I like to think I am a responsible citizen, doing my due diligence daily to help keep our free and democratic society functioning like a well-oiled machine.
Then? I was summoned to jury duty.
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of neutrality concerning people and jury duty: people either love it and wonder why they haven’t been lucky enough to be called up or people dread it like the proverbial plague.
I am a bit ashamed to admit publicly that I fall into the latter category.
However, “feeling put out” is not a valid reason for being excused for jury duty so like so many other Jefferson County residents, I showed up to serve my two weeks and while not exactly the highlight of my spring, it also wasn’t as brutal as I had anticipated.
Here are some survival tips, should you be called to serve.
- Take a book, magazine or e-reader. There will be a lot of down-time.
- Take your phone charger or e-reader charger. Dealing with all of that down-time will drain your battery.
- Take head phones if you plan to pass the time with music or watching a movie on your phone or tablet. You would think this would be common sense and that common courtesy would prevail. But you’d be wrong.
- Bring a drink and snacks. If you don’t want to bring your lunch, bring cash and hope beyond hope that a food truck is nearby because trust me, it’s not worth the hassle to try and leave the parking garage for lunch.
- As soon as you scan in for the day, walk right over to the big table with the stamp pad and validate your parking ticket. You’ll be responsible for your own parking costs each day and while the validation is only $1 off, hey, a dollar is a dollar.
- Yes, you will get paid. You will receive a whopping $12.50 a day, $5 of which is considered your salary for your service, the rest is for parking. Make sure you have enough cash for the garage each day because you won’t receive a check for the days you served until a few weeks after your last day.
The above helped me survive my two weeks at the hall of justice. Should you be called to serve, I hope it does the same for you.
I won’t be eligible for jury duty for the next 24 months, which makes me a very, very happy girl.
Now, how to spend my windfall of $62.50?
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/The Everett Collection