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Juror #113

In the 14 years of being eligible for jury duty, I have never been picked. Is this truly a system based on random selection? I would have won the Power Ball jackpot by now if I was playing every time they needed a juror.

I’m like the last kid getting picked for a team. They are actually going back and picking previously-chosen players, such as my mom, dad and even Jason.

It’s personal now. What was I not good enough to sit on a jury? Are there certain juror standards that I wasn’t living up to? Just give me a chance.

After work, I went to our mailbox and there it was waiting for me. No, it wasn’t anything that I needed to call the bomb squad about. It was an official document with my full name. It was a summons for jury duty. My day had come.

The letter informed me that I would have to call on Thursday after 4 p.m. to see if they need Pool Group #GR08. They may need me to call back several more times before they tell me whether they need me.

I write on every calendar Ican find in bright red ink, so I will not forget to call. That’s the last thing that I need; is to have a bench warrant out for me for failure to appear for jury duty under S. 756..30, Wis. Stats.

I play it cool and I call at 4:08 p.m. the recording tells me that #GR08 must call back Sunday evening at 6 p.m. All other groups are dismissed. I made it to round two! Is this what it feels like to be told “You’re going to Hollywood” on American
Idol?

Friday, I inform my boss and co-workers that I might have jury duty; and have everything ready in case I will not be in on Monday. Sunday night I promptly call the number. The recording informs me that Jurors 1 to 315 will need to report to the court house promptly at 8:15 a.m. And also suggested to leave early due to protesters at the Capitol. I’m juror #113.

Everyone that I know gave me what they call helpful tips on being rejected as a juror, such as say I’m breastfeeding, suggest that I start a congo line with my fellow jurors, show up in my Wonder Woman underroos and request to be called Diana Prince, have a pizza deliver to the jury box or wear 3D glasses and act like I have an imaginary friend and have a heated disagreement, just to name a few. But I truly think they’re just jealous.

I arrive at the courthouse 20 minutes before I needed to be there. It indeed took a while to find a parking spot due to the protesters at the Capitol and the weather didn’t help.

“Last name?” the clerk asked.

“Tyler, T… Y… L… E… R” I said.

“OK, fill out the juror information card and wear your juror badge at all times. We will be watching a short movie when everyone gets here.” the clerk said.

I tell the clerk thank you and find a seat to fill out my card. Once that’s done, I pull out my book and start reading. 8:30 a.m. rolls on by and no movie, so I keep on reading. Ten minutes later, the clerk starts the movie. The movie was informative but really boring. I had flashbacks of some of the history movies I was forced to watch in school.

Right after the movie was done, the clerk calls two groups to go upstairs to start the jury selection. I was not picked in that group, so I got my book out again and read some more.

An hour-and-half goes on by and some 40 pages read, the clerk informs us that we are all not needed and two groups will be dismissed. “Jurors with the numbers #114 to #159 are free to go.”

So I pick up my book and read some more. Another hour goes by and the clerk informs us that we will be held until the jury is picked. After they have done that we will be free to go.

Ten minutes before our lunch break and get paid for a whole day of jury duty, we were told we are free to go! And only five pages left to go on my book.

Twelve dollars later for parking and a sheet to give to my boss, my jury duty is done until four years from now when I could be picked again. Next time I might be selected. Count me in.

As Amber Tyler was writing this column, she was informed that her sister Amanda has jury duty next week. She suggested that she should bring a book.

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