I was called for Jury Duty last week. The usual drill call the night before to see if youre needed. This time I got a slightly different message: call back again at 11:15, to see if youre needed at 12:45.
So, I went to work, and of course completely forgot to call. At 12:45, in the middle of partner meeting, I looked at my watch, jumped up, and ran out of the room. I bent a few laws getting to South San Francisco in about 15 mins, and ran into the room just as they were finishing the briefing. Fortunately, there were a few nice folks who clued me in to what was going on.
I had also forgotten my paperwork, so I had to fill out some stuff, then it was just the usual waiting. Fortunately, the San Mateo court system has entered the 21st century, and they had free WiFi – hallelujah! I surfed and did email for a couple hours, then got called.
The judge explained that this was a criminal trial expected to last less than a week, so they were going to be tough on the hardship excuses. I thought long and hard before deciding to claim hardship, because I’d really like to serve on a jury someday. In the end, though, with some portfolio company emergencies going on, I made my excuses and convinced the judge to let me go.
Next time jury duty comes up, I’ll probably try to treat it like a vacation week. Basically, I won’t schedule anything critical, and that way, if it’s a reasonable trial period, I’ll have it scheduled. Better yet, I’d love to have more flexibility when they call me – the week you picked isn’t good, but 2 weeks out looks fine, let’s go with that one. I’d be happy to serve, but it needs to fit into my schedule – is that a classic Gen X viewpoint or what?