Good news everyone, I’ve got jury duty tomorrow. This is probably only good news for me because I’m a geek about doing my civic duty, but I almost missed out on it.
Before I get into why I almost missed out on it, let me tell you why I love jury duty:
- It’s downtown at The Metropolitan Courthouse so I can take public transit.
- I can use the 90 minute lunch hour to go someplace awesome like Phillippe’s.
- Being in a courthouse allows me to pretend I’m an old timey detective.
- I can catch up on my reading.
- I don’t have to go to work.
Basically that is pretty close to my idea of a perfect day. No car, no work, good read and good food.
More courtroom drama after the jump.
So anyway, I got a postcard several weeks back informing me that I had failed to appear for jury duty. This was news to me because I don’t remember being summoned to appear but the card told me I needed to call and talk to someone about how to correct my mistake. No problem, like I said, jury duty = awesome.
Unfortunately, when I tried to call I was bounced around an automated phone system until I finally disconnected because there was no useful information. Damn it, all I wanted to do was find out when I had to show up.
Unlike many people I don’t mind automated systems, I prefer them to speaking to a person, but only if they are helpful and this one was the opposite of that. You’d think that the Los Angeles Superior Court automated system would at least have some information I could use. It could have told me which button to press or at very least how to back up and start over me but I could only bounce around the menu until I got frustrated and quit. Since I’m a civic nerd this took about 15 minutes. I assume that a sensible person would have given up sooner. According to the postcard I could be fined up to $1500 for not showing up…but what happens when I’m trying to show up and the phone system won’t let me? The fact that they send out postcards tells me that people regularly fail to appear so I assumed they would have processes in place to tell me where to go and what to do, but my assumption is proved to be frustratingly wrong.
I called back later and held on the line for another 10 minutes to speak to a person, they gave me a new date which was Monday July 7th. For the past few days I’ve called in only to be told that I was not needed but today, finally my number was called, I’m going in tomorrow. So tomorrow while you’re at work shifting the paradigm, thinking outside the box or maximizing synergies I’ll be reading a book waiting to hear my name called. I just hope it turns out better than my last jury duty appearance.
A few years ago I was in the jury pool for a murder trial. A woman allegedly poisoned her husband with antifreeze for his insurance. The judge identified the accused who was seated at the defense table, I waved to her; I’m a sucker for bad girls you know. Too much of a sucker because when asked if I could render a fair decision in a case like this I said to the judge:
“Your Honor, I feel I could not render a fair and unbiased judgment because I find girls who commit crimes to be very attractive.”
The judge dismissed me before I could give her my number.
Tomorrow has got to be better than that.