Jury selection continued today for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s retrial on an array of corruption charges. One man asked to be excused from consideration because “I’m supposed to start a new job today. I’ve been unemployed for 16 months. I have documentation that I’m starting today, or suppose to start today,” he told Judge James Zagel in a note.
That caught my attention because something similar once happened to me. The last time I was unemployed, after The Times laid me off, I went nine months without being called for jury duty. Then as soon as I landed a job to help launch Ottawa Delivered, I received a notice for jury duty — for the week the first issue of Ottawa Delivered was scheduled to hit newsstands and launch online.
The county clerk let me off the hook, though I got another notice for jury duty just a few months later. The second time my jury pool didn’t get called in, so I didn’t have to serve that time, either.
Now a couple years later, I find myself on the unemployment line again (victim of another newspaper layoff), and I sort of wish I would get called for jury duty. I haven’t so far, but both my wife and her brother-in-law have been called for jury duty — and served on a jury — while I’ve been off work. Go figure.
But that’s OK. I’m pursuing a book idea that should keep me busy this summer. As a result, I probably won’t be blogging at The Bread Line as much as I did the first time I was unemployed — but that’s OK, too, if that means I’ll finish writing a book. But I’ll still be posting here semi-regularly — I certainly expect to blog about the Blagojevich trial — and when the time is right, I’ll reveal more about my book project.