Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Can't Even Get Hired for Jury Duty

If you've been following this site for awhile, you're aware that I had some rough times last year looking for a job. Things are a bit better for me now, but one of the reasons I had trouble finding a job is because for the most part, I'm terrible at job interviews. I have a hard time selling myself, and I didn't want to say the wrong thing to ever jeopardize my chances at getting a gig.

I hoped to not make the same mistakes earlier this week, as I was summoned for jury duty for the first time in my life. Sadly enough, I may have been the first person in the history of the world that wanted to serve on a jury. It wasn't so much that I wanted to be a part of the judicial process, it was more or less that I just really didn't feel like going to work that day.

As most of you know, a jury is made up of twelve people, yet when I got to the courthouse on Monday morning I was in a room with 27 others. What happens is that they stick twenty of you in the jury box and have eight people serve as alternates right away if one of the people in the box are dismissed. Now you may be familiar with some people and their tactics of being thrown off of the jury - claiming they are racist, etc... - and some people did that this particular morning. The case we were going to serve on was a drunk driving case, and one person next to me decided to say that he was sympathetic toward drunk drivers, while another claimed to believe that cops liked to pull people over unjustly. Both of these gentlemen were of course thrown off of the jury.

I on the other hand wanted to take the approach of not saying a single word during the jury question and answer part. I figured that if I didn't talk, I wouldn't shoot myself in the foot and they would keep me on the jury. The judge and defense attorney asked questions that I should have easily answered, such as "Do you go to the bar more than once a week?", but I decided to go ahead with the vow of silence. I thought for sure I'd be calling my work in a few minutes and telling them to go on without me.

After the question and answer portion, the district attorney and defense lawyer kept passing back and forth a sheet that had the twenty candidates names on it, and crossed a few out as if they were in a fantasy draft. I figured since I had not spoken, I was assured to be seen as someone impartial to the case, and would have made a good fit for the jury. But what I soon realized is that by not saying anything, neither of the sides would want me as I did nothing for their position. Both sides presumably viewed me as someone with nothing to offer, and I was kicked off of the jury.

It was a little heartbreaking to be rejected - once again - for something that I wanted. I wanted so badly to be a part of this process that what I ended up doing was taking a back seat to the whole thing. I self-consciously fell back into my reporter shoes from my days on television, watching and taking in the whole thing instead of being a part of the process. That's ultimately what cost me a spot on that bench, and ultimately what forced me to go back to my job for the rest of the day.

It wasn't all bad though, I still received twenty dollars for my efforts, which consisted of me speaking literally zero words the entire morning. Plus, I'm already scheduled to go back twice more this month, maybe more. Somehow, getting paid to not be at the job I worked so hard to finally get is more rewarding to me than being at that job in the first place.

And oh yeah, Jeff Suppan sucks.


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