Jury Duty by PSC student Parvin M

18 May

Almost four years ago, I received a letter from Martinez Court to call me for jury duty. The next day, I had an English lesson with my lovely tutor, Jane, so I told her that I was invited for jury duty, and my English isn’t good enough to do that. She laughed and said, “This is a summons, and you have to go, but since you are not comfortable with your English, you can be excused with a reply on the letter.” I did so, but they didn’t accept my excuse and wanted me to go there in advance for an interview to evaluate my English. When I went there, a man who had a strong accent asked me some simple questions and said, “Your English is better than mine. You have to be present for your summons.”

The day came and I went there at 8:00 a.m. After going through security, I went to a hallway where some other people were waiting to enter the main room. The room was very big, and in the corner a young man was sitting at a desk with a computer in front of him. I went to his desk and told him that I had a problem understanding English. He said, “Don’t worry, you would be interviewed before joining the jury.” So I became more relaxed and sat in a chair. Some minutes later, a lady came in, went to a lectern, and talked to the audience. A few minutes later, a tall man came in and talked, but I didn’t understand either of the speakers. I just looked around to see what was the reaction of people and saw that they were listening and then started working on their laptops, iPads, or cellphones. I had none of them with me because I never had this experience.

An hour passed, and a person came and called some names to be interviewed. This happened three times, and I was so bored just looking around and seeing people who were busy in silence, doing their jobs. Three hours passed, and finally a person came in and said something. Then people began to leave. I asked someone if we should leave. She said, “Yes.” They had chosen whomever they needed.

I was called two years later again from S.F. Court, but fortunately they accepted my excuse.

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