A few weeks ago I received the dreaded Jury Duty Summons in my mailbox. Now, it shouldn’t be dreaded, I suppose. A jury of one’s peers is a big part of our judicial system, and, as a citizen, one should feel honored to be able to participate. … Right?
The thing is, you know, my job and its lack of jury duty pay. Sure, a juror gets a little bit of food money, I guess, but it doesn’t exactly make up for a day’s wages. There’s also the time. These things can go on for a while, can’t they? The last time I was called, I did have to attend. For several days, days that my job does not cover, I had to wait at the courthouse to be called. When I finally was, it was potentially a long case.
I got worried. What would I do if I became one of the 12 Angry Men (People)? After some legitimate excuses, I was excused, but it was a close call. I felt a little ashamed, to be honest. Not sure why. I feel guilty about everything, basically.
This year, though, after four nights of calling in (lucked out on getting this during the week of labor Day), I didn’t have to show up — and it’s a relief. I feel bad about it, as I should probably want to participate. Maybe in a different time in my life. A less paycheck to paycheck time.
What if I had gotten called, though? And what if I’d ended up on the jury? The possibility of 1/12th of another human’s fate in my hands is a lot of pressure for a silly worrier like me. I don’t want any part of anyone’s fate in my hands!
Of course, there’s always next year… If it happens, criminals beware!