I’m on my fourth stint of my life on jury duty at the moment. I’m writing this from the big waiting room on the fourth floor of the Justice Center in downtown Cleveland.
The first time I was down here, sometime in the early nineties. I spent the week in this room back before cell phones and pervasive internet access. The entire week I was down here I was called to a courtroom once to be removed in voir dire. That was the extent of it — a week of reading.
The second time lasted only a few hours. At the time I was living in Lake County and was called tor jury service. I had gotten a letter from my employer asking for a deferral. I handed it to the bailiff and sat down. That’s right around the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center. I got the deferral and learned about the events on my drive home. Even if I were there I would have been sent home.
The most recent time I did this around two years ago I cleverly hed things rescheduled for the week of Thanksgiving. The five day service was truncated to only three due to the holiday. I wound up sitting on a case that we as a jury could not come to a consensus on. I wound up learning a lot about the legal system that time. It was a worthwhile use of time I think.
This time, waiting for my name to get called, I’m ready to serve again. On top of it I’m using this as a convenient way of showing my employer that we are woefully understaffed — that when I’m not working things grind to a sudden and nearly complete halt. I’m hoping this lesson will make things better for me and everyone else in our office.