You’re out of order!


Something happened last week that I forgot to blog about: I forgot that I had been called to Jury Duty!

I don’t know how it happened. But I received the jury duty notice at the end of November, and it was for the week of January 19-23. I was supposed to call on Saturday, January 17 to find out if I was required to appear and if so, what time and all of that. However, the end of November is far removed from the middle of January, I guess. Because I just tacked the notice up on the wall and got so used to seeing it there, it blended in and I forgot about it over time.

I have been called to jury duty something like 9 times now since I have been living in AZ. I don’t know anyone else who gets called with the frequency I do.

Anyway, on Thursday, January 22, I came into work like it was any other morning and threw my purse down in the corner of my desk as usual. In the process, the breeze made by my gravity-pulled purse as it landed made a paper on the cube wall flutter briefly. And with horror, I remembered:

Oh my God. I was supposed to serve jury duty this week!

Immediately my pulse raced and I conjured up visions of police coming to take me away for being in contempt of court, or whatever it’s called when you don’t show up to serve your civic duty. I imagined being hit with a large fine. Getting a police record. Not being able to be hired anyplace new in the future because I have been convicted of a crime. Being forced to live with my Mom, until she kicks me out and I have to stay at the women’s shelter downtown. I turn to meth to deal with the stress of being homeless. I catch pneumonia and die, just short of my 35th birthday. Yes, life was about to spiral very fast, very furiously, down the drain.

So with shaking fingers, I dialed the number to see if I was called to get down to the court post-haste, and what they would do if you did show up for the last two days of service, at least…maybe that would reduce my jail sentence somehow?

And to my absolute relief and pure elation, I heard the recording tell me that I was “not required to appear the week of January 19-23, 2009. No trials were scheduled.”

Wow. In the space of about one minute, I went from horrified and scared to relieved and almost-smug. Just one more time that I’ve slipped under the court system’s radar. I might get called a lot, but I only had to show up one time, and then I wasn’t even selected for a jury.

This whole thing got me thinking about the reasons I fear jury duty, and it’s funny, but my reason for not wanting to do it is PARKING. If I get called to go downtown Phoenix for jury duty, it makes me feel like I am being punished or getting called to a torture chamber, because parking down there is just awful and expensive. And the drive in would take forever because of the morning commuters. Ick.

Anyway, that is my crazy, lucky story for the week…last week. Pretty damn exciting, yes?

It’s OK. You can say no.


4 responses »

  1. I was laughing out loud, literally during the paragraph that started with, “Immediately my pulse raced and I conjured up visions of police coming to take me away for being in contempt of court…..” Holy hell, that was some funny shit.

    I actually like jury duty when I had it in 2005. It may have to do with seeing a coworker that I worked with at that time there at the same time as I was. She and I knew we had off but didn’t know why. We showed up and freaked when we saw each other. So the next few hours were spent chatting and eating lunch. Then we were called into the room where they do the jury selection. She was picked and I wasn’t so I went home for the day and she was picked for the jury. It was a really cut and dry, boring case of a car accident. No guts, molestation, beheading, nothin’; just a couple of bruises and bitching about physical therapy appointment. So I was glad I didn’t get picked.

  2. I have never been called to jury duty but I would have reacted in exactly the same way had I need in your situation. Because jury duty scares the ever lovin’ shit out of me. I amm not sure why, but the idea of being trapped in a room, unable to leave, people asking me personal questions…my own version of hell. I always hope against hope that my patented “but I work in news” would give me a free pass, but I have yet to have to see if it works. Knock on wood.

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