Sunday, September 15, 2019

Jury Duty: Why People Hate Doing It & How We Can Fix It

Recently, I was called to jury duty. I ended up getting it postponed since I had things to do in the next 3 days. For those of you outside the US, the US has mandatory jury service for citizens and you generally get called for it at random. You only have to do it something like every 6 years but if you're called, you must go & nobody is exempt from it.

It seems a very desirable county in my city has a dark side: if you're called to jury duty you're told to allot at least 3 days of your life to do it at the whopping rate of $40 a day for a full 8 hour day. This is lower than both the state and federal minimum wage. There also seems to be no concern for economic hardship if you are self-employed & missing higher paying assignments means you could be in danger of not being able to pay your rent, utility bills, car payments, other necessary bills that not paying will cause your life to suffer in a very negative way (like being homeless, not having electricity or Internet access, not having a car in a locale where there's no viable public transit which means you'll eventually lose your job because you can't get there or do it, especially with no Internet, no telephone to call anyone or be reached at, no food, etc.).

When I did jury duty in a different county, I only had to be there for one day. It was a lot of waiting around, they called me for a case, excused me then I got to go home. No, in this "desirable" county there's a ballot system where if you are rejected for one case, you have to give your ballot back and they may draw your number AGAIN with seemingly no end in sight. I opted for an adjournment since I had planned assignments and didn't care to lose $500+ in not doing those assignments. I figure with prior planning, I can just clear my schedule and let people know I'm free the day before if things don't take as long as the clerks involved with jury duty tell you they will. The clerk where I was said "If you can't commit the whole day to the next 3 days, you should leave right now and get a postponement." I opted for a time where I might get fewer assignments & hopefully will face less stress.

One big thing about jury duty is you'd better bring something to do. Ideally you'll want something not involving electricity or technology like books or writing material. I'd thought of doing writing while I was in jury duty as well as doing legal CLEs; hey, if you have time to kill you may as well do legal CLEs (which I have never found exciting or interesting; maybe it's because most of the programs I've done had nothing to do with entertainment law & few speakers have an engaging, passionate style that makes you stand up and take notice). From my own conversations with lawyers, many aren't enthused with the whole CLE thing and view it more as taking medicine than learning useful things about their particular practice area. Saving the outlines and materials is always a good thing so you have those resources for later if the subject matter comes up but most lawyers are so freaking busy they don't have time to watch and pay full attention to this stuff. The CLE provider probably also factors in here since some offer more interesting courses than others. One lawyer I've heard about bills himself as a "comedian of law" & that just builds up expectations of fun in my mind. I want to see if this guy lives up to the hype sometime. Another thing about CLE courses is that many are pricey. But it's a requirement and if you HAVE to be someplace anyway, that's making productive use of your time. I've also watched some courses while taking Amtrak to see my family (a train ride lasting at least 10 hours, usually longer when there are delays). This aspect you can plan for.

I guess if you're also inclined, you could use jury duty as a pickup scene & get to know hot prospective jurors who also want to leave & can think of better things they could be doing. Why not, right? That's better than harassing women on Facebook or LinkedIn under the guise of business networking. There were some hotties when I went; maybe there will be more next time & some will have the balls to approach me. I always like to see about prospective networking as well so if that can happen, what the hey? Another productive use of time.

But let's see: Why would you want me to be on your jury when my presence is NOT being compensated by my employer (as I'm self-employed) & I'm worrying about the loss of income from being there? What type of objectivity or any sense of fairness are you going to get from a juror who resents the state stealing their income by forcing them to work for below city, state and federal minimum wage? Attorneys used to be exempt from jury duty by virtue of being attorneys. This apparently is no longer the case yet attorneys make significantly more money, know how trials work and could easily sway non-attorneys on that jury to agree with them if they have some bias against the accused or the prosecution. I was hoping maybe me knowing a lot of attorneys in my city could get me kicked out since you can't be on the jury of a lawyer you know personally (the other side would assume you're going to side with your friend's client or if it's an enemy, your enemy will presume you're going to nail their client). Solo practitioners are being taken away from clients & not getting compensated by anybody else so why shouldn't they be exempt? Same for appearance attorneys like yours truly. Entire practices could crumble from such requirements. Isn't that screwing over other people who might have cases going to jury trials?

Honestly, though I think you'd get fewer people objecting if they were paid at least minimum wage for the city, state or country. If someone isn't being compensated by an employer, they would not have to worry they'd lose their home or ability to work due to jury service. Minimum wage at least would make people feel less resentful about serving & you wouldn't have people doing what Pauly Shore's character did in "Jury Duty" (see that movie if you haven't; I was so happy one of my Facebook friends actually knew that movie when I mentioned it since it's somewhat obscure and many people don't get my obscure references). Money for lunch would also be nice. Weirdly, I'm not even sure what's in the area of the courthouse where I have to serve. I know it for the county I served in before.

I've heard some great lines to use to get out of jury duty as well that I could consider but for now, these are my ideas for why people don't like doing it and how we could fix that.

Monday, September 2, 2019

A Basic Lesson in Entertainment Networking with a "Gorgeous" Entertainment Attorney (Or Really, Any Professional)

If you haven't faced this problem as a woman, consider yourself damn lucky or extremely ugly.

What problem am I speaking of? Business networking or attempting to meet people in your industry. This little problem is worse if you're A) society's definition of "smoking hot" and/or B) work in an industry known for its casual, laid back atmosphere such as entertainment.

The entertainment field is one of those places where you either fit in like a glove or you're a square peg in a round hole. One hazard of entertainment, as many of us are certainly aware, is being hit on. Typically this is men hitting on women, particularly attractive women. It's very common for actresses and models but it can also happen if you work in other jobs like as a producer, an assistant and even if you're an entertainment attorney. Women probably do it as well but that's a topic for the straight men and the lesbians to weigh in on; the straight rolls off me like a stench so women don't hit on me.

Now when you're an entertainment attorney & experience this, it's just completely fucked up. I mean, the word "lawyer" inspires shock and terror and respect among many an entertainment professional. They figure the lawyer is going to mess them up in some fashion or destroy their enemies in some epic manner to where they'll think they've been castrated, suffered a massive blow to the head, had an orgasm that blew their brain right out of their head, SOMETHING scary, epic, intense, life changing and usually terrible. Smart people don't fuck around with lawyers or people who have them. Many still tell me that lawyers are a figure that inspire respect, awe and the like among creatives though many distrust and dislike them by the nature of that job. I think many also feel lawyers are cold, don't understand the art/craft part of the industry and will walk right past some shivering, starving family on the street without a wit of concern for their welfare.

When you're an actress/model or work in some other job where being pretty is required, this is simply an occupational hazard. Most people who do those jobs encounter plenty of this in their real lives as well no matter what they wear, how neatly their hair is brushed, even if they've gotten enough sleep the night before. I've gone out in my worst and STILL gotten hit on by guys. I remember this even happening when I was a teenager though my mother was super strict and glared at guys who checked me out, I couldn't buy a date in high school (I've since learned my male peers were likely too intimated by my looks and my brain, a hazard I still live to this day) & it's almost never the guys I WANT approaching me.

But while you expect this generally if you're an actress or model, you don't expect this to come up in places like the classroom or on job searching sites like LinkedIn. You don't expect it in the context of business networking events or when you're responding to friend requests from people who work in the same industry as you or when you're at work in your career.

Ever hear of the saying "Don't shit where you eat?" This means, don't have beyond platonic relationships with people who work in your industry. Do you want to be known as the actress who only got a role in a film because you were fucking the director? Do you want to be the model who's only walking in the show because you slept with the photographer or producer? How about the attorney who only got the client because you were dating him?

The mere appearance of having gotten something because of a personal relationship is bad enough. The inevitable gossip and breakup aftermath are even worse.

So, for the men here's why you DON'T hit on women in a business context or if you work in the same industry as her:

1. Nobody of worth wants to be known as a casting couch ho. People don't think kindly of casting couch hoes. They are a scourge on the industry, diminish those with actual talent & prevent anyone from honestly getting ahead since everyone receives the message "you won't get anywhere here no matter how good you are at your job if you don't fuck me." I & others of like mind see this and think "what's the fucking point of dealing with you since you're an obstruction to my progress?"

2. Have you been asleep for the Harvey Weinstein scandal? Or other sexual harassment scandals? If some woman isn't interested or loses interest, she can easily accuse you of trying to use your industry power to fuck with her career or imply that you said a breakup or rejection would result in her not getting roles or even getting blacklisted.

3. Do you like having your sex life and proclivities being public knowledge & a topic of gossip? I don't. Most women tend to get bashed in those sessions and viewed as whores. It doesn't lead to women being respected or valued for their brain cells or their abilities outside of a sexual context.

4. Do you stay friends with all your exes? Or are all of your exes dead to you, like mine are? I don't want to see, hear about or know my exes. I prefer to think they're dead or in some other universe far away from me. Dating in your industry means if you break up, you'll probably have to see that person again or deal with them in a business context.

Can you be professional in that instance? Most people can't. I would rather not put myself in that situation in the first place. I don't care to get fucked over by an angry ex or see someone who refuses to leave me alone to live my life without them.

5. In the case of an attorney, you're implying that woman has to sleep with clients to get their business since she's otherwise too inept to get or keep clients with her personality or her brain or her legal skills. In other words, you're calling her stupid & incompetent. Attorneys REALLY don't like being called stupid or treated as though they are stupid.

Perhaps you're also insulting actresses and models here by implying that they're not good enough on their own merits to get ahead and have to fuck you to get work. Some may do it but I think anyone of worth or talent would refuse to play that game.

Here's another free piece of advice: stop bitching at women who call you out when you've sent a flirtatious message just like every other cretin who's not approached them in a professional manner.

I've had a few guys get pissy at me when I told them straight up that if they have a romantic intention towards me, I'm not interested or that they can go to my Facebook fan page if they want to just see the pretty pictures. Just this evening, I had one send me a friend request who I'd wondered if he also worked in the industry being Facebook friends with numerous friends I know who work in the business.

His first message to me is telling me how he thinks my pics are "cute, sassy & yes sexy!" then inviting me to check out his profile, saying we might have things in common & inviting me to "chat sometime."

Seeing as this is someone I see no information on and know nothing about, I state that if he's only sent me this friend request to proposition me romantically that doesn't work for me and I'd wanted to know if he worked in my industry as I see all our mutual contacts are from that field. I also mention that I've got a fan page specifically for people just seeking pretty pics instead of reading my views on various issues (I don't fit inside a neat little box and lots of people get pissy at things I have to say on topics they may not agree with me on).

I figure I'll get a normal, sane response giving me answers and determining if this is some leftist lunatic who's going to try censoring me on my own page (since I believe in taking preemptive measures to avoid hassles whenever you can). Instead I get a snarky response like I'm supposed to know who he is (I don't & still don't; this is not some guy with a household name and even if he were, that wouldn't impress me since I'm not some ho who drops her drawers without talking to a guy and seeing if I at least like his personality).

I respond stating the role of an entertainment attorney isn't to kiss your ass, suck your dick or stroke your ego & the lunacy of expecting not only an entertainment attorney but a natural redhead to do that. I concluded with "How about NOT insulting my intelligence? Thanks."

When a guy gets defensive and snarky in response to a message like the one I wrote, I conclude he's nothing but a cretin with no pure intention in speaking to me. I don't think "Oh, I'm such an awful person" since I'm polite & professional while saying IF your intention is romantic, I'm not interested. Plenty of people who did have romantic intentions didn't act like toddlers when I wrote such a message and replied in a respectful manner. Plenty of guys respect my right to have preferences that don't include them as well as my right not to want to be seen as some casting couch ho.

Guys, if you think some woman is attractive don't make that your lead in conversation. Attractive women in particular will be on guard for that and they'll think you're just another cretin wasting their time. We have online dating apps and Instagram for romantic overtures so go there if you want to do that. Just remember that if you work in the same field and could be in a supervisory or decision making role over someone or could be their client, you're probably not getting considered & will offend the person in question.

You can ask NICELY, PROFESSIONALLY and POLITELY in the context of Instagram or an online dating app since people expect that to be your purpose on those sites & generally don't do business networking there but you need to actually talk to that woman as a human being with functioning brain cells and see if you like her conversation before you spring that on her. A lawyer asking me out on one of those sites is different from one asking me out during a work assignment or on LinkedIn. One lawyer simply handed me his business card with his number written down on it, which I thought was a classy & acceptable way of making that intent known without putting me on the spot at work (he also wasn't my adversary on a case).

I never experienced this shit in my academic career as a student in college or law school & I probably would have felt even less flattered in those situations. Clearly some guys who work in entertainment will never make competent law professors. My father would have killed some professors who tried that, I'm quite certain.

I feel like we should not have to have to vocalize this lesson. Why isn't the #metoo movement addressing it but instead demonizing ALL men & making them not want to mentor or hire women? I don't think all men are evil and I'm no delicate flower but some seem not to think about the perspective of the woman reading this stuff or what her perception of the author is. Are they fucking stupid? Over sexed? Suffering from delusions of hotness? What's the deal?

And for fucks sake, if you're going to approach a woman at least live in the same fucking STATE!!! If you don't live in the same geographic area as me or regularly come to my region (at least weekly), then you are wasting my time. I already have a long distance sort of boyfriend & he's probably much better looking than you are, not to mention he was there in the hard times so I know he can be trusted while I don't know shit about you.

I also don't waste my time on men who make my ex-husband look like Brad Pitt in terms of looks or money so know your audience before you send such messages!! Models are not going out with dudes who don't even rank on the average scale in looks unless they've got tons of money they'll be spending on them. If you hate that reality, I suggest you go fix yourself in looks or in job prospects or attitude. Don't come bitching to me or anyone outside of a qualified therapist about your unrealistic expectations. You're not entitled to anyone, period. Women have free will & the right to make their own decisions on such matters; if you have a problem with that, move to a foreign country where women are second class citizens and go date women who live there. Women in the US aren't putting up with that shit.