on my civic duty

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Last week, I was summoned to jury duty and, as expected, I will be serving for the entire month of November. See, the thing with being on a grand jury is that you serve for a minimum of 20 business days. I’ve been assigned to a group that I’ll be spending the next three weeks with and we will collectively listen to about 2-6 cases a day and decide whether there’s  enough evidence in each case to move to trial.

It’s my first week in and I’m exhausted. I come home and my body is screaming, “BED!” I wake up the next morning and my body is screaming, “Back to BED!” It’s the change of daily pace that has taken a physical toll on me, not to mention, the daily pain-in-the-ass commute. On the other hand, listening to these criminal cases is fascinating! While it is draining, it’s completely gripping and I find some of the stories stick with me long after.

But since I can’t actually talk about the them, I decided to jot down some of my (somewhat) non-case related jury experiences:

  • The first day, I brought my own lunch (a sandwich and an apple) while everyone else in my group went out to eat. After telling Bob this, he laughed and immediately deemed me the “lunch nerd of jury duty”. But hey, I’m owning it.
  • I was munching on pomegranate seeds and the woman sitting next to me was absolutely baffled that I was eating the seeds and not spitting them out. “Are you supposed to do that? I don’t think you’re supposed to eat the seeds”, she said to me, rather concerned. To which I answered, “Oh, you can eat the seeds.”, which then prompted two other jurors to turn around, look at me incredulously and say, “You eat the seeds?! I’ve never heard of such a thing!”
  • One useful thing I’ve learned: When taking money out of an ATM machine, pull on the card reader first to make sure a skimming device (a criminal tool that reads your card’s info) isn’t attached. It’s usually fastened with magnets. Obviously if it comes off, don’t run your card through it.
  • There have been a lot of The Rural Juror jokes around these parts. Just so you know.
  • Being on jury duty has been a hard lesson in “unplugging” aka there’s no Wifi and this is troubling me greatly.

So now I ask you this: to eat the seeds or not to eat the seeds? Where do you stand?

10 responses to “on my civic duty”

  1. Cecilia says:

    if you don’t eat the seeds, what do you eat? :)

    Anyway, this things abous jury is faschinating for me, as in Italy the jury is only made of judges. Tell us more about your experience! :)

  2. Laura says:

    I’m with Cecilia. I thought the seeds are the only parts you can eat?!

    Goodness, jury duty for 20 days or more? That would be exhausting. Especially not having breaks to check your phone. I would never make it through a work day without checking my phone here and there. I bet you’ve got some interesting stories!

    • Jillian says:

      That’s EXACTLY what I said! Apparently, they suck the juice and spit the seeds out. But I think that’s such a tedious way to eat it, right? For that, just buy the Pom Wonderful juice.

  3. Lena says:

    A MONTH?! Wow! But it certainly sounds like it’ll be a month of great storytelling material!

  4. ashley says:

    These people don’t know what a pomegranate even is. Of course I eat the seeds!

    I’ve been on a jury (not a grand one, though) and I also thought it was fascinating! Bombs, depression medication, crying on stand (obvs I can talk about mine now).

  5. Lauren says:

    Cecilia echos my question, if you don’t eat the seeds, what do you eat? 😉 My husband is on jury duty now, but it’s plain old circuit court and he has only had to show up one time. You got the short end of the stick darling, but good on you!

    I can’t wait for all the good stories once all is said and done!

  6. rooth says:

    Oh good for you on doing your civic duty! And I just had the pomegranate seed discussion today as well – I eat them but my parents spit them out

    • Jillian says:

      Hmmmm, I wonder if it’s a generational thing then? The women that were shocked by me eating the seeds were all over 40.

  7. Emily Smith says:

    Ya, you definitely eat the seeds… common’ now! 😉

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