Thursday, July 19, 2012

People come, people go.

Had a volunteer appearance in traffic court s'morning. No drama, just a morning at the criminal courts.

Saw this bit of copper scrubbing pad on the sidewalk under the freeway near the Hall of Justice. It means that, this morning, someone was fiddling with drug paraphernalia either on the way in to court or on the way out of jail. Wondered which.

Billboard opposite the courthouse was advertising a yogurt product endorsed by the U.S. Olympic Team. Billboard had a chiseled-jaw Olympic competitor standing at attention in that old Soviet-style upward-looking stance, pressing a tub of yogurt to his heart.

Went in the doors, over to security. Belt off, jacket off, everything into the bin. A deputy was pushing bins through the machine with a hospital-issue metal walking cane, the adjustable kind. Wondered who left it there and why.

While I was putting my belt back on, I overheard two ladies chatting on their way out,  I think they're civilian SFPD staff. One saying to the other she had been there 22 years. I guessed she was talking about retirement. She said, "I'm not going to die in this job. I've got things to do..."

Guy dressing next to me at the post-security table saw a funny look on my face, or anyway looked at me funny. I explained what the woman had said, about not dying in her job. He wasn't impressed.

Went upstairs. Found the two traffic courtrooms walled off with plastic, under renovation. Think I remember those courtrooms being renovated the last time around 1994. I've watched them wear out all over again.

Went to the substitute courtroom. Yesterday's calendar was still posted so today's defendants couldn't look up their calendar numbers before coming in. That's rare. Maybe something to do with the short-staffing. There was a brief court staff strike this past Monday.

After court, spent the rest of the morning kibbitzing over two potential due process problems, one very likely related to court budget cuts.

Hall of Justice. Like the man says in Grand Hotel, "People come, people go. Nothing ever happens."

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