I have jury duty this week, which, it turns out, is pretty similar to being a temp worker at a data entry job. Both situations involve getting together large pools of randos from all different wakes of life and asking us to use our nuanced qualification of not yet having died in order to take a look at equally rando problems and make very basic decisions. In both situations, there is great beauty in the system’s reliance upon everyday people, and in both situations, one is forced to wonder why humans are entrusted with anything ever.
For example, they tell jurors not to discuss the details of their case with anyone (spoiler: I’m not going to talk about the case here), including each other. They told us this before the case started. They told us this before we got dismissed yesterday. They told us this when we came in again this morning, and again each time we left the room. Don’t talk about it. Yet inevitably, after each break, even the little five minute breaks where they get witnesses ready, everyone would start talking about it.
“Can you believe blurbblurbblurbblurb?”
“Omg right, blurbblurbblurbblurb”
“But what would you have done in that blurbblurb”
Generalizations are thrown, appearances are discussed, gut feelings are expressed, and the fashionable short woman who sits next to me goes “I just get so nervous. I hate this. I’m shaking. Oh my, I hope this doesn’t go past 3.”
(It will go until 5. durr.)
Another forced quandary: Why does the courthouse have to suck so hard, like as a building? It’s like a huge bus station & cheap new church combo. Somehow, ‘In God We Trust’ is stamped everywhere over pulpit-esque stations (they might even be called pulpits too! idk!), and yet they’ve literally card boarded and taped-shut the toilet seat cover dispensers in all the women’s bathrooms and cut off all cell phone service. You are asking for my truth, court system, and I must tell you that no one can truly trust God that much.
I had grand dreams of what jury duty would be like – that I’d get chosen for a sick case, probs something juicy like mass murder, get to take a ton of time off work and get immediately sucked into fast-paced dramarama unfolding before me whilst I sipped a caramel machiato.
So far, though, jury’s been pretty long and boring. It takes them like over an hour to hash out simple details with witnesses, then we have to break every like 10 minutes or so while they talk about us for 5 minutes and then ask us to line up again, and there aren’t even any food or drinks allowed in the courtroom. The educational video we had to watch at the beginning of jury selection told us being on jury was kind of like watching a movie. I demand popcorn. Peanut m&ms.
As long as I’m being demanding, I’d like to ask that the government please pay for the $30.00 Lyft ride I had to take to get to court on time this morning due to the train power malfunction that occurred this morning. Javier was a winged Lyft gossamer, guiding me into downtown rush-hour traffic with friendly conversation about world affairs – hahaha, the trains went down, I can’t believe how horrible everything is nowadays, hahaha, I hope I die before I see it get much worse, hahaha – but that’s $30! You owe me at least two very high-quality sandwiches, New York State. Probably also a beverage.
Anyway, I’ve got another few days of this, so I better settle in. My boss wants me to work remotely while I’m on breaks this week (yayyy -_-), so I’m really going to try hard to remain positive and optimistic about the world, despite alternating between sad court drama and angry customer emails.
To that end, here are two ‘Doggo’ reposts with important socio-political commentary:
I feel that this first pupper would be an excellent juror because of his thick rimmed glasses and sound judgment. This is a pupper I would like to cuddle.
I feel that this second pupper would make an excellent juror because of her sweet smile and honesty. This is another pupper I would like to cuddle.