I hate jury duty.
There, I said it. Nothing makes me express an immediate, visceral response (tantrum?) like a jury summons in my mailbox can.
I don’t think it’s uncommon for people to dislike jury duty, but I would say most people dislike jury duty for a completely different set of reasons — like that it’s disruptive or boring or they won’t validate my parking or there’s no satisfactory return on investment blah blah blah whatever whatever chicken noises.
Before COVID, and maybe to this day (I wouldn’t know) there is a tendency for citizens of St. Louis City to receive a jury summons every two years or so. I grew up being taught that once you’ve served on a jury, the likelihood of being summoned again was not very high. But that was when I lived in southern Illinois, and at the time the town was basically one big farm that had 30,000 people living on it.
But having been a St. Louisan for over a decade, it seems to me that I have not been summoned as frequently as one might expect. Of course there was an eleven-month period where my husband and I technically didn’t exist in St. Louis city OR county, but I digress.
I suspect it’s no accident that I am not summoned as frequently based upon THE ONE TIME I was summoned and reported. Straight up, because of THIS ONE TIME, I think there must be some sort of flag on my record that keeps me out of the summons pool. Here’s why:
It was 2015. I think. I was assigned to jury questioning in a criminal case for first-degree murder — because, yes, I totally would want to determine whether someone should be sentenced to life in prison and/or the death penalty!
What the courts system didn’t know about me at the time is that I cannot help but talk my ass off. All the time. Small talk? I’m on it. Philosophical pontifications? I got you. If talking was an Olympic event, I would join the ranks of Michael Phelps, Tara Lipinski and Joey Chestnutt. AYO!
So every time the jury was asked a question, I raised my hand and gave an answer. Everyone in the courtroom learned my life story. My hopes, fears and trepidations. My favorite things. My least favorite things. Like…someone in that room could have feasibly written a biography on Brianne Elizabeth Voltaire Marlene Charlene Victor Gerzevske.
I wasn’t all that self-aware at the time, or maybe I just don’t understand jury service etiquette because as I raised my hand to answer one of the final questions
and the judge goes
(i am not even lying)
“THAT’S OK MS. GERZEVSKE WE’VE HEARD ENOUGH.”
Needless to say I was not called to serve. They probably wanted a swift trial and suspected that I would go all Juror 8 on everyone’s asses.
(I probably would have, too.)
DO NOT SUMMON — TALKS TOO MUCH