It happens to all of us at some point in our lives — we all get called for jury duty. I had to serve last week in New York City and I tried to make the most of the slightly irritating and inconvenient task. Here’s some ways that you can do the same:
Take yourself out to lunch: When do you get an entire hour to yourself to eat and relax? The thing about government agencies is that they are very strict about their break times and their lunches. They will have you out to lunch at 1pm on the dot. So take advantage! Do a little prep work beforehand and find some yummy options near the courthouse where you’re assigned.
Learn something: Paying attention to the videos and handouts never hurts. You might even learn a thing or two about the legal system that you didn’t already know from watching Law and Order or My Cousin Vinny. Or if you’re not into law — get some mp3s that will teach you a foreign language. Might as well get something out of the time while you’re waiting to be called for a trial.
Catch up on some reading: It can often be tough to find time to read newspapers, magazines or a good book when you’re on your regular routine. I’ve said so many times, “I wish I had more time to read.” Well in jury duty — you have that time and are even expected to keep yourself busy by reading. So do it.
Great writing: Whether you have thank you cards, wedding invitations or Christmas cards to write this is a great time to get these tedious tasks finished. You can write a letter or email to an old friend or family member as weel. Or maybe you’ve had an awesome idea for a story or book — now you can devote some time to getting your thoughts down on paper.
Start a conversation: In NYC people tend to keep to themselves but this isn’t always the case. Chat up the person next to you — you never know what you might have in common. Making a friend could make this experience a lot more tolerable. And who knows — maybe you’ll stay in touch after this is all done.
Research your next vacation: What better way to escape a dingy government building than by daydreaming! Think up your next vacation and price out hotels and airfare with your Smart phone or laptop. Most jury duty locations provide free WIFI these days. Take advantage of it!
Do nothing: When was the last time you did that? Just sit and relax — you’re being paid for it!
Be thankful for your job: Imagine if this was your job everyday? Just sitting around and doing nothing? I know that would drive me nuts. Take this time to be thankful for the job you have and return with a newfound zest after your jury service is complete.