phone digits --if a marriage comes out of this one, they should get the judge in charge of jurors to marry them!)
There's a book in this jury duty thing I'm sure. I've just got to figure out where.
Ah, I'm off again to Law and Order ville in a few minutes. Wonder what kinds of people I'll see in that juror room today.,