Showing Up

Empty barn at a livestock show

“Well, at least you will have some time off!”

I marvel at this well meaning sentiment because truthfully, jury duty does not feel like time off. It is more work than my real job.

First, I am spending hours on the computer trying to make sure patients’ results are communicated, orders and refills get sent, questions are answered.  I do this in the mornings before I go to court and at the lunch break if they give us enough time. I have a ton of anxiety… that someone is going to get hurt, that a patient is going to get upset, that a ball will get dropped. The office is terribly short staffed right now and I have to be out next week for my kids’ spring break. My jury summons could not have come at a worse time.

Second, while it is mind numbing, it is necessary to pay attention to everything that is presented so as not to miss the details. Someone’s future hangs in the balance here. It isn’t like I can sit in the jury box tapping away on my phone or reading a good book. I still have to focus on what is being said, boring or not. In the clinic I get to talk, interact with people, use my hands. Here? I am a fly on the wall, watching. Always watching. Never speaking.

My fingers and toes have frostbite. Why the heck do they have to keep the room so cold? So the one big man in robes doesn’t sweat while the rest of us freeze our asses off? A sweater is just not enough. I need a parka.

Here is something else: I don’t like any of my fellow jurors. They are annoying as all get out. What are the odds of selecting a room full of crazies? And what does that say about me, getting picked to sit here with them? Hmmm?

I hate that the judge and the attorneys have made a big deal over what I do for a living. “We have a doctor here, let’s pick on her.” I have to give my employment details on all of the forms. Why is it then necessary to announce to the entire court room who I am, what I do? They did not do that to anyone else. I hate the silly, ridiculous and even inflammatory medical statements people like the bailiff make around me as if they are wanting to goad me into weighing in, handing out free medical advice. It isn’t the free that I mind, it is the fact that I know nothing of their history and we do not have time to do a proper consult about their chronic cough right here, right now. 

This whole experience has been eye opening. 

Rant over. For now.


94 thoughts on “Showing Up

  1. 1) Thank you for serving. You could have wiggled out. Thank you for not doing so. As our democracy and way of life gets pummeled, as flawed as it is, our court system is important.
    2) Huh. Odd. I know youโ€™re not in New England, how did you end up with all of my co-workers as fellow jury members?
    3) Would they frown upon you wearing a parka and Uggs? A hat with ear flaps? I think you should. What, are they going to arrest you for a fashion faux pas?
    4) So, youโ€™re saying you are Jimmy Stewart to the 12 angry men?

    Liked by 8 people

    • I swear, I don’t know how people in your office don’t appreciate your special blend of sarcasm, misanthropy, and wit. I would do all sorts of illegal things to have just one person in this room that could be that funny!

      Liked by 5 people

      • It’s a mystery. People are weird. โ„ข If the illegal things could be combined with the Princess Leia outfit, I think’d I’d pay to be on the jury, just to watch. (Since it is cold, you should still wear the Uggs and ear-flap hat.)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like they are being very unprofessional in my humble opinion. As for the concentration thing, I find that I used to be able to sit and concentrate on a task such as novel writing for a good six to eight hours (with short breaks of course) now, since the appearance of the wonder of life in my world (to which I am referring to the two-year-old) I’m lucky if I can maintain concentration for half an hour. It’s shot! How do kids do that to you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mine do that, too! We know they are getting into trouble when things go quiet. They know we are doing something important when they hear us go quiet. Now we have programmed ADHD, like Pavlov’s dog. Focus, break focus. Focus, break focus. Soon enough we start doing it to ourselves!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The only way to get out of jury duty is to lie..::) Whatever case you’re being interviewed for should be an issue for you, real or imagined. Discrimination? Absolutely. Prejudices against certain professions? You bet. Family members or friends who have been affected by the type of trial you’re being interviewed for? The answer is yes!
    It’s sad but it’s he only way out..:) Then again it sounds like it’s too late for you..:)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was so far down the line, I figured there was no way. Why lie? But then by the time they got finished announcing to everyone who I was, I had to be careful what I DID say. It is a small community. Word gets around. Even if it is a lie.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Over here you could actually not do jury duties . You just submit a form to say people’s lives depends on you . Most time doctors are excused. And sometimes when you turn up and they don’t like the look of you you’re excused anyway hehehe . In saying that I’ve never been . Fingers crossed I won’t have to in this life time .

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My only jury duty ended
    with my being the holdout
    on a traffic stop gone bad.
    My logic persuaded the
    jury the guy was being
    railroaded by the police.
    Good luck, your logic
    might bring sanity to
    your crazy co jurors.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think they keep it that cold so that everybody stays awake. If the lawyers I deal with are any measure, keeping your eye lids open is a serious challenge. I hope you can at least take notes — without that, my mind wanders far too much to make a decision based on what I didn’t hear/listen to.

    Looking forward to reading the full story, cleverly disguised, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. In 44 years of jury eligibility, I have never been contacted to serve on a jury. I have pondered what I would do if called. As a physician, I’ve been led to believe that I could claim that it would ruin my practice and get out which I’d rather do. On the other hand, it seems like I would be shirking my civic duty. And if everyone with an intense and/or high-paying job begged out the jury pool would have only be representative of those who don’t mind being off work for an indefinite period of time (on whom I shall cast no aspersions.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think certain physicians can be excluded, however, I no longer do any inpatient work and I have partners. I really believed I would never get called. My partners get called. Me? Never have. Until now.


  8. I think they keep the courtroom cold so as to keep tempers down. Hard to scream at the opponent when you’re shivering. Are you actually on a jury and participating in the trial? Hopefully you won’t get sequestered with those loonies.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My sympathies to you. I got out of jury duty twice, and I didn’t lie but had to go the third time I was called. It was sort of funny because I went there with the intention to do whatever I needed to not be selected but as they began picking people I was irritated for not being chosen–go figure. Well, I got selected but the case never went to trial because the defendant decided at the midnight hour he didn’t want a jury trial.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What are the odds of selecting a room full of crazies? And what does that say about me, getting picked to sit here with them?
    That’s a really amusing observation on your part.. ๐Ÿ˜€
    And yes, it is highly irritating when people zoom in on doctors in all manners of absurd circumstances. For some obscure reason, I believe they think we actually like it ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Liked by 1 person

  11. In NYC you can postpone once if the time is inconvenient. And everyone is crazy, that’s a given, and the attorneys are always annoying. I’m surprised they have singled you out though, especially the judge. But worst for you is the stress of trying to be two places at once. I hope it’s over soon! (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think everyone should have to do it once, and then their name should come off the list. I’ve been called several times. I did one complete trial many years ago. We convicted the guy (kidnapping, assault, attempted rape, attempted murder), and the judge kept us after to tell us we’d done the right thing. He’d just gotten out of prison for doing the same thing. Scumbag.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. i’m pretty sure they have some type of radar to figure out when the worst possible time to send you a juror summons and then they hit click. When you have nothing going on- they never seem to come… but at least you are good for 6 years now

    Liked by 1 person

  14. OH dear! I feel for you! I was called for jury duty 2x, but didn’t get selected either time.
    If they start hankering for free medical advice again, just make up a really complicated name. Tell them it could be serious. Betcha they would try to google it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ve never done jury duty (I think I’d be exempt because of hearing), but I would be so paranoid about someone finding out who I was if my vote didn’t go their way! (And after reading this post, I probably wouldn’t have been gotten by your last one as easily. I need to read in order :-p )

    Liked by 1 person

  16. It’s no wonder you ranted! I don’t blame you! I’ve been called four times, but wasn’t even interviewed but once. When they learned my grandfather had been a policeman and my son is in th Army, they dropped me like a hot potato!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. “For now” = lol!

    My colleague just finished jury duty and it almost finished her. She said having someone’s fate in her hands was MOST stress inducing. She helped send someone to jail and even though he earned it, it’s still a shock to the system. Jury duty is serious business.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh God, how hideous it all sounds! Selfishly, though, it is good for us as I can’t wait to read some of your posts on the experience!

    Keep your chin up Dr Vic (Mind you, you might want to wear a scarf, so your neck doesn’t get cold)!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. There is a growing envy around the world isn’t there?
    A doctor? Must be making loads of money.
    A Marketing consultant? Ditto.
    A pretty girl in a high position? Must have slept her way up.
    Etc. Etc. Envy.
    And the results are Trump, Brexit, God knows what next in NL and France…

    Liked by 1 person

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