But some jurors were more impressed than inconvenienced by the fact that Obama showed up to perform his civic duty.
Obama - wearing a dark sport coat, dress shirt, but without a tie - waved to people who gathered outside after hearing reports that he would be reporting for jury duty.
FORMER US President Barack Obama rubbed shoulders with ordinary Americans as he reported for jury duty earlier today.
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"It shows us all that I don't have a good excuse and it's an important duty for all of us", first-time juror Walter Palmer told ABC Chicago affiliate WLS.
Obama now lives in Washington DC, with his family, so it's probably time to change his address. Walter Palmer was summoned for jury for the first time Wednesday. The official, who is not authorized to speak about the former president's jury duty, spoke on condition of anonymity.
Thomas Pearson, who took the video and called the experience of shaking hands with Obama "the best thing I experienced in my entire life", said he wasn't going to show up for jury duty until his mother texted him that Obama would be there.
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Eventually Obama was placed on a jury panel, but when that panel wasn't needed he was allowed to go home.
Cook County pays jurors a rate of $17.20 for each day of service, and Evans said the court will be sending Obama a check, adding that his staffers indicated that the former president will likely donate his earnings. He also was not selected. In 2004, Oprah Winfrey was on a Chicago jury that convicted a man of murder.
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