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Friday, August 08, 2008


Jury Duty II: The Quickening

I mentioned it briefly yesterday, but it's still on my mind, so I'll go ahead and blather on about it again. I've got jury duty next week. Feh.

Originally, I was supposed to go in, I think, January. It was right in the middle of the school year, so I asked for a postponement. They postponed it until March. So March rolls around and I'm going about my March business; maybe dressing up like a leprechaun, maybe just walking around in a raincoat, I don't remember. But I'm sitting down at my desk one day and I realize that I was supposed to report for jury duty the day before.

At this point, I'm a bit panicky. Because, when you show up for jury duty and you timidly raise your hand and ask someone what's happening to all these people whose names are being called but aren't there, someone with a badge or a robe tells you, "Oh, don't worry. Anyone who skips out on this is looking at a heavy fine." Or something along those lines.

So, being on the poorish side and not wanting to have to explain to my wife that I got slapped with a $1000 fine because I'm forgetful, I dial the County Clerk's office and start begging for forgiveness and pleading with them to give me another chance. And of course the lady on the phone is like, "What? Why are you bothering me with something so stupid when I'm eating my Egg McMuffin?" I definitely got the vibe from her that the court system did not give two squirts of yak piss whether I showed up or not. It was more like, "Well okay. If you really feel the need to serve, we'll reschedule you."

And, being kind of a goody-two-shoes, or at least someone who hates to be in trouble with his employers, I went ahead and rescheduled for during summer vacation. Which means that I don't actually get summer vacation, seeing as how I just wrapped up summer school yesterday and I go back in on August 27th. Again, feh.

There have got to be people out there who never go to jury duty and never suffer any consequences. Why am I not that person? Why? *sigh*

Oh, and another thing: I just actually looked at the jury summons for the first time and I realized that it's for the U.S. District Court. The original summons was for New York Supreme Court. I didn't realize that I could just be tossed from one court to another without any warning, like a minor league right fielder. So now the judicial system is a pimp and I'm just a whore they can treat like property and share among their friends? No sir! I am a human being, with dignity! Or, okay, maybe not dignity, but feelings at least. And I--

Wait, I just realized that the U.S. District Court is the nice one with plush carpeting and relatively comfortable seating, as opposed to the Kafkaesque shithole that is New York State Court. So that's not so bad. And I'll be able to get a lot of reading done, so that's nice, right? Oh! Maybe I can be bribed! Hey criminals! I'm for sale!

Pray to whoever you have to that you don't get picked. Offer up a sacrificial virgin if you have to. Trust me.
For me- pretty much the longest six days of my life that I'll never get back, only to find a blatantly guilty douchebag guilty.
But the $20 stipend? Sweet.
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