This week I’m up for Jury duty and am hoping I won’t get called. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, in fact, I’ve always thought it would be interesting to see how the trial process works. The problem is, it’s going to be a major pain in the butt for me, to say the least.
So far, I’ve been called in to do jury duty a few times but have never been chosen. Most of the time, I sit in the jury waiting room all day and then get dismissed to go home. Once, I was called into the courtroom and the judge asked me if I would be objective in a trial for a domestic abuser. I took one look at his creepy face and knew he was guilty. I told the judge that and was dismissed. I had to be honest.
My biggest challenge with jury duty is that I’ve always been self-employed and never had an employer who would pay for me to be there. My upcoming jury service pays $15 a day. Whoopee! That barely covers lunch.
When I was younger, I used the excuse that I was breast-feeding, which I was. I nursed both of my kids for 23 months each. It was important to me and my babies. Now, I hear you can’t use that as an excuse anymore. A man must have changed that rule.
I had three opportunities this time to postpone and used up all three. The only reason I rescheduled was that my BF has cancer and has had several emergencies that required hospitalization, transfusions and endless doctor appointments. I never know from week to week how he’s going to feel. Right now, he’s doing okay but has swollen legs and feet.
He took my car a couple of days ago to pick up a prescription and wrecked it. Luckily, he didn’t get hurt but my car is totaled. I didn’t have collision insurance because it was an old car with over 150,000 miles. His Prius has been sitting in our garage for three years but needs a new battery and because it’s a Prius, it’s insanely expensive.
I was planning to sell my now demolished car to buy a new one but now I’ll use my credit card to fix the Prius. Then, I’ll have it transferred to my name. I’ll sell my old car for parts and hope it covers some of the expenses.
There are 3 reasons why jury duty will be difficult right now
- I’m caregiving a sick person. I also have a dog with diabetes who needs a shot twice a day, and I’m the one who does it.
- The car is in the shop and I’ll have to take a bus or Lyft to get to the courthouse
- I’m self-employed and every penny I make counts.
I hope they don’t call me in or I get dismissed on the first day. But what if I get picked and have to serve for a week or more?
Serving on a jury is important and I get that. But right now, isn’t a good time. If I led a life of leisure and didn’t have to worry about living expenses, I think it would be fun. I’m into a good courtroom drama just like anyone else.
Someone with a full-time job, whose employer pays them when they’re gone may not mind doing jury service. But as a self-employed person, I make money sporadically and can’t afford to take off. Maybe if I lived in Iowa where the rents are much lower than here in Los Angeles, it wouldn’t be so hard and I could depend on my Social Security to get by. That isn’t the case.
I called in 5 days in a row and never had to go in. Jury service complete. Tip: Schedule during the Jewish holidays (even though I’m Jewish) In the San Fernando Valley, anyway, most of the lawyers are Jewish. Honestly, I didn’t even realize I’d done that when I rescheduled, but it worked out. Pheew!