Sunday, May 15, 2011

Civics Class

I've been serving on a jury duty for the past week or so. I've still got two more days. When I tell people I'm serving on a jury most people give me a look that's a mix of pity and annoyance. That only amuses me. I love serving on a jury! Ok, so the subject matter is extremely sad. The actual trial is difficult to listen to, difficult to have to make a decision on, and just over all unpleasant. But I can't talk about the trial or its components. What I can mention is how due to the structure of the court system, I haven't been at work in three days. And I got two more days to go!

Heres where the awesome comes in. How can anyone be upset about not being at work? I'm not saying this is a vacation, clearly it's not. But it has served as a few days of active reflection. For example, every year publishers attend a big book expo at the end of May. It's in the Javits Center. Therefore the excuse to push projects to the absolute last minute is apparently mandatory. When I mentioned my civic duty to my boss, thus missing crucial days of book expo planning, he freaked out a little. Understandable. We're in the "Yes Ma'am/Sir" business and no one is going to acknowledge or care a department is one man short. I agreed to come in on Friday, since the judge told us we would have a half day. Maybe that afternoon I could push a few projects forward—help the department as much as possible.

I don't know what happened on those first two days I was out of the office. But when I came back Friday at noon, I was welcomed like a conquering hero! It was infectious. Seeing the small pile of folders that had accumulated on my desk was oddly refreshing. Instead of being annoyed or overwhelmed I was reassured. Yes my department needed my help. Yes I was appreciated. And Yes I can finish all of these projects by the end of the day.

People were surprised I came back into the office on a half day. Isn't it just so annoying serving on a jury? Doesn't it just mess with all of your daily activities? God I hope I never get picked. Well, if you don't take the time to adjust and appreciate what you do have as your daily routine, I suppose so. And when you have a half day off of said complication, why not come into the City and take care of business? It feels good to do the right thing and in turn it feels good to know people need you. It also feels really good to sleep in past rush hour and sit in a room with strangers and read a good book, not getting hassled for a few days.

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