I realized the other day that I never told you about my experience at jury duty a few weeks ago. Being without much knitting to show these days, it seems like a good time for this little tale.
I got my jury summons a few months ago and was not thrilled with the whole idea but knew there was no way out of it so I resigned myself to going. Then, about 2 weeks before my date I received a letter telling me I was on “standby” status. All I had to do was call a phone number after 3 pm the day prior to my appointment and find out if I needed to report or not. I was hopeful that I wouldn’t have to go because I’ve never had to before but it wasn’t meant to be and when I called the number I heard a recording telling me that all jurors had to report.
When I got home from work that night I set about starting a sock to bring with me to the court house. I wanted something very basic and the preppy socks were born. I had no worries about not being allowed to bring my knitting in with me because I had been to this very same court house just a few weeks earlier to attend an open house at the law library and while my camera and my tiny scissors were confiscated my sock-in-progress was allowed. So, even though I anticipated a long day of hanging around I was happy at the prospect of lots of knitting time.
You can imagine my horror the next morning when I got to the court house and the security officer told me I’d have to leave my knitting behind. I stared blankly at her for a few minutes and then we had a conversation that went like this:
Carole, the Innocent Knitter: What do you mean I can’t bring my knitting inside? I’ve got jury duty and that’s how I’m going to pass the time.
Bitchy Security Guard: Nope. You can’t bring it. It’s against the rules.
Carole, the Innocent Knitter: But I was here a few weeks ago and brought my knitting in with me.
Bitchy Security Guard: A few weeks ago? Why were you here?
Carole, the Innocent Knitter: I’m a librarian and I was here for the law library open house. I specifically asked the (nice, friendly) Security Guard at the time if my knitting was okay and he said it was fine.
Bitchy Security Guard: Well, he was wrong. It’s not allowed.
Carole, the Innocent Knitter: But you can bring them on a plane!
Bitchy Security Guard: Planes are different. You are dealing with criminals here.
Carole, the Innocent Knitter: But I’m not a criminal, I’m just here to do my civic duty. (Self righteous indignation setting in)
Bitchy Security Guard: Knitting needles could be used as a weapon so you can’t bring them in.
Carole, the Innocent Knitter: A weapon? What am I going to do? Give someone a splinter? Did you see these needles? They are teeny tiny pieces of bamboo. (I was losing it a bit at this point. Panic over the prospect of hours and hours with no knitting was beginning to set in.)
Bitchy Security Guard: Ma’am, you’ll have to move along now. Leave the knitting here and I’ll call upstairs and ask the woman in charge of the jury room if you can have your knitting. I’ll bring it up to you if it’s allowed.
Carole, the Innocent Knitter: Yeah, fine. Whatever.
So I went upstairs and stood in another line to be checked into the jury pool. The woman in charge up there was friendly and I had a pretty good feeling that the Bitchy Security Guard from downstairs wasn’t about to ask about my knitting so I spoke up.
Carole, the Innocent Knitter: I brought some knitting with me and the Security Guard (yes, I left off the part about her being bitchy) downstairs told me I couldn’t bring it up here.
Friendly Woman In Charge of Jury Room: What!?! (shaking head) I don’t know what’s wrong with those people down there. We go through this all the time. Of course you can have your knitting. Go on back down and get it.
Carole, the Innocent Knitter: Oh, thank you, thank you so much! I’ll be right back.
Downstairs, back at the security check point:
Carole, the Innocent Knitter: Excuse me? The lady upstairs told me to come back down and tell you to GIVE me my knitting. (I was trying to be calm but I was definitely gloating)
Bitchy Security Guard: Oh. Of course. Here you go.
And I headed back upstairs and spent the next 4 hours knitting on my sock and waiting for something to happen. Nothing did. We were all sent home without serving.
And when I walked back by the Bitchy Security Guard on my way out I showed her how much knitting I had done while waiting. Then I flipped her off. Inside my coat pocket, of course.