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    Thursday, December 15, 2005
    Free Lunch
    Upon appearing at the brand new Supreme Court building at 320 Jay Street in Brooklyn (it just opened this past Spring) I was actually a bit excited. I was participating in our justice system. How cool is that? (yeah, I’m a dork, but you all knew that already).

    The Juror Selection Room in the courthouse is massive. With very comfortable cushioned chairs to sit in, a completely separate lounge complete with coffee, snacks, and soda, and a multimedia system throughout (with which we watched a TERRIBLE juror orientation video hosted by Diane Sawyer) I took my seat, hunkered down with my book, and got to reading.

    The Court Clerk who called the names and explained various exemptions was actually quite funny. My favorite quote being:
    The next group of people I am going to ask to step into the clerks office are those who were called to serve but who no longer live in Brooklyn. Please take out a copy of a recent utility bill, indicating your new address, and bring it into Room A. We’re also going to want a very good explanation on why the hell you’d want to leave Brooklyn.
    Ok, maybe it doesn’t sound funny now, but trust me, this guy killed!

    Once the Clerk was done calling exemptions and three different sets of jurors had been called for cases, the rest of us just sat around. This was the part of jury duty I was prepared for. I talked to my little brother on my cell for a while. Texted with the Twin. I read a LOT about Ted Williams (meanwhile, why did I never finish this book when I first started it a year ago, this thing is fantastic!). I actually started to enjoy being able to relax and just BE.

    Around 12:30 we were told we could go to lunch. We had to be back at the courthouse at 2. An hour and a half lunch? How decadent! So I wander over to TGIFriday’s. grab a seat at the bar and order myself a Sam Adams and a Chicken Quesadilla. Hey, if I’m serving jury duty I might as well indulge a little, right?

    At the end of the bar is this guy: late twenties to early thirties, Asian, missing two teeth, one on either side of his mouth, and very clearly socially awkward. He said hello as I sat down, we exchanged a few “small talk” type sentences you know, “Oh looks like it’s going to be a long day” “At least we got a long lunch” blah blah blah. His food arrives and I bow out of the conversation happy to be back reading my book.

    As he leaves, Jury Guy smiles and says goodbye. I continue eating and reading for another half hour before asking for my check. The bartender looks at me and says “It’s already been paid for.”


    If you read other female NYC bloggers, things like men buying them drinks at bars and sending them over to them seems to happen quite frequently. This is not the case with me, and probably because the bars I frequent are just not those kinds of places (who has time to buy a girl a beer when it’s a tie game in the bottom of the ninth with David Ortiz at the plate and two strikes). So not only is this uncharted territory for me, but for someone to buy my entire lunch?! And leave with nothing more than a “Bye”? I was confused. And a little bit concerned. We still had three hours left in that room, was I required now to sit with him and make completely awkward conversation? I just wanted to read and relax damnit! Clearly I needed advice.

    I called my Mom:
    “Well you have to at least say thank you!”

    I texted The Twin:
    “You are under no obligation” (Ok, well of course he was going to say that…)

    I called Meegan:
    “Oh you totally don’t have to talk to him!”

    I texted MM:
    “ No!! Play Dumb!!”

    Ok, the consensus was clear (and yes, I did need that many people). I didn’t have to talk to the guy. So back to the jury room I went. I was a little late, and sat in the second row so as not to have to walk past him, or mistakenly make eye contact. With a room as large as the one we were in, I was pretty safe.

    Then came the announcement just an hour after we got back from lunch that we were being let go for the day … and get this: Jury Duty was over! No going back for a day or five. See you in six years! They dismissed us by last name, handing us our receipts of service and off we went. Apparently Jury Guy’s last name was Chen because he was dismissed much earlier than I was. As he walked past my seat at the front of the room I said thank you for lunch, he said you’re welcome, and that was that.

    So I got to relax all day, read my book, and I got a free lunch. Who said Jury Duty was bad?!

    Labels: , ,

    posted by FINY @ Thursday, December 15, 2005  
    • At 12/15/2005, Blogger Esther said…

      That was much better than my experience. And I think I have to go back in 4 years...

    • At 12/15/2005, Anonymous mikey said…

      i say it's bad!

      once, when I lived in IL (BTW, i only lived there for like, six years, but was called for jury duty three times... WTF?), i was called for jury duty on December 30.

      you know how they put all the prospective jurors in one big room, and they call you in small groups to get interviewed? well, we all sat there for SIX HOURS and NOBODY was called. it was like the courts took the day off, but forgot to tell the jury duty folks.


    • At 12/15/2005, Blogger WelshSoxFan said…

      HEY!! I buy you beer sometimes!

      PS Can I borrow the Ted Williams book when you're done?

    • At 12/15/2005, Blogger sethro said…

      In my best Sam Elliott voice, You done good, kid. Its always appreciated when the nice thing that was done for someone is acknowledged.

    • At 12/16/2005, Blogger Meegan said…

      Much better than my jury experience, too! Who said there's no such thing as a free lunch, har har har.

    • At 12/16/2005, Blogger Derek said…

      who are these female bloggers getting drinks sent to them? i think that mostly happens just in movies.

    • At 12/16/2005, Blogger lizy said…

      you are not a dork. i too would be excited about jury duty. (but then are you really shocked by that?) :-)

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    Name: FINY
    Home: New York, New York, United States
    About Me: Just a New England girl trying to make it in NYC. Email me at: soxfaninnyc [at] gmail [dot] com
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