Friday, September 15, 2006

They also serve...

originally uploaded by wit
I've done a lot of standing and waiting this week. I was called for jury duty and was asked to report to the Sheriff court on Tuesday morning. Three hours of standing about later we were told we could go, but that we should come back on Wednesday. Wednesday, same thing. Thursday, only half an hours wait this time. Thankfully, we were told last night that we were no longer required. :-)

I should have spotted the proximity to SETT and made my excuses when first told I was being called. However, although I checked my timetable to see my classes could be covered, I stupidly didn't check my diary. (I'm co-presenting Creating Communities with Ewan McIntosh on Wednesday morning at SETT next week.) As it turned out, I didn't get a chance to make my excuse in person as both trials I could have been called for were postponed.

It was an interesting experience although I would have preferred comfier seats outside the courtroom (there were only hard, marble benches) and a bit more information from the court staff would have been good (e.g. "It'll be at least half an hour before we know if we'll need you. Why not go for a coffee."). I was impressed however that about 45 people came out three days in a row to wait outside a courtroom despite not getting paid to do so and presumably at some inconvenience. There also seemed to be a real cross-section of society - from an hairy biker in leathers to a balding fat man in a suit (me!).

To get to the court I took a footbridge across the Clyde. On Wednesday, as you looked up river to the east, it looked fantastic. The low sun created a shining path up the middle of the river that was stunning to see. I whipped out my digital camera to record it, but the batteries were dead. Scunner! By Thursday we were back to a more typical driech drizzle and although I now had recharged batteries, it didn't look as good, so I just kept my head down and hurried over towards the court.

I spent about six and a half hours hanging about but I had my laptop with me so the time was not completely wasted. I said I'd write a couple of chapters for the second edition of Coming of Age, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but I was struggling to meet the deadline for the first drafts. However, it is amazing what you can get done when you are free from the distractions of the office (email, telephones, students, scones, ...). As a result, I should have something to send Terry tonight. :-)

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