Thursday, July 04, 2013

Relieved Of Civic Duty Just In Time For America's Birthday

I'm a Libra.  My Zodiac symbol is the scales.  It's the only symbol in the zodiac that's inanimate - not represented by an animal or person. 

Being the embodiment of justice, it seems fitting that in the week prior to a holiday that's so patriotic in nature, I should be called for jury duty.  Something that although I wouldn't mind doing, by the nature of my work find almost impossible to fit in.

I'm not sure I'd be so great on a jury anyway.  I'd certainly be the one responsible for hanging the jury.  And I'm pretty sure my fellow jurors would hate me.  Because once I get on something, and once I have to dig for information, and once I really get into the facts and the circumstances and the everything of something, I don't let anything go.  I can get hung up on the incorrect usage of a word.  Semantics would be the undoing of my case.  Plus, I'm pretty judgmental about some things and have zero tolerance for certain behaviors.  Although my Zodiac symbol represents balance and justice, I'm not so sure if I'd be able to be just if I just flat-out hated the guy. 

I was summoned to serve beginning the 25th of this month but the affidavit I had to sign and return within ten days had an area to fill out to request to reschedule.  I could request a date within ninety days of my original date, which would help a bit, but I'd still be required to be available at that later date. 

For a truck driver, that's hard to do, be in a certain place at a certain time.  It's really just too unpredictable to say if and when we'll be home.  And for how long.

We're on the road over 300 days a year and when we are home it's because of sheer happenstance, we're either driving through or we got a really great paying load which took us there.  But we typically didn't plan it.  We don't even get home for holidays or family functions, and believe me, I hear about that every once in a while.

Another reason we don't go home more frequently is because there's just no freight in our area. 
There's never any freight in or out of our state for us and if we have to go to California, we have to deadhead a minimum of six hours, usually eight, but since we've been staying out of California, we don't even do that if we don't have to.  Going home means at least two weeks of lost revenue.  And that's a pretty good reason for not sitting on a jury making twelve bucks a day.

So I sent back my jury summons with a request to reschedule and a short explanation as to why I wasn't able to serve.

Yesterday I got a call from the Jury Commissioner's office.  They received my affidavit but were confused.  Why did I put a reschedule date and give a reason?

"Weellll, because that's what the form requested.  To choose a date within 90 days from the original date and to provide a reason why I wasn't available during the week of my report date." I said.

"Oh." said the woman who called.  "No one usually follows those directions.  It's rarely filled out correctly."

I laughed and said, "Oh.  Hmmm."

"I guess you followed them." she said, letting out an awkward laugh.

Yep, that's me.  The direction follower.  What struck me about her comment is that she was so used to morons not filling out the form correctly, that she didn't know what to do when she got one that actually provided the information they asked for.  That's what 237 years of independence got America - the opportunity to put morons on juries. 

She asked me again why I sent in the form requesting another date with a reason.  I explained how I figured I'd have a better chance making arrangements to get back there in October, than three weeks from now.  That this is our busy season and giving up several weeks of revenue at this time wouldn't be best for our business.

"Well, we need you to put that in writing, giving us as much detail as you can, explaining everything you just told me, and send it to the Jury Commissioner." she said.  She was very nice and very helpful.

"Can I send it via email or do you need a real letter sent in the mail?" I asked.

She asked me to hold while she checked.  When she came back on the phone, she told me they were just going to excuse my service, and that I didn't have to worry about  writing a letter, or serving now or in October.  I'd be getting a postcard in the mail confirming that I was excused, but to know that being excused from service was only good for this year.

Well.  Cool.  I thanked her and hung up.  In the almost nine and a half years I've been with Ed, I've never been called for jury duty.  Hopefully it'll be another nine years before they need me again.

Happy Fourth of July indeed.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
2012: Blind With Patriotism
2011: Independence In The Town Of The Big House
2010: It’s So Much Prettier
2009: Soap Box Derby – Spavinaw Style
2008: Eddie’s Independence Friday
2007: Miss Independent
2006: Independence Day
2005: The Mother Road To Independence

1 comment:

Pat said...

I've been called twice in the Phoenix area. It's a great way to feel like you are contributing. I never served my country, so this is about as close to it as I got. I think you would enjoy the experience, but realize your job keeps you from it. If you ever get a chance, sitting in a court room is quite entertaining too.