Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Jury Duty Purgatory!

Sheriff's Office in Toronto
I’ve been sitting the Sheriff’s office in downtown T.O. for two days now, waiting to see if I get picked for a jury.  The process is exactly like working as an extra on a film or TV show, except there are no famous people(or even the quasi famed), they don’t give you any food (not even free coffee) and at the end of a long day of waiting, they don’t pay you anything for your time.  It’s frustrating because I have respected the justice system and our society’s laws all of my life and this is the thanks I get for it. Obviously, without laws we  would descend into chaos.  Chaos is fine for nature but for us, being natural doesn’t always come naturally and we crave order and a certain degree of conformity (even if we don’t care to admit it).
 But for Christ’s sake, why do they have to waste potentially a week of my time or more to do this?  I assume that my name ended up on a jury selection list because, so far in my life, I’ve been a good citizen but because of that, should I not be able to perhaps choose a time where it’s more convenient for me to do my civic duty?  And that’s a phrase that I’ve been overhearing in people’s conversations in tones that ring of the highest level of sarcasm.  “Civic Duty”.

Pictured: Your Civic Duty
 If there’s one thing I’d like anyone reading this to understand it's that, since childhood, I’ve wanted to serve on a jury.  Maybe it was too many dramatic court shows or perhaps it was because I thoguht it was really cool when my Father was called as a witness during the trial of a suspected arsonist that sparked my interest and I have dreamed of the day that I could sit in a jury box with 11 total strangers and ladle out some hot, steaming justice to a worthy party, but I don’t want to do it just right now!  
My Childhood Dream: Minus All That German Expressionism!
I may not be currently employed but despite that fact, I’m just too busy.  I’m looking for work every day, I’m in school part time so I’m not exactly sitting on my hands but that’s just the reason that I don’t need to be sitting around,...waiting.  I have to ask, why, as a law abiding person, am I not allowed to choose the time that’s best for me?  If they sent me a summons for next month, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing out complaints and trying to avoid the conversations of people who are so horribly bored because they didn’t have the hindsight to bring something to read.  And what high minded travails of discourse they are!  Because if there is one more thing the world needs, it’s yet another opinion about Michael Jackson’s death, sexual perversions and his child rearing skills.  Here are some other exciting topics of conversation I’ve been overhearing during my tenure:
  • ·         The Weather
  • ·         When will the weather get better so that I can start gardening?
  • ·         The Weather
  • ·         Are you done with that magazine?
  • ·         The Weather
  • ·         Civic Duty
  • ·         The Weather
  • ·         Boy, this coffee sure is expensive.
  • ·         The Weather
  • ·         I’m going outside to get a coffee and enjoy the weather.
Holy shit you guys!  Did you hear about the weather?  It’s all anybody talked about all day!  
Oh. My. God.
 When I arrived here yesterday, I thought I’d be here a day at the very most and brought the book I was currently reading with me.  By the time it was 1:00 PM and they let us go for lunch, my book was done and I had to find something else to bring back with me until the released us for the day (That book being Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw) my civic duty ended up costing me nearly $30.00 that I can’t really afford to spend since I’m on EI and my income is fixed.  At least today I brought my laptop and homework so that my time isn’t completely whittled away by my civic duty.


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