On the morning I had to wake up and report for jury duty back in January, I felt like I needed to set the tone for the day. I had never been chosen for a jury before, but the idea of missing work to sit in a room downtown with a bunch of strangers all day long wasn't the most appealing thought. My original summons actually called me in at the beginning of September 2013, which was just a couple weeks before Jack was due. I turned in an excuse (I really did not want to go into labor in a courthouse and I'm sure no one else would have wanted that either). Then they sent me another summons when Jack was about 5 months old. I was still nursing, so I turned in another excuse. Then they sent me another request when Jack was about 11 months old and I called them and actually got to speak to someone! I told her I was still nursing and wouldn't be able to come in again. Well, she explained that it was too late (I don't remember the exact details), but I had to write something on the summons and mail it in. And she said the next time I got something in the mail from them I couldn't make an excuse unless I physically went downtown to the courthouse.
After reading this bit of wisdom, I looked at myself in the mirror while brushing my teeth the morning I was called in and thought to myself, "I will not complain for the next 24 hours." I made this promise to myself and made sure to pack my bag with everything I needed to keep myself stimulated for the day. I brought 2 books with me, a blank journal and also my Kauai Travelers Notebook. I chose not to take my laptop because I wasn't confident in the available wifi and I didn't want that to be something I could possibly complain or feel frustrated over. I was all set with my bag, the only thing I should have packed... my iPhone charger! (Lesson learned!)
I parked under the building and arrived with plenty of time to go through security. I found a seat in the jury waiting room at 8:25am (my summons said to be there at 8:30). About 10 minutes later, a guy near me received a phone call. He was speaking pretty loudly in Mandarin Chinese, which is a language I understand. It was not an interesting conversation to me, but one that I could hear loud and clear. So I took a deep breath and put my headphones in. At 9am, a woman got on the microphone. She answered some questions and made some announcements (you can use your cell phones, but if you receive or need to make a call, please take it outside in the hallway and not in the jury waiting room). She went over our lunch break, which was from 12-1:30. After we heard a pep talk from a judge and watched a video about our wonderful judicial system and how important our role as potential jurors were, I felt even better about sitting there. I thought to myself, "if I were accused of something, I would want a jury consisting of smart, honest, hard-working people." We were instructed to just hang out in the room until our names were called. So there I was, hanging out and then a short time later, the guy near me received another phone call. I thought hard about how I was feeling a bit annoyed that he couldn't simply follow instructions and walk outside the room and take his call. I got up and wandered around a bit and discovered a magazine rack and thought about how I would handle him if he was still on the phone when I returned to my chair.
It turned out that I didn't have to say anything to him (I swear I would have done it kindly) because he was not longer talking on the phone, but probably texting. It was awesome and then I read some magazines from over a year ago and passed the time. I texted Jamie to let her know that I get a lunch break and we had talked about possibly meeting up for lunch since she wasn't too far away. Well at 11:30 we got dismissed for lunch! She came and picked me up and we went to one of her favorite Ramen places (which is now one of my favorites too!). Then we grabbed boba tea and she dropped me back off.
The rest of the afternoon was a bit uneventful. I stayed in the waiting room and at 3:30 they announced that if the last courtroom didn't need a jury, then we would be excused. This means I wouldn't be called back as a potential juror for another year. Then sure enough, 5 minutes later, they called about 24 people and there were just 2 people they didn't call. We left the waiting room and then lined up outside in the hallway. We were given a number (mine was 9) and called into a courtroom. The judge was a woman and she explained some things to us and let us go around 4:30pm with instructions to return the next morning as jury selection would begin then.
I left and decided to stop by Michael Levine to grab some fabrics, and while I was there, a friend suggested since I was downtown already, that I should meet her at the Lexus Club at Staples for dinner at 6:30 and then stay for the Clippers game. How fun! So I got my fabrics and then had some time to kill, so I walked around and stumbled upon a super cute store called Pale Violet. I tried on some things that were on sale, but the only thing that looked great happened to be a full-priced dress in the perfect blue color. I pretty much had to get it. As I was checking out, I also spotted a fun statement necklace. Even though I could probably make one very similar, that wasn't going to happen before the game.
My seats were spectacular, just 7 rows behind Jay-Z and Beyonce. And yes, they looked very happy. You can maybe even spot them in the photo - she has WHITE on the back of her jacket. The Clippers ended up winning big. It was a jam-packed day full of fun - even the waiting around in the jury room part!
So basically the moral of the story is that not complaining for the entire day gets rewarded by hanging out with Jay and Bey. LOL. Just kidding, however, I do think there is some powerful synchronicity that happens when you make a decision to stay positive and choose not to complain for the day. Perhaps you'll try it and let me know if anything fun happens?