10 Things I Wish I Knew About Jury Duty

Grace, Faith, & Glitter | 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Jury Duty

Photo Credit: Creative Commons, Phil Roeder

I used to think serving on jury duty was the most joyous occasion & the highest privilege of a citizen of the United States of America. I never understood why so many people dreaded getting that letter in the mail. The day I got my letter, you would have thought Publisher’s Clearing House just knocked on my door. But I guess you could call me a bit brainwashed, because let me just tell you, jury duty was NOTHING like I thought it would be. NOTHING!!

So if you’re anything like me, naive to the reality of how the government works & eager to serve jury duty, let me just share with you 10 things I wish I had known before I served on jury duty. And maybe, just maybe, when you get that letter in the mail, you’ll be better prepared rather than going in thinking your day is going to be filled with butterflies & giggles.

1. There is a high chance you will be there ALL day!
I was there for 11 hours. Ten of those hours were spent sitting in a waiting room doing nothing. 90% of jury duty is a waiting game. Waiting to be placed in a jury group, waiting to be called into court, waiting to be called back into court, waiting to be selected, waiting, waiting, and more waiting.

2. Bring lots of things to do
Don’t try to pack light. Bring a big bag full of things to keep you entertained. Fill your iPad with movies or TV shows you’ve been meaning to watch. Bring your laptop to work on your blog. Pack your knitting needles & get ready to knit 3 sweaters. What I’m trying to say is over-think this & try to fit everything you could possibly need to keep yourself entertained.

3. Bring snacks
If you’re someone that likes to snack like me, you’re going to want to splurge on your favorite goodies & count it as a reward for serving your country’s judicial system. You just can’t bring them into court with you!

4. Make a friend or two
The day might have gone by faster if I made a friend or two. But being the introvert that I am, I opted out of that idea & tried to keep to myself. I did sort of make one friend, but only because she kept talking to me when I was trying to read.

5. Be ready to encounter dumb people
Unfortunately, serving on jury duty does not require you to have any kind of common sense. With that said, you will encounter people that will cause you to question the whole judicial system. Just count this as an opportunity to put your patience to the test, because trust me, you will want to punch a few people in the face!

Grace, Faith, & Glitter | 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Jury Duty

Photo Credit: Creative Commons, Phil Roeder

6. Court is nothing like what you see on TV
It’s all a lie! Court is really boring and not so animated. At least from my experience! I even went in prepared for this truth & I was still disappointed! The case I was on was “interesting,” but there was no real drama in the courtroom banter.

7. Being there does not mean you will be serving on a jury
I was there for 11 long hours, and I was not selected to be on jury duty. But after the first 5 hours, I’ll be honest, not being selected was my main goal. I just wanted to get out of there. And it for don’t get selected, don’t take it personally. It’s not about you, it’s about them.

8. Bring a charger for each of your devices
You will be using your iPhone & tablet pretty much the whole time unless you’re the kind of person who enjoys being unplugged. Not I! I found a plug near me & claimed my territory in a quickness. Sure, if I was well charged I’d allow someone to charge their device at my outlets, but yes, I claimed them as my outlets!

9. Be ready to play musical chairs
Don’t get comfortable in your seat when you first get there because you’re going to change seats a good 5 times before you settle into “your” spot. They do this to get you in your appropriate jury group. Just be sure you pay close attention when your name is on the screen & follow the directions, or you will become one of those dumb people I mentioned on #5.

10. It is not as magical and exciting as I thought it would be
I know I was naive to think that jury duty would be this awesome experience that I would never forget. I should have listened to the groans of my fellow citizens. But you know what? If I did, there would still not have been a thing I could have done about it once I got that summons letter. Hence, why I am writing this blog post. To prepare you for when you get that letter! We live in an amazing country where we have the opportunity to do something like this. So, I guess I should count this experience & opportunity as a blessing and whatnot, and stop complaining. But you best believe, if I get another summons, I will be better prepared & ready to serve my country.

Grace, Faith, & Glitter | 10 Things I Wish I Knew About Jury Duty

Photo Credit: Creative Commons, Phil Roeder

Been on jury duty? Share your experience! Got any tips I overlooked?