Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Back In Texas, I'm Number Two

Our Thanksgiving trip entailed a ton of driving and other stuff, which I'll detail soon.
I averaged maybe 4 hours of sleep per day, with long stretches of none.
So imagine my delight at having to serve jury duty on my first full day back.

The Bexar County Courthouse is great, as are the people who run things.
No complaints there.
It was just the idea of getting up really early and off-schedule yet again, then sitting on my tired old butt for another full day that made me sad.

After 2.5 hours of boredom I was trying to keep from snoring when the guy next to me started a conversation about my book.
Terrific--a new best friend. Just what I need.
He had never heard of author Elmore Leonard (Seriously? Must be a heavy rock you live under) so I opened up to the page with "Also By..." and pointed out the ones made into movies like 'Mr. Majestyk' and 'Get Shorty', among others.
Right then the bailiff started the first real action of our day by announcing that they were assembling two 20-person jury pools who would meet in the hallway.

Mi amigo kept talking at me, so I almost missed it when my name was just the 2nd one called that day.
Wow--a huge surprise. So soon!?!
Also a mixed blessing--easy instant escape from Lenny Chunkbutt, but what if I end up on a long trial that jacks my entire holiday plans?

So the 40 of us line up in order out in the hallway (I'm still #2, hehe) and it's explained to us that we've been selected to provide two juries for 2 different courtrooms...pause...pause...BUT that because the threat of a actual jury trial has come along this far, both sides have suddenly settled.
Sweet relief on the part of everyone.
As soon as we can trade our juror badges for a card certifying that we've fulfilled our obligations, every man woman and idiot among us is free to go. Again, I was #2.
I liked the part where they said "...you can go to work or back to bed. Your boss has no way of knowing you got off so early".
Like I said, the folks who run things at the courthouse are great.
Funny, honest, friendly, helpful--typical San Antonians.

I was starting my truck for home by 11 AM, and am looking forward to spending my $6 check on beer once it arrives.

Want to point out that I really did enjoy the educational aspects, and was honored to participate in our court system yet again.
The only reason I sound at all cranky was that I've been living on a 3rd shift kind of schedule for most of my life so mornings aren't my strong suit by a long shot, especially when I'm completely wiped-out from the previous week of hard travel and minimal sleep.


Dave said...

I have to admit that, in spite of the disruption to the routine, I have never felt overly burdened by doing jury duty in Bexar County. Of course, the only time I was actually selected for a jury, it was short and sweet (the defendant was clearly guilty of being insane)and I was done by the end of the day.

We'll see how Bexar Country compares to Medina County once I get the letter calling me for duty out here.

Albatross said...

I've done jury duty several times, and I've been on many panels, but I've never actually been selected for a jury. (Must be the eager way I answer the lawyers' questions!)

Actually your #2 selection might have been a hindrance to your holiday plans if you had gone to the selection phase. The last time I was on a panel and was answering questions, one of the lawyers told us that -- once they had deselected a certain number of people -- they would most likely just go down the line and take the first twelve. I was #26, so I wasn't too worried. And, sure enough, I went home before the noon hour.