Fulfilling My Civic Duty…And Hating Every Second Of It

One of the glories of living in the United States is that in order to preserve your freedom, you are forced to perfom civic duties.  In other words, you are free to do as you please, so long as in the end, you do what they tell you.  How interesting.  Now, before I go too far, I want to say that I am certainly not anti-American.  I understand that while this country has a pleathora of problems, our justice system, for the most part, functions in such a way that most of us are not brutally tortured or convicted of crimes without some form of trial.  Of course, to the other extreme, some people are not punished as much as they should be, but I digress.

Today, I had to attend jury duty.  There are those in this country who have never and will never be called for jury duty.  I have been called four times.  My life just so happens to fall into that category of, “Well, I’m not dying (at the moment) but I still get screwed over a lot.”  I’m not chronically ill, I don’t live on the streets, and I haven’t been convicted of any crimes.  I pay my taxes, I don’t litter, and I like to think that despite what some who frequent McDonalds might think, I am not a bad guy.  All that being said, I am tired of being called to jury duty.  I was able to avoid attending twice in the past, was obligated to go once when I was 19 or 20 years old, and then had to go again today.  It was horrible.  Did they torture me?  No, unless you count watching the same episode of SportsCenter seven times in a row torture.  Was I placed on a trial for a murderer?  No, however, the first case involved some guy who beat someone with a beer bottle.  (Guilty)  I managed to avoid being placed on that trial only to have to wait several more hours to be called to another.  This time it was a civil case involving someone who wanted to sue The Post Mall.  Good luck with that.  After nine hours of mostly sitting with my head in my hands, I was able to be excused from this trial right around 4:00 in the afternoon.  I’m home now, happy to spend the rest of my night quietly sitting here, stewing over the fact I wasted my whole day off sitting in a room with strangers.  I know I am not an overly social guy, but I also don’t think I am alone when I say if given the choice between sitting in a courthouse with strangers or staying home alone on a random rainy Thursday, most of us would take the latter.   I’m not a recluse and I think it is safe to say that there are not many people who look forward to governmental things like jury duty, trips to the DMV, or waiting in line at the Post Office.  I’m sure my reaction to the day wasn’t all that much different than anyone else’s, so I don’t think I should feel unpatriotic for resenting the fact I had to serve today.

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say we just want to be left alone.  I don’t want to serve on a jury, but I am not some kind of anarchist either.  I pay my taxes without protest so that no one comes knocking on my door with a warrent for my arrest.  I try no to jaywalk and I am terrified to drive after even just one drink.  I am perfectly content to be just another face among the masses.  I’ll vote for president, but I am not going to trumpet my choices.  I am sure there are plenty of others who think jury duty is our civic duty, so why can’t they go in my place?  I suppose perhaps there are not as many patriots as I may have thought, otherwise I doubt jury service would be mandated.  Like I said, I am not anti-American, I just don’t want to have to sacrifice my day off for jury service.  I don’t know, maybe I should leave the country.

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~ by James on October 13, 2011.

2 Responses to “Fulfilling My Civic Duty…And Hating Every Second Of It”

  1. I’ve never been called on jury duty, but my mother had, maybe six times since she became a US citizen, and well, she said it was the most boring thing in the world, waiting to be called, and they never did, and I think , never will, coz my father works for the Justice Dep’t.

    Greetings from California!

    • Hey, wow, someone actually reads my stuff!! Haha…thanks for the comment. Around here at least it is fairly easy to be excused, it’s just a matter of sitting for hours on end waiting for your turn…and it doesn’t help that I get overly anxious about things like this! Greetings from CT…hope to talk more someday!

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