Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Best first day ever

Yesterday morning I got up early, showered, dressed, and, like a good citizen, showed up early for jury duty. We have a new courthouse in Florence County and it's quite nice, especially the landscaping. A whole bunch of young crepe myrtle trees have been planted. The flowers are the exact same shade of pale lavender as the ones in my yard.


I'm fairly comfortable in a courthouse setting thanks to my two years of serving as a Guardian Ad Litem for kids in foster care. I enjoy hearing how the different judges run their courts. They're almost always old white guys who love to hear themselves talk, but usually  they've had a patina of kindness, humor, and dignity about them. The judge yesterday fit that pattern. 

To begin with all the potential jurors stood up and gave their place of employment and position, marital status, and spouse's occupation. Several of us worked in the medical field in some capacity; Florence has two major hospital systems that provide thousands of jobs. After we were done the judge made a little speech thanking everyone who worked in the medical field in whatever capacity for their hard work, risk, and sacrifices over the past year. Then he said how worrying the Delta variant of Covid is, and how "South Carolina isn't doing the right thing to help bring an end to this pandemic". I was so excited that he was basically promoting vaccines from the bench! (We were all issued N-95 masks upon arrival and expected to wear them the whole time). Then later he started talking about jury responsibilities, and how no one really likes jury duty, but "in my experience South Carolinians are cheerful about doing their civic duty. I've often thought, that as one of the original 13 colonies, we have a great deal of respect for the English court system that we adopted from the beginning. With all it's faults, it's still the greatest system of justice that has ever been invented." 

Whew. Well. Moving on.  

I wasn't picked for the jury. We were all issued temporary debit cards where I'll be paid for my one day of service and also for my mileage. Altogether I think I'll make about $10 or so. 

Ah, well. It was still better than going back to work on the first day. Instead, midafternoon I went to Marian's house and went swimming.


BEST FIRST DAY EVER!

And when I got to work today for my actual first day this year, a couple of the other office people said, "Thank god you're back! We couldn't get anything done yesterday for answering the phone and dealing with visitors at the front door! We were going to come kidnap you if you didn't show up today!"

Knowing they had to do my job all day yesterday was almost as sweet as the cool, cool water of the pool I was swimming in while they did it.

44 comments:

  1. Love this post, the last line is the best !

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  2. What a perfect post! I loved it! Yay, you, Jennifer. You rock.

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    1. Thanks Mary. I haven't been feeling very much like I rock lately so I appreciate the kind words. :)

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    1. Especially since the hottest weather of the year has descended upon us. A generous friend with a pool is a blessing in the summertime down south! All the fun, none of the expense and maintenance!

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  4. I've been called for jury duty twice and never been selected. I find the whole process interesting. Good for you! And good for the judge!

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    1. I was shocked to hear a judge saying that stuff about the pandemic...but in a good way! Our leadership in SC has been atrocious and I don't expect much.

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  5. Don't you love it when co-workers realize how much work you do by having to do it themselves!

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    1. It was sweet thinking of them having to do it. And the reason it was so sweet is because they've seen what my job is like plenty of times in the past, and it doesn't make them appreciate me enough to even pick up a phone every once in a while to help out. :/

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  6. You gotta love your co-workers realizing all you do!! And, bonus, swim day!!

    I have been on Jury Duty three times, in California, Florida and South Carolina. All three times were interesting.

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    1. Apparently a couple were suing Outback Steakhouse for something that either injured them or made them sick (based on the questions they had for the jury pool). It probably wouldn't have been that interesting!

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I would swear blogger is going nuts! My comment I just left for someone on my blog just posted here?!?!?!?!?! WTF? And I don't seem to be able to delete it.

      What a typed was I can't believe your back to work already, seems like you just left like last week?!?!?!?!?! But glad you had a nice day at your friends pool.

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    2. Haha! This made me laugh. Blogger gets crazy sometimes!

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  8. Personally I would have been slightly disappointed; I've always wanted to do jury service, but have never had the call. Maybe it's because I live abroad!

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    1. I was a bit disappointed, but maybe next time....

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  9. I got called for jury selection once. It turned out that it was a federal case. I had my argument all prepared as to why I was unable to do my civic duty, but unfortunately, they did not ask me that. We all sat in a group and they asked us if we had heard about the case of someone sending white powder to the courthouse. I heard about it but it was during a spate of these cases nationwide and nothing about it really piqued my attention. And so they picked me.

    The kicker? The man represented himself. During opening statements, he addressed the jury saying, "You will have to decide if I am guilty of a crime, or guilty of civil disobedience." He was wrong about that. We had to decide if he was guilty or not guilty. So...we knew that he was guilty from day one. He told us so. Watching him trying to defend his actions was pitiful, really. On day 4 he just seemed to give up. He must have known his goose was cooked.

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    1. Well, you know that old saw about someone who represents themselves in court! Wow. I remember when the white powder was being mailed to politicians. Was it shortly after 9/11?

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  10. That sounds indeed like the best first day back ever! Mine was alright, and surprisingly relaxed with many of my clients currently on holiday.

    What one's marital status and, even more so, one's spouse's occupation has to do with jury duty is beyond me, but I guess it was just part of each person's introduction.

    Hopefully, the rest of your first week will go by in a flash - it usually does when you're so busy!

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    1. The lawyers had loads of questions for the potential jurors to try to get a quick snapshot of what sorts of biases or prejudices they might have. Also, there were lots of questions about whether or not someone was a caregiver and if so if they needed to be excused from duty. One woman was the mother of a 3 year old girl and her husband was deployed overseas...she was immediately excused. It's really all very interesting and I wouldn't have minded serving!

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  11. I hope that my jury service goes like yours did! Sent home on the first day never to return would suit me fine.

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  12. That IS the best first day ever! (I’ve never had a positive experience when called for jury duty.)

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    1. This was my first time being called for jury duty. It only took 46 years!

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  13. Jury duty can be a fascinating experience, aside from all the sitting around! I hope the rest of your week goes well.

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    1. Thanks Steve! When do you go back to school?

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  14. A grand first day! I've done my civic duty--and was seated on the jury. Attempted murder. Don't particularly want to repeat that experience, so I will say I am glad you got off the first day of school--especially since folks now have a bit better understanding of just how much you do and how well you do it. Bonus!

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  15. It is nice to be so appreciated at school! Now they know what you have to put up with every day! Glad you got that pool day! Hope your school year goes well!

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    1. The pool day was awesome! As I told Michael in the next comment, though, none of the other office people care about me and they'll continue to leave the whole front office for me to handle unless I throw a fit! But I refuse to do so. One day their bad work habits will catch up with them. (At least I hope so).

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  16. Jennifer, I loved this post! I can't really put my finger on it though. Maybe it is kind of a "day in the life" thing. So glad you got to use the pool. Good luck with the rest of the workweek. Hard to believe you are back already! (and it is good to know that you are appreciated at work!)

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    1. Thanks Michael!

      Actually, I'm not really appreciated at work. None of the people making those jokes about "thank god you're back!" give two sh*ts about my workload. They'll cheerfully go back to their private offices and let me handle everything, just like last year. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact.

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    2. Oh, sorry to hear that. I have worked in situations where my co-workers weren't the best of people. It made going to work difficult. I hope that this week goes smoothly (or as smoothly as possible).

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    3. They're mostly not "bad" people, and we get along okay. But I'm not really part of their gossipy, slacking off behavior and it doesn't make me extra popular, you know?

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  17. Sounds like you had a really good first day of term. Usually a bit of a chore.

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    1. The first two weeks will be a chore and a slog. Things should level off by the end of August. Hopefully.

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  18. I'm glad those people had to do your job for a day, even if it doesn't change their attitudes about your workload. I love what the judge said.

    Love,
    Janie

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  20. Probably a good thing you didn't get picked for jury duty -- your workplace could not have survived your absence for that long, LOL!

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  21. It must have been a great feeling that your co-workers suddenly realised how important your job was and they were desperate to have you back.

    Good that the judge praised all the health workers for the work they're doing. Health workers in the UK are no longer being as visibly appreciated as they were a year ago. Once again they're being taken for granted.

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  22. good for you for doing your civic duty !

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