Posts Tagged ‘lawyer’

Jury Duty, My Nemesis

November 28, 2016

Since it’s been 18 months and zero days since my last jury duty, the flimsy white postcard arrived in the mail as scheduled announcing my day(s) off from homeschooling! Yay!

It’s that weird season between Thanksgiving and Christmas when most homeschool mamas are torn between math and cocoa with whipped cream. Grammar and Elf. History and fuzzy socks and a snuggly blanket and a good Christmas storybook. Turning on the heater or playing wii Dance 2 for P.E.

Needless to say, I wasn’t super disappointed to be leaving my children unattended for a day or three. (This will be our little secret, k?) My remaining offspring are 13 and 18 and fully self-reliant… with eating and staying alive. Not so resilient with doing school work unsupervised, but hey, it’s December. (Well in three days it’s December, but close enough to already have Christmas cheer!) And lying cozy and warm in your bed reading a fantastic book for hours IS school! Yep!

The day started off with a BANG! From the short walk from the shuttle bus to the front of the court house, I crossed paths with a very angry black woman who spewed, “White supremacists!” to me and my fellow non-assuming, white, middle-aged, minding-our-own-business jurors. Her words literally shocked me. My mouth dropped open. Turning to the lady walking right behind me I shared, “I have never been called that before!” She hadn’t either. Wow! I felt sorry for the name-calling woman. To harbor that much anger must make life horrible! I thought of singing Christmas carols to bring up the Christmas cheer but she walked off too rapidly for my first tune to commence. Joy to the World would have been top of my chart.

Being a returning expert to jury duty, I arrived on time. Signed in and got my sticker badge. Most of my morning was spent reading two months of text messages and trying to figure out who was the other texter. I lost all my contacts on my phone except those who left text messages… but they were nameless numbers. For two hours I READ texts from September 26 to November 28 and tried to remember who I had that conversation with followed by typing in every blinking name. When would I have had time to do that if not for jury duty? Thank you, Madison Court House!

Finally I sat working at a desk until my name was announced. Dang it. I have heard rumors of people getting the notice and sitting in the waiting area ALL DAY. Think of it! ALL DAY pretty much alone to read or look up papier mache Christmas ornaments on Pinterest or make grocery lists or doodle or nap or knit. Sugary bliss! But no.

My juror number this time, out of 40, was 2. Not good. The chances of numbers 30-40 getting selected, in my vast experience, are slim to none. But I was hopeful of being dismissed just by my explanation of what my husband does for work. The trial involved police, so I was sure to mention that Rick flies for Department of Public Safety… the governor, SWAT teams, prisoner transfers and photography… and has for worked for the State of AZ for 17 years. (So the 17 years didn’t always include DPS but I could have clarified if needed.)

This is not my first jury rodeo! (It’s my second.) So I had a much firmer grasp on my emotions as fellow jurors gave feeble attempts at being excused. There was no rolling of my eyes. There were no bursts of laughter like last time. I didn’t even snicker when an elderly gentleman raised his hand and urgently told the judge, “I have to go to the bathroom so bad I can’t think straight!”

The process of jury selection was much quicker this time around and there weren’t sob stories of abuse that we had to endure, thankfully. We returned from lunch and nine jurors were selected just like that. No questioning of any of us from the attorneys. Two minutes after lunch, the rest of us received our Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card. BAM! Civic service done! Bring on the eggnog!

December 2016 I will look for my $23 fuel reimbursement check in the mailbox!

May 2018 I will look for the little, flimsy white postcard in the mailbox announcing my next half day off!  Whoo Hoooo!

The Taxi Driver Sent by God

December 17, 2010

Two days ago our interpreter/guide showed up at the house without me knowing she was coming.  Rick knew, but he neglected to mention it to me.  She needed Nora’s Colombian identification card for some such important business.  She was only stopping by quickly because she needed to deliver the card to our lawyer on the far side of Cali. 

We invited our neighbors for dinner that night, making a trip to the grocery store in town necessary that day.  I figured we would do a family trip on the bus.  We had not yet been brave enough… but adventure is out there!  Then I realized I could get dropped off at the store by our guide and take a taxi home!!  I quickly ran a brush through my bed head and asked Austin to accompany me. 

We arrived at Jardin Plaza, where we had shopped before, but didn’t realize there was a grocery store!  We only needed the ingredients for a fine Mexican meal… plus we realized we would have to carry all the bags, so we wouldn’t be long.  I was thrilled to find my first quality flour tortillas in Colombia!  Auntie Connie’s burritos are now famous in South America!  Our neighbor asked for the recipe… twice.  :o)   As we were leaving the store…. sad realization sunk in that I didn’t remember the full name of where we are staying to tell a taxi driver.   The name is Ciudad Campestre El Castillo Conjunto Herrerier #1.  I could only remember Castillo. 

Austin thought he solved the problem by suggesting we call our guide.  That’s all fine and good if I had the cell phone she gave us.  But I didn’t.  I didn’t know her number either.  The next solution I thought of was to call Santiago, a wonderful taxi driver that we have been using for three weeks.  But I didn’t have his card with me.  We knew where the hundreds of taxi drivers lined up at Jardin Plaza so we headed there…. with dread in my heart.  I knew I could explain that we needed to go toward Jamundi… but you’re supposed to agree on a price before you get into the taxi… and we didn’t need to go all the way to Jamundi.  I could say “our house is in the middle of Cali and Jamundi”… but that wasn’t true… it was ALMOST to Jamundi.  I had heard Rick negotiate with the taxi drivers in that very spot… they started at $28,000 pesos ($15 US).  I knew Santiago only charged us $13,000 pesos. I hate bartering!

Just as we emerged from the plaza, I spotted God’s little gift to me that day…. SANTIAGO was the first taxi driver in the line of 57 cars!!  “Look who it is, Austin!” I said quickly as I hurried to get his car!  “Hola, mi amigo!”  and I truly meant “my friend” at that moment.  I asked if he could take us home, he said it would be his pleasure and he removed the grocery bags from my hands.  “God is taking care of us today!” I told Austin and he agreed.  I marvelled once again at the Lord ordering our steps!  Santiago speaks very rapidly in Spanish and I can’t understand most of what he says, but after we got in his taxi he said something to the effect of “that was perfect timing!”  I replied, “Gloria a Dios!” (Glory to God!)  Then he smiled in the rear view mirror at me.