Jury Duty

Official seal of City of Fort WorthMy name is Katie Pool. I am an account executive here at The Starr Conspiracy.

Last week, I was summoned to jury duty. Just seeing the summons in my mailbox made my blood pressure rise.

  1. I was called in San Antonio and got out of it because I don't live there anymore. But the system said, “Screw you, Katie, you’re serving.” Seven days later, they called me in Fort Worth. Touché.
  2. This is the third time I’ve been called since I turned 18. I’m 23. My 28-year-old brother has never been called.

Day 1

So I show up Monday morning at 8:30 to be crammed into a room with about 600 other people. There were no seats, so I was forced to sit on the floor between two water fountains at the back of the room.

After a 45-minute wait and some terrible excuses from folks trying to get out of serving, they began selecting people for specific cases. I couldn’t help but feel like I was back in college waiting for my name to be called to give a presentation to the class. You know the feeling I’m talking about ... so nerve-racking!

I was finally selected with 49 other people to fill out a survey and report back the following day at 8:30 a.m.

Day 2

I show up early and all 50 of us are corralled in a hallway to wait for the bailiff. She finally comes out and asks a couple of questions.

“Does anyone have any doctor’s appointments this week?”

I’m sorry, did you say WEEK?

“Does anyone plan on going out of town this week?”

Should’ve booked that trip to anywhere.

“Does anyone have any reason not to be here the rest of the week?”

Sigh.

As I’m slowly sinking into depression that I’ll be locked up for a week in a courtroom, we file in to see the judge. He smiles at us and says, “Thank you all for your honest answers on the surveys yesterday. You scared the hell out of the defendant, so he settled out of court this morning. This was going to be a two-week murder trial, but instead you get to go home.”

I took my $40 check and skipped out of the courthouse.

My thoughts on the whole thing?

Just get over it and do it. I wasted a lot of energy by getting frustrated. It wasn’t the end of the world to miss a few hours of work, I met some interesting people, I got paid and if I did actually get picked to sit on the jury, it would have been intriguing to see how it all went down.

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