Monday, November 26, 2018

Long Hauls

Tray table on my last flight.
QOD: Do cloistered monks get called to jury duty?
I had jury duty today, which meant a rush hour drive to the county seat in Media.  They had 650 jurors on standby, they called 85 of them in.  I was...number 84.  But only about 60 people showed up, more women than men, more my age than younger, not very diverse even for this not so diverse county. Which made me wonder what the overall stats were.

There was a lot of waiting for a trial scheduled to start today. We got oriented. We filled out another form or two. We got an hour break. We came back. We waited for 45 minutes and then got a 2 hour lunch break. At 2:30 they warned us the cafeteria was closing, in case you wanted another snack. There was more waiting. Then we were thanked and sent on our way.

It struck me that this experience was a lot like a long haul flight in a really wide-bodied plane where the court officers were the flight attendants. We were 60 strangers packed into a tight space with limited bathroom access. The orientation videos included evacuation procedures, and a bright message from the people in charge, encouraging us to explore the features of our 747...uh courthouse.  Like flight attendants, the jury staff were attentive to what comforts they could provide, but also like flight attendants, this was not their real job. And we got regular updates from the flight deck - or rather the judge's chambers on the delay.

It was a lot like flying Southwest.  Choose your own seat. Friendly staff doing their best to get you from one end of the day to the other without anyone melting down.  Bonus: I got to watch the Mars landing — which I would have missed if I'd been teaching.


  1. Is this an example of Advent "waiting"?

    1. It came before Advent, but definitely had overtones of Advent!