Monday, January 23, 2017

Jury Duty is Stressful

I started off 2017 being selected for jury duty.  Not the normal, local, jury duty, where you spend a day downtown reading or playing on your phone until they tell you to go home.  That stuff is easy; I get to enjoy having quiet time to read and people watch. Also, San Fernando Cathedral is right across the street from the courthouse. I like to go sit in the pews and contemplate the cosmos during the lunch break.

Mind you, I would love to serve on a jury.  I've seen the shows, I know what to do.  I even bring a pad of paper with me, in case I need to take NOTES!  I'm determined to be a great juror, to do my utmost civic duty. I've never been picked, for some reason.  Probably my education level.  Or my profession; my job title has psychologist in it, and nothing makes lawyers cringe more.  Who knows with lawyers?

But this time  I got selected for FEDERAL jury duty. I was astounded. I've never been selected for FEDERAL jury duty before.  It's quite a bit more pressure.  Instead of just a single day, FEDERAL jury duty lasts for a month.  Thirty days.  Every Sunday after 6pm, I have to dial a special number and enter my designated JUROR number.  Then I wait, until the recording tells me whether or not I have to show up the next day.  The Western District Court even calls me on Fridays, to remind me to call on Sunday.  The first Sunday I was good.  I called at exactly 6:05pm, anxious to find out whether I'd be heading downtown the next day.  The recording said I had not been selected to appear.  I breathed a sigh of relief, hung up the phone, and went about my business. 

After that? 

My brain has been very quick to forget all about that Sunday phone call. I would get wrapped up in laundry, or work, or just life, and forget all about my federal jury duty.  I put my summons on the fridge.  I taped it to the banister.  To no avail--it disappeared, and I have no idea where it is. I just have the copy I scanned for work. I have hot pink Post-It notes all over the place. I have written the word "CALL" on my hand.  Don't judge.

I still forget. Sheer panic when I do remember, and I rush to find my phone.  Because what if I do forget?  Will the feds show up and arrest me?  Can I plead chemo brain if I get arrested?  Don't these people know that I forget my own name at least weekly? Do they know that I thought today was the 25th?  Is this some sort of a test? Am I passing?  If I don't get selected, does that mean I failed? 

I have one more week left.  I hope I make it. 


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