As you know, these days I’m sporting a new look, wearing my Oliver Peoples glasses. And regardless if I’m wearing jeans or dressing up, I have two distinct looks that work. I’m a “two” man: “too” much sometimes, “two” more, or my favorite: “to” you darling. Truth be told, the number “two” gives me great comfort when it shows up unexpectedly in my life. That said, I’ve been getting some great comments about my specs but last week’s experience serving jury duty was both unexpected and entertaining, and of course became blog worthy.
Jury service is one of the most important civic duties we can perform. So I embraced my public service, and arrived professionally dressed (wearing a sport coat) and carrying a briefcase because I’d planned to do some work while there. My assistant surprised me with The New York Times and the National Enquirer placed inside, with a Post-it note reading “relax and take the day off.” So with my Starbucks coffee in hand, I was ready to go.
Most people find jury duty to be more of an annoyance than anything else, but I embrace the task – although I still always hope to get discharged after one day. As I arrived I noticed a long line forming outside the courthouse. As I approached I was quickly addressed by a security officer, who directed me with a firm “Follow me.” Once inside, I gave my Drivers License, put my personal items in the bin and proceeded to walk through their security. As I gathered my belongings I was asked, “Do you know where you’re going, Attorney Jennings?” I replied, “Oh, excuse me, I’m not an attorney – I’m here for jury duty.” “Oh. Well, no problem you look familiar – oh, you’re the guy who’s on TV? Well, you look like an attorney today, and we never have them wait in line to come in.” Yikes, I wonder how many people think I expected that VIP treatment? But what the heck, I was already inside and I was not about to go through security again. (Although I offered to wait my turn.)
As I proceeded to the elevator a young woman walked over to me and asked, “Are you looking for your client?” “No,” I replied, “I’m here for jury duty.” Once I was on the right floor I was approached by another security officer who directed me to the courtroom floor – so I again had to explain I was there to serve jury duty! (I promise: I didn’t plan on being disguised as a lawyer!)
I took a moment and looked around and noticed jeans and sweatpants were the outfits of the day. Note to self: This would be a great place for a make-over show as there were so many fashion disasters. These people may have had their civic duty in mind, but their looks were still criminal. I signed-in and waited for my name to be called. I waited, waited and waited, and then we broke for lunch. I returned and waited. Finally an announcement: “If I call your name you’re free to go – Miller, Madison, Brooks, Jennings”… I snapped-up and asked, “Mar Jennings?” She confirmed, and I grabbed my briefcase and with the tailwinds from last weekend’s storm behind me, I took flight, happy and content that I was off the hook and free as a bird.
I was excited to be part of the system and showed my respect by dressing appropriately for the call of duty. Who knew that the right outfit could move you to the front of the line? I don’t think it’s what got me dismissed, but I’m counting it anyway. Two good reasons for sporting the right look – now how’s that for “2” much?