All Americans are required to participate in jury service at one point or another, so I knew I would be getting the call to serve eventually in Nassau County, New York.
Thousands of people serve jury duty annually, and each one of those people has family and friends who are affected by their jury service. I always knew my time would come when I would be needed to serve.
A five-day stretch
That time came earlier this month, when I received a letter in the mail that I would be obligated to serve as a telephone standby juror in Nassau County, New York, for a five-day period beginning the week of Oct. 14, 2013.
The overall process was a difficult one because it was hard to plan out the week in advance, as far as setting a balance between school, work and jury duty. I was required to call in any time after 5p.m. on the Sunday night prior to the first date I was scheduled to serve, to see if I even needed to show up for the Monday juror selection process.
Difficult to balance work and personal life with jury duty
My number was 1664, and it did not pop up on the first day I was scheduled to serve. Only numbers 1-500 needed to show up for the first day, but I had already taken off for work just in case my number did come up.
After not needing to show up for the first day I was required to serve as a standby juror, I was asked to continue to call every day after 5 p.m. until my number either came up or that a message would be posted that no more jurors would be required. By Thursday, Oct. 17, the juror telephone standby number had reached 1500, so I was almost positive that I would be needed to show up to Nassau Supreme Court the following day.
A stressful week
Much to my surprise, it was posted on the New York Court System website the following day that no further jurors would be needed.
On one hand, it was a relief that I didn’t need to actually show up to the court, but on the other side of the coin the entire week ended up being stressful because I missed a full week of work while waiting to see if I would be required to attend.