Tests for a4j:status have been unstable for quite a while and not only on Jenkins but even when executing them locally.
It would be worth taking a look into it and re-writing them. The main trouble here is that when ajax request is active, a4j:status is rendering a .gif picture on the page. This action is very short and WebDriver is way too slow to notice the picture already appeared. Furthermore there is no way to first set up a guard and then invoke a request.
This likely means that JS tests would be more effecient, one way to do that is with Mutation Observers.
Test classes in question are:
- ITestSimple (in showcase.status package)