Monday, November 9, 2009

Jury Duty

This week I'm at Jury Duty. I can't tell you how much better this experience has already been compared to the last time I had Jury Duty.

Before Nik and I bought a Condo four years ago and moved to the middle of nowhere, we lived in Hudson County, NJ. Jury Duty in Hudson County was a miserable experience. Driving there was a nightmare, finding parking was a nightmare, everyone around was mean and rude and everything you looked at, touched, or sat on was dirty. They made you sit in a room and they pretty much left you there to rot. I did get called into the court, but didn't get put on a trial. That pretty much sums up my first Jury Duty sentence.

There is a world of difference between that and this. Where I live now (in the middle of nowhere), the court house is located in a pretty little town not far from where I live. They have a parking garage that we can use free of charge. They greeted us with smiles and hello's when we came in. They provided us with an entire orientation in which we watched a video all about Jury Duty and then a nice woman proceeded to tell us all about what we can expect and answered all of our questions.

This woman covered everything you ever wanted to know about Jury Duty. When I did this in Hudson County I was completely clueless. But here, wow, she covered everything from where the bathrooms are to how much we will get paid to how long a trial might last. She told us she would keep us updated throughout the day about which trials are in the court and whether they settle or whether they will need a Jury. She told us she would tell us when the court is done for the day so that we could leave early. She told us we have AN HOUR AND A HALF for lunch. She told us where we could go for lunch, what was good in the area, and that there is a refrigerator and microwave in a nearby room.

But wait, there's more. She told us to take our jackets if we get called to court because it might be cold. She told us to feel free to talk on our cell phones while waiting to be called to court. She told us to make sure to tell the Judge if we have a hardship of some kind and therefore can not serve on a trial. Vacations actually count has hardships.

I distinctly remember that last time I was called for Jury Duty, everyone got piled into a stuffy room in which we had to sit in horribly uncomfortable chairs all day long. Each person was practically stacked on top of the next.

Here, not only are we in a nice bright room that use to be part of a church, but we have very comfortable chairs, tables with outlets for lap tops and a Plasma TV. There are plenty of seats so that everyone can spread out.

The orientation covered so many details, that she even told us the history of the building we are in. She went so far as to tell us about the architecture, the stain glass windows, who the artist was and that the colors are no longer used. This building is apparently very special and she seems to have a passion for talking about it.

Where I am??? This can't be Jury Duty, can it???

It seems like I'm on a business trip or something. I'm about to start a training or a conference. Aren't people suppose to dread Jury Duty? Well, I'm not. But, let's see how this goes.

I'm interested to hear what your experience with Jury Duty has been. Please, spill the beans!

Preview for next time . . . Christina is standing on her own now and even took a couple of steps over the weekend. I'll tell you all about it and I have video!

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