When I was born, my dad was an agent in the FBI. But when he took one look at his new little criminal, he immediately quit to become a small town lawyer. Dad taught us to always respect our law enforcement officers and the judicial system. We did and we always will. My dad was a wise man. 

Do What's Right 

I could never be in law enforcement, but at least when I received my Denton County, Texas, jury summons, I knew my duty as a citizen of this wonderful nation. I knew, in my heart, exactly what to do. That’s right: I searched the internet for how to get out of it.  

That, unfortunately, didn’t pan out because I couldn’t figure out how to convince the judge that I was an active duty member of the armed forces, a convicted felon (I couldn’t rob somebody and also get convicted in time), a pregnant woman (again, no time, but my understanding is that this is not impossible in California), or an employee of the Texas state government (God forbid an employee of the Texas state government spends a couple of days serving the state of Texas. Against union rules, I guess.)

So, the best I could do was request a delay until mid-December, which I was granted. It seemed a logical assumption that all the judges in Denton County were completely impartial in every way but one: none of them wanted to try a case that might screw up their Christmas plans. 

It turned out fine when 220 good Americans showed up and they only needed about 80, so they never even called my name. I didn’t have to rip off my shirt to reveal my new full-body tattoo of Charles Manson and the Family while being vetted by the attorneys. Hopefully I can get the tattoo artist to somehow add enough ophthalmoscopes to it so the grandkids think it’s a salute to the Texas Optometry Board when we go to the beach. Turns out it’s hard to remove tattoos. Who knew?

Share the Joy of Jury Duty 

Luckily, my office has a great policy in place for this; I didn’t even have to come in for the afternoon, even though the jury selection was over before noon. I finally had time to finish my Christmas shopping. The kids will understand. 

What’s your jury duty policy? Do you pay your staff members who are called? I mean, why should you? As I just found out, sitting on a jury in Texas gets you $6 for the first visit and $40 a day while you serve—quite generous! What, you usually pay your staff more than that a day? Hey, don’t blame me, blame the Magna Carta. It’s a slippery slope when you give rights to the commoners. 

All of us civilians should be glad jury duty is all we have to do to serve our country. There are many wonderful folks who serve our country while crazy people try to hurt them. I certainly understand sitting on a jury to hear a case about a faulty AC installation isn’t remotely the same. My guess is it is way more inconvenient to get shot at.  

So, have the courage to make an office policy, one that shows you are grateful for our country. And when you get called, show up and do your duty. It’s the least you can do. Also, none of your excuses will work… trust me, I tried. My understanding is there are very few convicted felons who are practicing optometry. Maybe optometrists are just hard to convict.