Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A Bullet Dodged

Today I received a jury summons . . . for the county we just moved from. A quick call cleared up the mistake, but the tone of the letter was serious. It used the word "summoned", and it wasn't kidding. To the county's credit, the last time I was summoned for jury duty was about six years ago, and upon calling and explaining that I had a nursing baby, the man at the jury desk asked when I would be able to serve.

"After my kids are grown?" I answered.

"I'll put you down for that," he said.

So, I guess they figured the baby I was nursing at that time was off to school, and I would be free to serve my county, fairly compensated at $5/half day, or $10/full day, plus just under 6 cents per mile I traveled.

With gas at roughly $4.50/gallon, and a car that gets 22 mpg, that still leaves me paying 14 cents per mile, and that's not including wear and tear (which my husband's former business partner figured at around $1/mile, which includes routine maintenance, tires, etc). And daycare for my five children (once the baby's not nursing anymore) runs in the hundreds of dollars per day at a professional day care facility, or around $50/day if I can find someone who is willing to watch the whole crew for just less than minimum wage.

Sooooo . . . to perform jury duty would cost me $60 round trip in gas and wear on my Odyssey, and $50 for childcare (if I'm incredibly lucky), minus the $13.39 ($10/day plus mileage) I'd be compensated from the county, and I'm left with a bill of $96.61 per day. Even if you only figure the gas cost (and not wear and tear), in that equation it's still $58.40 per day. If I ended up serving full days for half of the dates they specified in the letter, (and not counting additional half days that often happen for these things), I'd have an out of pocket expense of $584.

And the state of Idaho collects somewhere in the neighborhood of two to three times its annual budget in taxes each year.

I wonder if homeschooling counts as a reasonable excuse next time? I'll keep my fingers crossed . . .

Knitting content coming soon . . . I'm starving for some knit-related blog fodder. It seems like it has been a long time since my knit-bloggy friends have posted any knitting, either. C'mon girls . . . let's see some yarn, k? This knitter over here could really use some eye candy. And if your posts are really great, I'll show of a rather time-consuming FO that currently is just four rows from completion . . .

Pretty pretty plllleeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaase? ;o)