On having jury duty and getting laid off in the same week

Well, jury duty was very interesting. Maybe I’d have a different opinion if it was more than getting a chance to observe in real-life something I only typically see on TV. And now I’d like to thank my parents for raising me well enough that court is something I only typically see on TV. As a potential juror, I experienced a lot in the two days required of me. It was fascinating, even if the actual case sounded somewhat trivial. One person wants money, the other doesn’t want to give them money. Which means it was a civil case, as opposed to criminal.

“You can’t handle the truth!”

That line from A Few Good Men? Criminal case.

“Show me the money!”

That line from Jerry Maguire? Not a court case at all, but more likely to be said in a civil case unless you’re Cuba Gooding, Jr. Then you’re saying it all the time because hey, you’ve got the kwan.

One thing I learned is that in a civil case, the plaintiff has the burden of proof to show the accusations made are more likely true. In criminal, it’s the “beyond a reasonable doubt” we always here on TV (again, something I’ve never heard in real life, thanks Mom and Dad). I also learned about cases that involve someone stealing the spouse of someone else. Yeah, it has a name… Alienation of Affection. Crazy stuff.

“What’s love got to do with it?”

Evidently nothing. Alienation of Affection is a civil case because it’s about money. Unless O.J. Simpson’s involved. Then it would probably turn into criminal. But he’s innocent. I’m just speaking hypothetically.

On day 2 of the jury selection process, it was my turn to answer questions from the judge and the 2 attorneys. This is where they ask a laundry list of questions to find out if I’m fit to be a juror on this particular case. The thing is, I would’ve been a juror if they’d ask me all the questions before our lunch break.

Timing is everything.

After our 1-hour break for lunch, the judge began asking me his questions. The first, “What’s your employment?” My answer, “Actually, during lunch I was laid off.” What!? Laid off during lunch!? That never happens! I don’t know if it was compassion, or doubting I could make a clear judgement, but I was released from the jury. So the case was left up to 12 other people not named Ben. All of which had jobs. So I got broken up with twice on the same day! Ouchy. I returned to work to face the music.

“Gentlemen, this is the final rose of the night.”

Those words from the Bachelorette definitely apply to my last day at work. A lot of people were eliminated, and I was one of them. I found people throughout the building and said my goodbyes. Hugs. Laughter. Encouragement. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry in the limousine ride to the airport. Wait, what? No. I collected my things, got in my car, and drove away from the parking garage, knowing as I left this was the last time I’d be at CMT for a long time. Things will forever be different.

I got home to be greeted by the wagging tails of my dogs. We went to the dog park. I ate dinner. I watched another episode of Arrested Development.

“Just so you have it… because then at least you’ll have it.”

What I have is confidence that I did good work at CMT. I worked hard. People liked me. A few of my closest friends came from my time in that building. Some of them I even Snapchat with. I’m different now than I was when I started way back in 2006. I’ve got more confidence in what I can offer professionally. I’ve grown and blossomed more than just professionally. I have no regrets working for CMT, who’s most popular show right now features a lifestyle I only typically see on TV. Yes, I’m referring to Party Down South (thanks Mom and Dad!).

On to the next thing!
-Out of the Wilderness

Jury Duty and March Madness

I’ve been thinking about this all week. Jury duty. I’ve made arrangements at work for the day, or days, I’m missing. But I just realized I don’t know what to wear when I report in. What does someone wear to be a juror? Is my wardrobe part of what gets me selected or dismissed? Full disclosure here, I don’t own a suit. I have a few jackets. I have some dress pants. The day is fast approaching and I’m clueless. For whoever might be reading this, won’t you be so kind as to comment below with your take on courtroom dress code?

Another mystery at the moment…Billy Ocean’s peculiar pronunciation of “caribbean queen” in the chorus of the song by the same name. For the entirety of time since I first heard that song as a young boy in St. Petersburg, Florida, I thought he was saying “Carry you, me!” and I never thought to question why anyone would say, “carry you, me.” Has anyone in the history of everything ever used those 3 words in that order in a song? Maybe I was too busy collecting baseball cards to spend any time on what I must have thought was a trivial pursuit. Ah well,  commercials are almost over so time to watch more March Madness.

-Out of the Wilderness