I think that the County Courthouse Commission in charge of Jury Duty is just so darn cute. Adorable! I want to give them a big hug and tell them how much I love them.

I received my jury duty notice a few weeks ago.  In other states I have lived in, you can ask that you be 'excused' due to personal or business reasons.  Here in this state, and in many I suppose, we have a bit of a problem with people 'excusing' themselves often.  There was a little section that was available to write in to the court explaining why you feel you would be unsuited to serve as a juror.  I not only wrote in the 3 lines provided, I also drew an arrow to the back and wrote a paragraph.  I wish I would have remembered exactly what I wrote, but it went along the lines of something like this:

I feel I am unsuitable to serve as a jury member for the following reasons:  I have an M.S. in Industrial Organizational Psychology and I am working on a Ph.D.  I have explicit and specific knowledge in the field of social dynamics, group influence, leadership, and power.  In fact, I'm an instructor and I teach a class on these very topics in organizations.  Individuals who are in my field are not allowed to serve as jury members, simply because of the ability to successfully wield social influence in group settings.  Additionally, I teach during the weeks specified, and I have no one to cover my classes.

It was longer and a bit more detailed, but that was the general message.  I received a notice in the mail today that my duty had been postponed until 6/22, as a provision of the Jury Commission Act allowing jurors to temporarily delay service.  Additionally, "If you are aware of a conflic with the newly assigned date, please contact our office immediately.  Waiting until the new summons date to make a request is unaccepatble and will be denied."

I didn't want my actions to be unacceptable, so I immediately called and explained my summer teaching situation.  I will be teaching an intensive four-week summer session class right around the postponed time, so I asked for an extension at the very least.  I succesfully postponed until July 20, 2009. 

I don't really mind being asked to serve.  I don't even really mind doing it.  But willfully ignoring my explanations about my experiences in groups, and teaching people how to function in organizational groups, makes me scratch my head.  Seems they are counting on an ethical populace that would not stand for one person swaying a decision one way or another. 

Well, I'm ethical.  Sign me up.  But darn, it's going to be very hard not to want to screw with people, just because I could.  Why don't you have me serve in a way that would be mutually beneficial?  I can do data analysis!  Look, numbers!

 


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