Today was Day 1 of jury duty in the New York State court system down on Centre Street in 10007. I won’t give any more details because… well.. maybe you’re not supposed to blog about this stuff when you’re dutying (don’t quote me on that).
I know that jury duty can be a pain. It stops your job – your life to a certain extent – as you pull it over for some poor bastard who has either been wronged or been wrongin’. Why bother? After all, you had nothing to do with their car wreck, literal or figurative.
But, me likey.
First, everyone in the jury waiting room is not a felon. Where in New York City can you go and say that with assurance? I left my bag unattended three times. Each time I came back … it was there. Love it.
Second, from a people-watching perspective, this is great theater. Most people take their duty with a certain resignation, others are putting on a show like they’ve got way better things to do…
(During a “voir dire” today, a lady next to me prepared her notes for a swanky benefit – good luck with the glitterati, doofus. She didn’t get picked. Neither did I.)
…and then there are the people who have neuroses and can’t get arrested to save themselves. If that Woody Allen look-alike I saw today could get arrested for phlegm balls, surely he would have received the “chair” by now.
I also admire the courtroom personnel. I’m not talking lawyers or judges here. I’m referencing the clerks and other courtroom attendants who take their jobs seriously and never seem to exhibit anything less than professionalism. They deal with plenty of jackasses, too. Today, I watched a guy who likes to read the New York Times and wear tweed (always a red flag) approach the jury management personnel during the orientation and attempt a question. Each time, they gave him the hand and a firm “sit down.” He deserved it. Nothing like watching the “man” (in tweed) getting told to sit down.
Today ended with me on the aforementioned voir dire for a case. Poor bastard had been wronged or so she claimed. I didn’t make the cut… I’m sure I would have found for the plaintiff. Stick it to the man, I say! Unless you’re the man!
September 6th, 2007
Entry Filed under: East Village, New York City