Friday, April 21, 2006

Skip this

If you don't want to hear whining.

I'm so depressed by this, I can't take it.

I was already depressed, what with the taxes and the gas prices and that fuckwit being President and summer being here and the pile of papers on my desk that I can't get through and the kid's teachers on our case because she has decided she hates school (out of nowhere) and my late insomnia and the car being a piece of junk and about 80 other things I won't list for you, but this, this is the straw.

I pulled jury duty last week.

In lovely Arkansas, pulling jury duty is not like pulling jury duty in other, sane places, where you serve for one day and no big fucking deal.

No, in Arkansas you serve for a fucking, I kid you not, month.

A solid month, you have to sit waiting to be called for jury duty.

Who can afford to do this, I ask you? Who?

So it's usually as standard thing, when I get called for duty -- I just email my dean and she sends a letter to the clerk of court and I get excused, because I'm a professor, I can't miss a month of class.

Hah, says the clerk this time. You're out on the 16 of May, ain't ya? Your ass is ours for the last two weeks of May!

In vain I point out to her on the phone that I am not "out" for those two weeks -- that those two weeks must be used to grade exams and prep for the summer session, which begins on May 30. In vain, I point out that those two weeks are the only two weeks all fucking year I am going to have when I am not teaching (which, not counting the, I think it is, nine days at Christmas between sessions, is the case) -- the closest thing I get to a vacation all year. Uselessly I tell her about my seven year old I have to take care off, who will be off from school part of that time.

"Most of our jurors hold jobs," she says, flatly. "You act like this is a big deal."

So looks like I'm pulling jury duty, last two weeks in May.

11 comments:

Cynthia said...

Well, I'm not sure how AR does it, but maybe you can get some reading or writing done during your wait times. At least in our locality, you are not allowed to bring any reading material with you. Not sure what that rules' about.

Of course, if your latest novel has a court scene in it, you could look at this experience as "research". I'm hopeful we can look forward to some interesting blog posts around May 18th or so...

plmccoy said...

How about this? I just did Superior Court jury duty April 11th and now have to do Federal jury duty (for 30 days) in downtown Los Angeles, 30 miles from my home beginning May 2nd. It seems that one does not excuse the other. Apparently if I had to travel more than 80 - yes I said 80 - miles one way I would get a hotel room covered. Oh thanks so much! Like I would stay down there anyway. 30 miles away and I have not been there in years and actually still have no plans to go there. Not for jury duty and not for anything else. So I hear that you can be fined up to $1500.00 for not showing up for your jury service, but I can't find out any information on what court I would have to appear in to be fined. If it is closer to my home it will be worth it. Does anyone know if it is a Federal offense? God I hope not.

zelda1 said...

Now I know this sounds like cheating, but you can always tell the juror people you are very hard of hearing and that you can't see very well. Usually they write you right off.

delagar said...

This 30 day jury duty thing amazes me. How do they expect anyone to be able to take 30 days off from her life? What planet do these people live on, what jobs do they do, where people can just not do those jobs for 30 days? Fucking shit.

Mouse said...

seems like they forgot that AR is a poor state with poor ppl who can't just drop work in order to serve jury duty.

Bardiac said...

Do you actually have to be there at the courthouse the whole time?

I used to get called every six months, and it was usually a call in at the beginning of the week, and be ready to be available if they said to, sort of thing.

And remember, if you don't step up and do it, then who will? Who do you want sitting if you get accused of some crime or sued?

I've served on two juries now, but have been "called" about 8 times.

delagar said...

Yes, that's how I've been reconciling myself to it. Civic duty and all that. I wouldn't be so depressed about it if I weren't already so exhausted. I've been living on the hope of these two weeks off. But c'est la vie, I reckon. Or, as our boy Chaucer says, nettle in, dock out.

Anonymous said...

In law school, we were taught that juries were composed of people who were too stupid to get out of jury duty. Seems to apply here.

Since this is your only blog I've read, all I know about you is that you're a teacher in AR, and you hate AR. Yet, it would stand to reason that since AR is not known to be nearly a top paying state, you are not a good enough teacher to get a job anywhere else. Accordingly, I assume teachers like you are the reason that AR students aren't getting better educated.

Also remember, if you appear educated, most lawyers will excuse you because they want people that are easily persuaded. Your Vermont Democrat mentality tells me you're easily persuaded, but you could always fake it for one day.

I also realize that blogs are a place for bitches to bitch, but jesus, jury duty is like paying taxes. No one likes it, but there's nothing you can do about it. Go back to bitching about how the smart people are making more money than you.

As for the 30 day jury duty, is it in AR federal court? Thought so. Hey dipshit - it's a federal rule, not a state one. That's why you see all the people posting also had 30 days.

Thank God my kids are in private schools. Oops, did the word God offend you? Go blog about it.

oneKnight said...

I just got summoned in Saline County, AR for FOUR MONTHS, or until the judge is done with me. Starting Dec 17 - over Christmas no less!

I'm unemployed now, so what am I supposed to do, apply for a job and be like "oh yeah in a couple of weeks I'm gonna hafta be gone for 4 months". I can see now that this is going to be fun.

Sandra said...

Actually you are lucky that you will only have to be on call for a couple of weeks. I (like the person above me) am on call for 3 months. I have to call a hot line number after 6 pm. each day. blah! biggest issues for me is that I have THREE children that will need day care that is 60$ a day! Plus my youngest one is under 1 years old and is exclusively breast fed. That didn't get me out either. She's never been away from mommy before. I don't know how she will take and what hell some people will go through while caring for a baby that only wants mama and refuses to take a bottle. I don't believe I can be very partial and attentive while worrying about my baby.

Amela said...

I absolutely hate jury duty. It is a waste of time and air. I am selected every other year... =/ always go and get dismissed. Some of us have jobs and people to feed. Well I'm sorry about your jury system. I am not moving to Arkansas any time soon.

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