Friday, September 23, 2011

Doing my civic duty

I reported for jury duty on Thursday.  I was on standby since Monday and thought I would make it through the week without being called but I was nabbed Thursday.   I won't discuss the case or anything of value.  Instead I will complain and grouch about my fellow citizens who were caught in the dragnet with me. 

 Grouch #1:   6 people got themselves excused from the trial because they could not comprehend English well enough to participate.  1 was a store owner and 2 worked in retail businesses that had customer contact with English speakers.   Most have been in the country over 20 years.  All are citizens which requires a command of the English language.  All could communicate very well with the judge.  But, they couldn't understand well enough to serve.  Give me a break!

 Grouch #2:  The judge told the group when we were released for lunch to be present for duty by 1:30.  If anyone was late then we wouldn't start and the proceedings would be delayed and we would all be stuck in the process that much longer.  At 1:30 three people were missing.  At 1:40 they strolled in from lunch, laughing and carrying on about being late.  They couldn't have cared any less about the whole thing.   So the judge told everyone at the end of the day to be present the next day at 10:30 to start.   Well, you guessed it:  2 were no-shows at 10:30.  One arrived at 10:35.  The second showed up at 10:40.  Myself and the rest of the chumps were there by 10:15.   

The judge was very nice and very well spoken.  I enjoyed listening to him.  I was dismayed at the disrespect that the people who were late were showing to him.  I imagine after the final selection he put his foot down about being on time.  At first I didn't want to serve on the jury but as the process rolled along I began to get interested in it and was starting to look forward to being on the jury.  But no, I was dismissed by the defence.  Was I too smart to serve?  Too dumb?   Should I be insulted?   Anyway I am now 5 for 5 called for jury service and not selected.  This is as close as I have gotten.  Maybe the next time!

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