In case [no pun intended] you were wondering, appearing in court is nowhere as glamorous or dramatic as you might think. I thought for a fleeting moment that I would have the opportunity to fulfill a life-long fantasy to live out a Law and Order episode when a subpoena appeared at my apartment, but that dream was quickly diminished by a way-too-early morning and the growing fear of fumbling my words during the cross-examination. So. Scary.
Although I ended up worrying for no reason [something I do all too often], because I didn’t end up having to testify, here are some tips for a long wait outside the courtroom:
- Bring a book, or better yet two.
- Bring a laptop. Smart phones are great, but answering work emails over and over on a small device does a number on your fingers.
- Bring headphones. Not necessarily for yourself, but to block the sounds around you (loud music bleeding from other headphones, listeners singing along, crying babies, parents scolding children, etc.).
- Write a blog post, a letter, or that thank you note you have been procrastinating. This is a GREAT way to knock out at least 30 minutes.
- Cancel ALL appointments that day. Even if there is a glimmer of hope that you will be able to dash to a dentist appointment or make it back to the office, you won’t.
In terms of not getting to the office my day was “wasted,” but I did accomplish a few things I wouldn’t normally have been able to on a Monday morning while experiencing a side of the United States legal system. Next time I hope I will be prepared to follow my own steps 1 – 5, or better yet, there will not be a next time.