I'm halfway through my first day of jury duty and I thought I'd share my thoughts so far. While I'm not extremely familiar with downtown Tulsa normally I can find my way without too much trouble. Not today though. The street I wanted to turn down was closed for construction which led to a lengthy detour and as a result I wasn't too sure of where I was. In the end I parked (illegally) at DHS and had to hoof it back over there on break so that I could park in the correct place.
Checking in took a long time as there seemed to be at least two hundred people here, if not more. We were given instructions about the process and then people were chosen for three groups to go upstairs (we're down in the basement, just like at work) for the voir dire. That's where you are questioned and either chosen for the jury or returned to the bowels of the building to await another potential selection. At some point if not chosen and there are no more juries to be selected for the day we may be released. Basically just like the Army it's a lot of waiting.
Good points so far:
We were sent to lunch early and actually had an hour and thirty five minutes which is thirty five more than I get total for the night at work.
I was able to eat my lunch outside in the open air where the sky was blue and the temperature wasn't too bad. Well, maybe if you're walking it seems hot but not when you're sitting in the shade. Thankfully it's not as hot as it's been in recent weeks and the forecast (for what that's worth) doesn't call for a return to triple digits.
If it does get too hot while on break the wonderfully sweet air conditioning at the Central Library is waiting right across the plaza. The walk is so short you won't even break into a sweat.
I don't have to pay for parking which can really add up in downtown Tulsa and that's money I don't have to spend.
My employer pays me to be on jury duty and I don't have to use vacation time. Bonus!
I get to spend time writing (like I am right now) and reading without being constantly bombarded with questions. So while it's not exactly a vacation it is a vacation from work.
Bad points so far:
I have to get up really early in the morning to get ready, get my son ready for school and then make it here in traffic on time. I've never been mistaken for a morning person and it's a bit rough for me to be up so early.
There is a lot of waiting. After a while even writing and reading can get boring. Perhaps I'll be able to doze off for a bit and get a little rest.
That's it so far. Time will tell if I am to be chosen or if I sit here in the lower level, rejected by all suitors. Sounds like the story of my life.
Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the author.