I wrote several months ago a piece on my adventures with jury duty which was subsequently lost during the explosion of this here bloggy-blog. While we have been re-posting the lost material during the weekend, when traffic is light, this particular issue has bearing on my current situation, thus we are bringing it forward into the light of a weekday. You see, less than a year after serving, I have been summoned once more to report as a jurist.
My last jaunt down this path left me in frustrated tears, and I swore I’d never do it again. To refresh your memory, read my original post below, and answer the question I pose at its conclusion in the comments.
I recently read about Kay Lynn’s jury duty adventures over at Bucksome Boomer. Actually, I lied — it’s not so much adventure as demographics, as she merely recounts mundane details like the size of the courtroom and the ages of her co-jurors. She seems to have had a good experience, and I am glad of that for her.
Jury Duty held much appeal.
I had always wanted to serve on a jury right up through the time I actually did it. A decision based on a jury of peers is so All American, and I really believe in all that patriotic kind of thing.
The following list of THINGS AMERICANS SHOULD DO TO PROVE THEY ARE PATRIOTIC proves I am an excellent citizen:
Know the words to the National Anthem and be able to belt it out, impromptu:
Always place your hand over your heart during the National Anthem
Get out and vote during elections because it’s not only your right, but your civic duty:
Post the Pledge of
Be respectful toward the presidential office, even if it’s being held by a Republican:
Hellz, I even served in the U.S. military and am married to a recovering Boy Scout. So when I say that I was looking forward to getting tagged for jury duty, you better believe it. And when I say I was heartbroken about how it turned out, you better believe that, too.
The trouble began when I first received my summons and announced the exciting news. Reception to this privilege was outrageous — most people wrinkled their noses and asked how I planned to get out of it. My employer made me feel seriously crappy for needing that day off. Nobody was impressed. But I am always on the wonky side of issues, so I figured this was just another case of Andi-Roo being a weirdo.
I did the whole parking-downtown gig (never easy with one-way streets ever-pointing the wrong direction) and found my way to the correct courtroom.
Let me tell you something:
City workers are meanie-pantses! They do not like to help you out. They do not want to answer your questions. They will not give you a chance to prove you aren’t stupid. They will, however, assume you are an imbecile and stick a mean finger in the general direction of the elevators and dismiss you like yesterday’s panties.
This, of course, only happens once you’ve actually entered the building proper. First you have to go through the metal detectors and get patted down by police people. I don’t have issues with the process — I know they are keeping everyone safe — but all I can think is, “They are looking for people with guns and knives and weapons. Someone in line with me could have guns and knives and weapons. Someone could have put guns and knives and weapons in my pocket and I might get into trouble. Oh shit, oh fuck, oh shit, oh fuck.”
I only say those words inside my head. In case you were wondering.
(I’m not COMPLETELY incompetent.)
By the time it’s my turn to be processed,
I am frightened as hellz and probably have what looks like a guilty expression spread all over my face. I’m quaking and overly apologetic and clumsy and stupid. So the city workers aren’t necessarily incorrect in assuming I’m clueless, because clearly I’ve just proven them right.
Then comes the Waiting Room,
where (still just before 10:00 a.m.), we worry about Dinner.
After a two or three-hundred-hour wait,
a uniformed individual with a clipboard starts calling off names. This weeds out the crowd a bit, since some of the names aren’t on the list. They are so excited to leave, too —- big smiles and sighs of relief and exclamations of joy that they will still be able to make it to the grocery store in time to pick up groceries for Dinner.
Because Dinner is the important factor here. No, for realz. Dinner is what influenced our jury’s decision. We came to a verdict so everyone could get home in time for Dinner. Not to serve justice. Not to name the guilty party and let the innocent go free. Not to feel the pride of having participated in one of the most awesome of American systems. Nope. We came to our conclusion because of Dinner.
Andi-Roo wasn’t worried about Dinner at 10:00 a.m., or even later, at 4:00 p.m.
Clearly Andi-Roo is psychotic.
because I was the hold-out. I was appalled and saddened and dismayed and embarrassed and ashamed and just generally overwrought. We weren’t sure if we needed a consensus, but I declared in loud, obnoxious fashion,
“I would rather rot in jail than capitulate just so your chicken pot pies can get baked!”
Side Note 1:
It’s not as though we had skipped lunch — the court skadoolie-keepers dismissed us for an hour around noon, during which time we all went out to eat. And the conference room in which we
argued conversed contained snackles and a fabulous Keurig (my first experience with such a excellent device). So these people weren’t starving. They were just selfish morons who didn’t give a shit about the case and wanted to go home.
Side Note 2:
I wasn’t holding out just for the sake of making a point. The hungry jurists were making a tragic mistake which was going to cost someone a lot of money, and I cannot abide injustice, even when it’s on someone else’s dime and doesn’t really have anything to do with me. Perhaps especially then.
So now you know my story, Jabberwockies. What do you think I should do with this NEW summons? I’d like to throw it away, in a fashion involving pretty flames, but it was suggested by a friend of mine who works in a court that a failure to appear might not be a good idea. She’s probably right. Another friend suggested claiming severe prejudice of all races, and while I think it’s a hysterical idea, I don’t think I could go through with it, since to utter such rubbish would seriously violate my personal ethics. What would YOU do? Any suggestions, my friends?