So I report for jury duty this morning and when I go through security check at the courthouse, the security officer asks if I have two phones in my bag. I say, “no, one is a digital recorder.” He then informs me I can’t bring it into the courthouse. Hmmmmm. OK, now what?
“Put it in your car,” he says.
“Uh, don’t have one,” I reply, chiding myself for forgetting to take the darned thing out of my bag yesterday.
Never mind that the jury notice we received in the mail pretty much begged us to take mass transit because they don’t provide parking at the courthouse. Never mind that I have six minutes to report to the fourth floor.
“The guy across the street will watch cameras and stuff,” the officer says.
“The guy across the street?” I reply.
“In Krauszer’s,” he says, clearly annoyed because he has a ton of people to screen behind me.
I walk across to Krauszer’s — for those not living in this area, it’s a convenience store like 7-Eleven — and ask the man behind the counter if he takes care of devices people can’t bring into the courthouse. He puts out his hand and I give him the digital recorder. I wait for a receipt or something and when he sees that, he throws the recorder back in my hand and snaps a la the Soup Nazi, “Then take it!”
Quickly I determine we’re on the honor system. Seeing as I have no choice, I make peace with this immediately, smile and hand it back to him.
“I’ll be back later,” I say.
Sure enough, nearly eight hours later, he handed the recorder back to me when the courthouse let out. Here’s to trust.
As my wise friend said, “Only in New Jersey.””