Monday, September 6, 2010

Justice Is Blind (And, Apparently, A Cheapskate)

I’m officially a grown-up. I know because I finally got summoned for jury duty, and I’m so excited! I know I’m not supposed to be, that most people try to get out of jury duty, but I’ve always thought it would be a cool gig. Probably because Hollywood glamorizes it and I’ve read one too many John Grisham books. And the letter itself seems so serious and dramatic, with a bar code and at least three levels of bold. A good half of it is in all caps, too, so you know they mean business.

Imagine my surprise when I got to the second page and saw the heading: Payment. Well, that high was short lived because within the first sentence I realized that McDonald’s pays five times as much. I’ll get $12.00 for the first day, $20.00 a day for the next four days, then $40.00 a day for every day after five days. (For the record, I’m gonna have to drag this thing out at least a week and a half, if I’m going to afford those new shoes I want.)

I scoffed, aloud, and asked my husband what $12.00 divided by eight hours is. $1.50 an hour! “THAT’S RIDICULOUS!” I said in all caps. “Honey, that’s a dollar-fifty more per hour than you make right now,” my husband so kindly brought to my attention, causing me to fall into a downward spiral of depression.

But, that’s okay, because I was already counting on some kingpin sending his hired thugs to the swanky hotel I’ll be sequestered at to offer me a bribe. Don’t worry, I’ll find a way to take the money without sacrificing justice. And, yes, I do think I’ll be sequestered at a really nice downtown hotel, and be provided with three delicious restaurant meals every day, because the government was obviously budgeting for this eventuality when they were determining our monetary compensation. I’m sure they know that you can’t put a price on 800 thread count sheets or 24-hour room service.

The summons goes on to say business casual attire is required. Yay! I never get to dress “business casual”. I may even need to purchase some wardrobe additions for the occasion. Then, after some notes of no concern to me, the letter mentions that Children are not allowed. Say no more, I’m sold. And, Absolutely NO weapons (scissors, knives, knitting needles, etc.) Wait, they’re listing knitting needles but not guns? Does “no guns” go without saying? And if someone can turn a juror’s knitting needle into a weapon, I say let ‘em. That’d be worth the price of admission.

So, next month I could be getting paid to sit and listen to people argue all day, instead of doing it for free while I fold the accused’s laundry. I’ll get to dress up and meet new people, people that know how to take a person down with a knitting needle! I can’t wait!

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