Civic Duties – We All Get Called on to Perform

Civic Duties – We All Get Called on to Perform

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I’ve been called on to perform my civic duty – jury duty that is.  Ugh….I got on a two week civil trial.  In the old days, eveyone got out of jury duty – financial hardship was the big excuse – especially when you were self employed like me.  There is a whole webpage devoted to how to get out of jury duty here.   

I guess I didn’t act crazy enough or think hard enough about getting out of it.  I just figured one day – no biggie and most likely it wouldn’t even be one day.   Postponing it is just like postponing the inevitable so I figured I’d just do my one day and get it over with.  Boy was I ever wrong.  In a huge room filled with a pool of prospective jurors (maybe more than 250 of us here in the City of Torrance Courthouse) I sit down.  Even the facilitator guy made it sound highly unlikely we get on a trial.  Well, you know who gets called – and pretty early on I might add – along w/ about 50 others.  We all have to go up to a courtroom where they need to pick out 14 individuals to serve as jurors on their civil case.  So guess who gets called again out of the 100 prospects in the room – me again.   21 of us went up and had to get grilled by the lawyers looking to pick “a jury of peers” for their clients.  Of those, they get rid of the “crazies”  (like I said I just couldn’t bring myself to act crazy in front of everyone and in a courtroom.)    After that they get rid of more and the next thing you know….kabam….I am sitting there taking the oath to serve.  Ugh….it’s been 3 full days now and I can hardly believe I’ve got more time to do – a two week trial is what they expect the timing to be like.  I don’t doubt it either with how slow everything moves and all the breaks they take.  Lunch alone is an hour and a half break!  I’m used to choking down a sandwich at my desk in about 15 mins so this is leisurely land!

Well, when I started writing this I had only served 3 days.  I just finished day 9 (that’s business days technically and we had a holiday in there, so you know we had that day off.)  OMG, these people take more breaks than I thought possible.  It’s so frustrating….let’s get this thing over with – but wait, it’s time for our hour and a half lunch break – today we had a 2 hour and 15 minute lunch break.  No wonder things in the “city” take so long to accomplish.  Ugh!  If you get that little notice in the mail, pay close attention to the first paragraph where it talks about “how to get out of jury duty.”  Unless of course, you have nothing better to do and need $15 a day!  Oh yeah, they pay your mileage too, but only one way!   Guess, they figure you can get home yourself!

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