Tuesday, September 07, 2004

One of the things I came home to was a jury duty notice. It asked me to call on Friday. Being the anti-phone person that I am, I went on their website instead, where I learned I got a reprieve until Tuesday. I looked at the site again today after work, and learned that I have to go to Riverhead tomorrow at 9 am. I've been seething ever since.

Maybe I'm being petty and selfish, but dammit I've done my share of serving the public. I've done more than my share. I've done the share for every member of my family and then some. If they ask me any questions, I'm going to tell them the truth: I pretty much hate everything featherless with two legs that doesn't fly. Equally. It's just easier that way.

Learning this at the tail end of the first day back to work in two weeks, which just happened to be the day after a computer shutdown... which, for those of you fortunate enough to not work for the IRS, means that when the IRS has a long holiday weekend, they like to turn the computers, printers, and monitors off to save money on electricity. Nice enough idea, but it invariably means that they end up wasting four or five dozen times that amount of money because when the stuff is powered back up, it doesn't work. Today's fun came in the form of a fried circuit board. (Which is quite good when smothered in sausage gravy.) This meant that my entire department, about 200 people or so, couldn't work. At an average of 25 cents per person per minute, you do the math from 8 am until 2pm to see how much the government wasted today. I don't like to think about those things much. Well, that's not entirely accurate. They worked, but they couldn't enter any of the information into the computer system. So whatever information they haphazardly scribbled down will later be deciphered and input incorrectly when the computers are back online. Usually by a different person, on a different shift. So there's no hope of someone going "Is this a G or a 6?", because the illiterate dullard who scribbled it in crayon is home and in bed by 6pm to rest up for the long day of nothing the next day.

Did I mention I'm not looking forward to jury duty? The thing I hate the most will be the waiting. I'm going to have to bring a couple books. I read five books on the trip to and from Florida, and very little while actually in Florida. If I sit still for too long with nothing to occupy my brain, I shut down and fall asleep. I really hope I don't just sit there all day.

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