Category Archives: Ethics

Spirit crushing boredom

Entering my 3rd day of jury duty at the Queens County Criminal Court in Kew Gardens tomorrow.

Day 1. Sat in overheated room watching The View (LL Cool J was on) and the Steve Harvey Show and reading 2 books from 8:15 am until 4 pm (except for the 1.5 hour lunch). Finally called as the last person in the fourth group- they led us over to the court building  and then dismissed us for the day.

Day 2 (today). Reported at 10 am. Our group (called K-17) was whittled down by lunchtime to 12 people to fill an unspecified number of spots on a partially-filled jury. One man did not come back from lunch, maybe because he had the lobster club, but more likely couldn’t remember where he was. A rather confused gentleman. So it’s Ocean’s Eleven in there now.

The judge got through a bunch of explanations and interviewing almost half of us. The remainder will be interviewed by her tomorrow, then the four attorneys will have their turns with us. Tomorrow appears to be when we jump the shark and this sitcom takes a turn: we’re either on for what looks like a couple weeks or we go home & back to work, etc. Maybe.

Even though it’s a lot of boring sitting around, it’s also quite rigorous, which I didn’t expect. A lot of listening and trying to make sense of lawyer-speak: lots of subordinate clauses which have subordinate clauses… It’s a bit nerve-racking too & so by the end of today’s session I was pretty exhausted.

Well, time for a salad.

As CHiPS passing on the street

Arrow at Morgan Library

This morning I got ambitious & went to NY Central before work to pick up some paper for a project I’m working on. This is way out of the way & NY Central opens at 8:30. You might say, “not a path you normally follow, eh?” and you’d be 100% correct.

So I get there early, jog to a deli across the street to pick up a small black coffee (no sugar, pls) so I can juice up before the store unlocks. Who is behind the counter making hot meat sandwiches, pouring the joe, etc but some dude I’ve SEEN before SOMEWHERE.

Did I work near him in a kitchen? Did he work in a deli across the square from the litho shop I slaved in for years? I couldn’t put my finger on it. I’ve had multiple interactions with him, I’m positive, positive.

No eye contact – you know, busy morning and all that. Is there an “ethical” course of action? Quiz the guy: can you tell me where you’ve worked for the last 10 years? What then? Oh, yeah, you used to make me a sausage egg & cheese on a bagel. So…have a nice day. Is it worth making a connection if it might be less than optimal…or not a connection at all? I mean – I’m sure the city is full of missed opportunities. How do we decide to take the chance?