I am at the Montgomery County Court House jury lounge as I am writing this blog post. They first showed us a video and then a judge came down to talk to us and thank us for being there. They said it will be the whole day and we will probably be in and out of courtrooms depending on being accepted for Jury for particular cases. In some cases the case may extend for a few days. Montgomery County seems to have a system that averages 1 day 1 juror every 3 years. They will pay us $15 which we can donate to the generous Juror program which helps foster children in Montgomery county.
So far about 2 hours into fulfilling my Civic duties they have not called anyone. Last time my wife did jury duty she stayed in the lounge for pretty much the whole time till the end of the day. Iam glad I saw that they had wifi and brought my laptop along. Even if I did'nt they have some computers that people can use.
The whole process was very conversational and a lot of humor in the whole talk.One thing I can say here is that the staff were enthusiastic even though they probably do this day in and day out.
This is very different from the actual citizenship ceremony at the Immigration office in Baltimore a few years ago where the whole ceremony was conducted by staff who appeared so unenthusiastic and no one came and spoke to us. The only welcome we heard was from a broken down TV with President Bush giving a recorded message. I am ranting about this and will probably continue for many years because changing citizenship is a big decision one makes in life and I would have expected some ceremony. The way this was conducted I would rather they save money and send me the citizenship certificate and the George Bush welcome tape by mail.
I had mentioned visiting the Montgomery County courts before http://readythoughts.blogspot.com/2008/05/going-to-court-to-celebrate-montgomery.html and I am amazed by the enthusiasm of the staff that work here. There is something in the water I think that makes these people look so enthusiastic and seem to like their jobs and dealing with the public :)
I am glad the county jury lounge has wifi even if they block Twitter, Flickr and Facebook. ( I wish they would not categorize these sites as "adult"). I could catch up on Twitter using my cellphone and Summize.
I dedicate this post to the wonderful people who work in the Montgomery County Judicial system.