Thursday, January 5, 2012

Rant #650: Problems, Problems

This jury duty thing has created a major problem for me, a headache that must be taken care of or I am in for it big time.

I told my work about my upcoming month-long jury duty, and I knew they weren't happy, but what can you do? It's not like I volunteered for this.

Anyway, I later found out after coming in for five-plus hours yesterday that they will not pay me for my jury service.

No, they will only pay me for three days.

If I don't get paid, I will for being on jury duty, but just $40 per day.

I can't live on $200 per week for four weeks, and what's more, if I don't get paid from work, I won't be able to pay my bills--including my car bill and my daughter's car bill--and I will be in arrears for several other bills that I have.

And this doesn't even count grocery shopping.

Yes, my wife works, but believe me, her salary can't carry the load for a month.

What I am going to have to do is throw myself at the mercy of the court and ask for an exemption from the jury. I will plead financial hardship.

I don't know how to do it yet--I am going to be calling some numbers this morning to see what I can do.

I will probably have to appear on Monday morning, ready for the trial, and will have to plead my case then.

I hope that they listen to me.

What gets me is my place of work.

We cover things that I would call patriotic. We write about the military, and we are most concerned with their quality of life, and the standard of that quality of life for service members and their families.

These are all patriotic themes.

But when it comes to an employee--who is doing one of the most patriotic things he can do as a regular citizen--my company doesn't back me, they revile me for "not getting out" of my jury duty, as if I can just flip a switch and disentangle myself from this situation.

Believe me, it isn't like it used to be. I have gotten out of jury duty several times before, but this is 2012. The court doesn't want to hear any excuses.

I am doing the patriotic thing by serving, but my company doesn't go for that when it concerns an employee.

Yes, their feelings are based on the fact that we are a small company--about 30 employees--and that there is no law that says that an employee has to get paid by their employer when they are on jury duty.

But what they are doing is not only unpatriotic, it is anti-American.

Now the burden is on me to get out of this.

If I can, fine, but if I can't ... well, then where is my quality of life that my company so proudly upholds for others?

It leaves a real bad taste in my mouth, I can tell you that.

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