Friday, October 10, 2008

Jury Duty Sucks

I know it is my duty as a citizen and it is what makes the whole justice system work and blah, blah, blah.....but jury duty is a big pain in the ass.
The whole experience is a lesson in aggravation. Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE to be able to serve on a jury. I think it would be interesting and because I am such a sucker for these types of things, I would get this warm, gooey feeling from being a good citizen.
I was "on call" all week. Every evening I would call the hotline to see if I would have to report the following day. I did this for five days, and on Thursday I got the nod to report on Friday. The problem with this is that your whole life gets put on hold. It never happens at a good time. Right now we are off-the-hook busy at work. In my line of work, we make hay while the sun I am putting in 10-12 hours/day. (I'm not complaining...I LOVE my job and I LOVE the OT $$$ even more). Since I work at a small company, I am 25% of the total workforce and because we are so busy, it's not like the work can get easily absorbed by the others. And I lose a day's pay. The only good thing is that the courthouse is close by, not like I have to go to downtown LA.

So today was my day. About 100 people were in the pool. The woman in charge said that none of the trials scheduled this week went through...there were pleas, postponements, etc. Another fun fact was that if we were in the midst of a selection on Friday, we would still have to come back Tuesday to continue.
All the signing in, watching a video, a judge came and gave us a pep talk...took until 9:30 or so. Then we sat. No one was called. Then at 11:30 the woman said we can go to lunch and to be back at 1:30. So I went and had a lovely lunch at Lazy Dog Cafe. Came back and sat some more. Then someone turned on the Dodger game, so that was interesting. Then at 3pm the woman came out and said the case that was on schedule for us is over--the guy took a plea. So we were FREE!

Too late for me to go into work, now I will have to go on Sunday for a few hours to get stuff done. When I called my boss with the good news, he was so happy.


Miss Healthypants said...

I know what you mean about the WAITING and the INCONVENIENCE of jury duty. I was called for jury duty a couple of years ago when we were really busy at work. (Luckily, my company still pays us when we get "invited" to a jury.) Still, it was a pain in the butt for me--especially since I had to take an hour-long train to get there.

But THEN!--I got to serve on an actual jury, in a week-long case, and it was fascinating! Long story short--we found a woman guilty of shoplifting (she was caught doing it on tape). It sure was interesting.

I'll never cringe at jury duty notices again. :)

MaryRuth said...

It just seemed so wasteful to me having 100 people sitting around doing nothing. I'm sure I wasn't the only one with something much better to do.
The whole week was spent waiting for the other shoe to drop--juggling my clients and not knowing what to expect or how long to expect it.
I agree with you--it would be a fascinating experience, no doubt.

So Cal Peeper said...

it used to be worse - the first time I served was about 20 years ago (groan). You had to come in every day for a week - sometimes they sent you home early, sometimes you sat there for hours. For a whopping 15 bucks a day.

Then, it was two days. Now, it's one day or a court case. I served about two years ago, but only for the day - no case. There are very few excuses to get you out of jury duty anymore, and the guy at the Torrance court house made almost everyone wait the entire time. He told everyone it was up to the judge to let them off, or not.

MaryRuth said...

Peeper--Yeah that week-long deal was no good. I'm not absolutely sure, but I think the trial that I almost went on Friday was for that guy that had a whole bunch of guns, ammo and drugs--and had a machine gun aimed at the front door. I read in the paper that he made a plea on Friday, so maybe that's what happened to my trial. I would have been there for a month if it went through!

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