It’s The Most Wonderful Time of The Year


It’s been forever since I have dusted off ye ole blog. It took me a couple tries to even remember how to log in. It must be fate because I was able to get in and post. Go me!

Once again it is the most wonderful time of the year, Jury Questionnaire season. Yipee!! On Monday, 15,000 questionnaires were mailed to the fine citizens of our county and there was great rejoicing of the masses. If you believe that folks rejoiced getting my letter in their mailbox, then I have a bridge I want to sell you  It’s rare as hen’s teeth for someone to say, “Gosh, I have always wanted to serve on jury duty. This is my year! Thank you. Can I send you chocolate? Flowers?”  Maybe the chocolates and flowers are overkill. But back to the point of my post, questionnaires and the joy the bring to all.

This week I’m splitting my time between jury duty duties and keeping the mail room running. Ms. L has the Wednesday–Friday off and I’m her trusty back up. This means between calls from joyful jurors and the love emails, I get to answer questions from County Employees and process a TON of mail. I have to work to juggle my time. My day today was too long for my usual flip Facebook post, so I thought i would break the fun down for you on an easy to follow blog post.

When I got to work this morning the postage machine wouldn’t turn on. My boss called Pitney Bowes  to request a tech to come out.
Sort mail for everyone in the building and put it in their mailbox.

Then the fun started for the day. A lovely gentleman stopped by my office to ask why, oh why did he receive a questionnaire. He is in this jury pool currently, which ends August 31 and then goes back into my jury pool again September 1st, is this normal? I assured him that it can happen, more often than I like. We went round and round a bit about it. Just as I thought he was going to go from lovely to ugly, I said, “You know my husband is in my jury pool this year. He is going to get a letter from the city about jury duty for them this coming year. He was not impressed either. So believe me, I have heard it all about it as far as having to serve two years in a row from him and he doesn’t have to be kind about it.” The guy cocks his head and says, “Hey, are you Canadian?”  That caught me off guard and I laughed and said, ‘Ummmm, no Minnesotan.” That made him laugh harder and said, “Ya, sure you betcha! I’ll fill out the questionnaire. Thank you for answering my question.” and he left.

Tried to check voicemail and for some reason instead of leaving a voicemail in the Questionnaire box, it’s coming to my direct line. This slows me down quite a bit to check for messages from jurors who are currently called for trials. Look at my jury email and start a new box just for questionnaires.

Just when I think I can breathe a bit, I get an email that a juror has been calling all over the courthouse looking for me. He swore at a coworker and called us all (bad word) morons. You can well imagine how eager I’m to talk to this gentleman. He sounds lovely. Then the Administrative Assistant for our Commissioners pops in to tell me that this guy called HER office. Are you kidding me??! So she gave me the number, I took a break before I had the pleasure of speaking with him and then while a couple friend’s hung out with me, I made the call. My thought was if he was going to call the whole courthouse, I wanted witnesses. To protect the name we will call him Larry. Here is my phone call:|
Me: “Hi, Larry its Bernie, the Deputy Jury Duty Clerk. I hear that you have been calling the courthouse looking for me. How can I help?”
Larry: “Ya I’ve been calling all week and all over and nobody can answer a question for me I guess I got pretty rude with some folks.”
Me: “That is what I’ve heard. I’m not sure how you could be calling all week since I just mailed the questionnaires on Monday and they would have arrived, on Tuesday and today is Wednesday. That is not a week. Can you give me your last name so I can make sure that you are calling the correct court?”
Larry: “I don’t feel comfortable giving that to you. I’m former law enforcement.” (I’m wondering how I can help if he can’t give me his name)
Me: “Ok, what is your question?”
Larry: “Well me and my wife just moved here and I just got a Driver’s License two weeks ago. I want to know how you got my name. I refused to sign up for voting so I don’t have to be on jury duty.”
Me: “Good question, it’s from vote registration, Montana Driver’s License and Montana ID records.’
Larry: “But I just got my license two weeks ago, how can you have it so soon?” (Larry is lying. I have had my list of names for about a month. I don’t like being lied to.)
Me: “I guess I just wanted to send you a Welcome to Montana letter then.  (Fake happy upbeat voice)
Larry: “I’m former law enforcement and don’t want to serve on a Grand Jury.”
Me: “Larry, you are in luck than because my court doesn’t have a grand jury! Yea! If you were called for US District Court, they are the grand jury folks.”
Larry: “Then what happens to indictments? Yes, you have a grand jury in your court.”
Me: “Larry, I have been with this court a few years now, no we don’t have grand juries in this court. Just to be sure you have the right court, please give me your last name.”
Larry: “I don’t feel comfortable giving that to you besides your name is on the bottom of my letter.”
Me: “Ok, you don’t have to give it to me. I’ll have it when you send in the questionnaire. No biggie. I was trying to help.”
Larry: “What does that mean? Is that some kind of retaliation? (At this point I’m done, done, done)
Me: “N00000000000. What is means is your name is at the top of the questionnaire and when you send it back to me, I will have it at that time to put into my jury program. Is there anything else at all I can help you with?”
Larry; “Nah, I guess not. Thank you for answering my questions.’
Me: “It was my pleasure and I look forward to receiving your questionnaire.”
Was this question about how names are picked worth calling the whole darn courthouse? I’m thinking not but I’m not Larry.

Try to answer calls and check voicemail. Move more emails.

Cancel a trial.

People for Central Services.

Between 3:00 and 3:30 receive 3 new trials to pull.

One of my favorite people dropped off their questionnaire and a list of why they can’t serve. It was the best laugh I have had of the day. Pretty much any excuse their heard me mention they put in one letter.

Work on all the mail that is coming in and getting it ready to send out.

Bring the mailbox downstairs for the postal folks.

Go home! Mr. Bernie knows how stressed out I get about the first couple weeks of jury duty. So he stopped at the store and picked me up some shrimps, celery, carrots and pickles. When he got home he put a glass in the freezer to chill. When I got home he had an amazing Bloody Mary waiting for me with all those yummy ingredients on a skewer. Also, pink tulips as an added bonus! He loves me and most of my stress from the day disappears.

I can’t wait until tomorrow to do it all over again.




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