Friday, December 7, 2012

Things That Make Me Go Ugh

I hate it when I get these things.

First off, I have to put the damn notice someplace where I can't miss it.  (They seem to arrive about a month ahead of the actually date you have to deal with.)  In my house, that can be tricky.

My dog Zoe grabs things off of tables and counter tops and eats them.  My husband puts things "somewhere safe" (meaning somewhere where the item will never be seen again in this lifetime).  I write reminders all over calendars, but then I don't look at the calendar for weeks at a time.  My bad.

Remembering to check in after 5:00 PM the evening before the summons is also hinky.  Don't these people realize that 5:00 PM is the cocktail hour?  After two Bombay Sapphire martinis, I can't read the "juror number group" they are going to ask me for.  Why can't they put the time at say 4:00 PM?  I seldom hit the sauce before 5:00.

I called the number at 5:00 PM the night before.  I was told to appear at the courthouse in Oakland  at 9:00 AM the next morning.  Double Damn!  We have a nice little courthouse right here in Alameda.  Why can't they just send me there?  We actually have a pretty low crime rate in Alameda.  I think that we have had 4 murders in 25 years or something like that.  You guys read the headlines.  Oakland has murders (plural) every hour, plus a wide assortment of robbers, rapists, arsonists, bad actors and gangsters.  And why is it that police departments and courthouses are all located where gangster-looking and acting people hang out?

Also, I may have mentioned before I don't get up before 9:00 AM because most people die early in the morning according to a study I saw referenced someplace.  If it's my time, I'd just as soon be in bed when it happens.  There is no dignity in dying right on the damn kitchen floor with coffee spilled all around you.  So, in other words, the Jury system wants me to risk my very life over this.

I got to the courthouse relatively and surprisingly unscathed.  There is a long line out the door.  I was worried sick I was going to be late.  A Sheriff was telling everybody to take off all of their jewelry, belts, and stick them in the plastic bucket with purses, wallets, phones, lighters, lipsticks, compacts, keys and pocket change.  Folks, I have a lot of jewelry.  I need help taking it off.  Realizing this was an absolute problem, I asked the Sheriff to assist me taking off my bracelets with tricky clasps.  He advised me to just walk through the metal detector with my arms raised.  Whew!

I made it just in time not to be late.  After checking in, I sat in a plastic bucket seat for an hour while people straggled into the large room.  Nobody talked.  The man next to me slept.  When he woke up, I asked him how he got his shoes so shiny.  The man told me he polished them himself.  I said "Wow!"  Then he went back to sleep.

After an hour, the person in charge read off a long list of names and told those people to go upstairs to Courtroom Number 5.  I sat in that plastic chair for another half hour before we were told we could leave.

And what's with all the plastic stuff in courthouses?  Plastic buckets?  Plastic chairs?

I hate jury duty.

56 comments:

  1. The most recent jury duty I had was federal, and I was not supposed to have to serve again for 2 years but lo & behold, I got another notice...and I forgot...GEEZ

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  2. I hate jury duty, too!  So much wasted time.  There must be a better system to find jurors.  I managed to get myself permanently excused.

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  3. I hate jury duty if it isn't at a nearby court.  I have been called for Federal a number of times and that is a pain because it always means traveling.  BUT I love to be called for county or city court.  It's always near by and usually the cases are pretty interesting.  Drug issues or domestic violence kinds of things.   I would totally be on board for a murder case. I would find that fascinating.

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  4. Believe it or not, I've never been called for jury duty. Well, I did get a summons for federal jury duty in Ft. Smith way back in the day. But, since I was in college at the time my dad (who was a lawyer) told me to just call the clerk and she would take my name off the list. Never been called again for federal, state or local jury duty. Weird. 

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  5. "My husband puts things "somewhere safe" (meaning somewhere where the item will never be seen again in this lifetime)."

    That cracked me the hell up. My father does the same thing and my mother is forever yelling at him about it.

    "Don't these people realize that 5:00 PM is the cocktail hour?"

    Seriously! That should illegal!

    Ugh. I do not like Oakland. And I very much dislike getting up before 9am too! You have my full sympathy!

    I'm glad you didn't have to take off all of your jewelry and the Sheriff let you go through the metal detector. But I'm sorry you had to sit in those plastic chairs for hours.
     

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  6. Katherine KellesisDecember 7, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Hahaha! You seriously make me laugh with your descriptions of things! Plastic stuff in courthouses?? Hmm...easier to wipe off pee/poop/blood?

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  7. All I can say is ......... a Bombay Sapphire martini right now sounds good.

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  8. there's nothing worse than sitting on a plastic chair, makes your ass sweat, correction, not yours or mine, but those fat stinky already sweaty people, makes their asses sweat more than they already are, not good in a room full of people that are only there for their $9.00 per day.

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  10. I hate it too.  I never could describe it as humorously as you do though.  Glad they sent you home.  I had to return for about three days before I was rejected as a juror.  

    Have a good weekend. 

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  11.  We get $15 dollars a day here.  Or maybe $12.  And plastic chairs are never my idea of a good time.

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  12.  The sapphire martini is good any old time, Nick!

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  13. I really hadn't thought about peeing, pooping, and bleeding jurors, but Katherine, I fear you could be right.  The dude next to me was sleeping so who knows what else they do?

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  14.  Mel, Oakland has its charms, just like most places.  It just has more murder.

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  15.  My dad was a cop.  I figured that would probably get me excused.

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  16.  My sister has been on a lot of juries.  She loves it.  I would hate it.  I'm wishy washy.

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  17.  Jeanie, I might not mind it if it was a really interesting trial or something.  It's the hurry up and wait aspect that drives me nuts.

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  18.  I hate going into courthouses as a potential juror or as a witness, but it's even worse if you are a criminal I'm sure.

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  19. Funny, I've always wanted to be part of a jury but somehow I think it's much more exciting in my imagination than it would be in real life. I know there's no plastic in my imaginary courthouse. 

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  20. Ha! You got lucky! I waited all day, only to actually GET picked right at the end. And then we went into the courtroom where lawyers selected their victims, er... jurors. You guessed it. I got picked there too. Then we had to go sit in the jury box (in real wooden chairs!) and get told that we couldn't talk about the case, coudln't tweet or blog or whatever. The day of the trial started, the judge walked in at the very last minute to report that the case was dropped. Woot! It was an attempted murder case, btw. Real happy I didn't have to serve (though I know we're supposed to feel honored to do our civic duty). The beauty part is I can't be called again for some number of years. The "no case" counted!

    p.s. Please have Alex list all his "safe places" so you at least have a checklist of places to look when you lose stuff.

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  21.  If it didn't involve such a long drawn out process, and if it was a fascinating case, I might feel differently, but I don't think so.  I don't like "blood and guts" except in paperback thrillers.  I don't want to feel responsible for taking away someone's liberty. 

    Alex is a hopeless case!  After 25 years, there really are no answers.

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  22.  I don't like going to courthouses.  I've done them numerous times for various reasons, divorces, law suits, etc.  They scare me.  I avoid trees too as you know.

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  23. Well damn, that all sucks. Did you get expenses? And do you have to go back day after day?

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  24.  No expenses unless you are selected as jury for a trial.  If chosen, you get $15 per day which isn't really bad.  (It would probably cover your petrol costs and lunch.)  If you only go in like I did and are part of the random pool, you get a thank you and a "we'll call you again in a year!"

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  25. It frightens me when I look at the derelicts I am grouped with when I have been called for jury duty.Please define "my peers"? The one thing that makes me want to serve and hope that all those who know how to read and write, their parents tried to rear them right, and they pay taxes - feel the same way, is that - God forbid-  I find myself on trial being accused of something I did not do, they will be on the jury and understand what is going on. 

    Unfortunately, I never get to serve. One the of the circuit judges is my DH's first cousin,I am a paralegal,and I work for the US Courts. So I have to go and wait (but we have wooden chairs) knowing full well they are going to send me home.

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  26.  It's the waiting part that annoys me.  And I certainly agree about the derelicts!  What is the problem with people understanding that they should not bring their kids or their dogs (not service animals), or their parrots to jury duty?  And if the summons says 9:00 AM why do they arrive at 10:00 AM or later?  I don't want to be on a jury.  Ever.  I want to just let the other guys do it.

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  27. I know how you feel. It's like going to an audition and you don't know if you'll get the part until you get the part. You do meet some interesting folk though. I only had it once and all of us were dismissed when two of the jurors went drinking on lunch break. It was a relief and disappointing at the same time.

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  28. OH me too!!!  I got out of the last two due to my gastroparesis.... honestly... I am sick to my stomach and well... I just might have to jump up and race out of the court at any given moment....!  At least there is an upside to all of it! 

    Your dying in the morning part.... I laughed out loud!!!

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  29. I've never been called to jury duty. But your description of it made me laugh! Thanks.

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  30.  Lady Fi, it was actually a good experience for me.  Builds character, maybe.  Maybe not.

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  31.  I really hate the idea of dying on the kitchen floor.  The toilet might be worse actually, but I can just picture me laying in a mess of coffee with hungry dogs circling me thinking, oh hell, I don't like what they would be thinking so never mind!

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  32.  It's exactly like going to the audition, but you are going to play the woman who gets brutally murdered and you don't want that stupid part anyway.

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  33. Oh man, how uncomfortable!

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  34. Here's hoping it's not to horrible!

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  35.  Well, it's over now, Honey.  So that makes it tolerable!

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  36. Apart from the metal detector it almost sounds like waiting at my doctor's office.

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  37.  Now that you mention it, there was a similarity.  But few people were coughing that day.  Good thing!

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  39. This had me giggling from the start. You are such a funny prima donna. I've always wanted to serve and was on call for March & April this year. Even got the call one Sunday night only to find out the next morning that they really didn't want me after all. I was heartbroken.

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  40. Ugh, I've never actually had to go. I've been notified twice, but my number is never called to show up.

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  41.  At least now you know what to expect!  Leave your switchblade at home if you have to go!

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  42.  Although I know I'd make a good prison matron, I'd just as soon not be the one that takes away somebody's liberty.  Plus, the truth is that I can tell from looking at the person if they are guilty or not, so I doubt they'd put me on a jury after I told them that.

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  43. No, that would be a jury duty killer right there. When NH notifies a resident that s/he has to serve, they send along a form with tons of questions. This is where I'd put that information if I wanted to avoid jury duty. Doesn't your great state send something similar?

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  44. That's what my son the lawyer told me too!  Hah!  No, we go in and the lawyers and judge ask potential jurors all the questions in the courtroom.   I actually wouldn't mind serving if it wasn't something really upsetting.  I just have a difficult time being "certain" of innocence or guilt.

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  45. "If it's my time, I'd just as soon be in bed when it happens.  There is
    no dignity in dying right on the damn kitchen floor with coffee spilled
    all around you.  So, in other words, the Jury system wants me to risk my
    very life over this. "  Love this line.  Oh, my friend.  I feel for you.  I've always thought "jurors" should be an occupation people have to study for.  I want professionals in that box.

    You would never actually get chosen, Linda, and neither would I.  One look at us and the D.A. would know we were trouble. 

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  46.  I never have been "chosen", Jayne.  But now thanks to you, I know why! 

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  47. If they summons you once and then send you home does that mean you don't have to go back for at least a year? What's the rule on that business? I am guessing the plastic is due to the large amount of unclean people they plan to have sit in the chairs. Someone might have peed on your chair yesterday, but today it's been paper toweled off for you! Convenient, gross but convenient! 

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  48.  Angie, they can't give me another summons for a year, but the Feds can I think.  Jury people don't often pee on chairs, but criminals do I'm sure. 

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  49. Lord, I'm the same as you. If I have to save a piece of paper and then remember to re-address that same piece of paper during a 4-hour window, 30 days into the future, I'm hopeless.

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  50.  It scares me every time, Margaret!  I'm not organized enough to do all this stuff!

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  51. TheEquestrianVagabondDecember 17, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    you make me laugh! I totally see a TV sitcom in this. (wait - maybe there was one long ago??)

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  52.  Merri, I know I can be a little "high maintenance" sometimes but I'm old and that's why.

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  53. Must have been something on the opposite coasts. By looking at the date you posted this, the day before I blogged about my jury experience. :) I didn't make it to the courthouse, however. 

    http://hoohaablog.com/?p=4989

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  54.  The jury thing has always caused me anxiety.  When I was working, I could lose pay if I got selected.  And I really couldn't afford that.  Plus, I don't want to determine innocence or guilt.  That's just not me, P.J.

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  55. I've never met anybody that did jury duty. It sounds worse than airports.

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