Free­lance worker must make time for jury duty

The Saline Courier - - OPINION - HAR­RI­ETTE COLE

“Congress shall make no law ... abridg­ing the free­dom of speech, or of the press ... . ” — From the First Amend­ment to Con­sti­tu­tion

DEAR HAR­RI­ETTE: I work free­lance and do not make a dol­lar when I am off work. I just got called in for jury duty, and it’s at my busiest time of work. I have to go, be­cause they threat­ened to fine or ar­rest me be­cause I have been un­able to make it in the past. I am wor­ried that I am go­ing to lose work if I get picked for a jury. What can I do? -- NO JURY DUTY

DEAR NO JURY DUTY: You must go to court on the day that you have been asked to show up. Go with your pa­per­work in hand. Apol­o­gize for not hav­ing shown up be­fore and then plead your case. Make it clear how you earn a liv­ing and that you need the work that is com­ing in right now. Ask if you can resched­ule jury duty for a spe­cific time in the fu­ture. You will need to rec­om­mend a time and then see if they will agree. There is a chance that they will say no, since you have been neg­li­gent, but be kind and con­cil­ia­tory and pa­tient. Per­haps they will work with you. •••

DEAR HAR­RI­ETTE: I do not like my job and want to quit. I feel like ev­ery day there is some­thing else that my boss is pick­ing at me about. I never seem to mea­sure up, no mat­ter how hard I try. I do go in and ask for guid­ance when she says I have done some­thing wrong. Hon­estly, I feel like she has it out for me. I can’t imag­ine that I am so bad that noth­ing I do is sat­is­fac­tory. I have no­ticed that she can be mean to my co-work­ers too, but they don’t seem to be af­fected by it. This is my first job out of col­lege, and it is not a good fit. Peo­ple tell me I should stay at a job for a year, but I can’t imag­ine that I will be able to do that. Should I just quit right now? I’m not a quit­ter, though. I worked hard in school and got good grades. I don’t want to be a loser. What should I do? -- BAD BOSS

DEAR BAD BOSS: Re­quest a meet­ing with your boss and ask her to give you guid­ance on how you can do a bet­ter job. Be proac­tive with her. Let her know that you pride your­self on do­ing good work, and that you need her sup­port to en­sure that you are able to work to the spec­i­fi­ca­tions she has for you. Ask her to help you. This will let her know that you are se­ri­ous about be­ing suc­cess­ful there.

Do not quit your job. In­stead, you can qui­etly look for an­other job. There are many on­line sources that post jobs. Look for some­thing in your area of in­ter­est and ap­ply broadly. Think about your best at­tributes so that you can talk about what is pos­i­tive about you in your in­ter­views. Do not talk about what isn’t work­ing at your cur­rent job. In­stead, talk about what you are learn­ing but pivot im­me­di­ately to what you want to do with the com­pany in­ter­view­ing you. •••

Har­ri­ette Cole is a lifestylis­t and founder of DREAM LEAPERS, an ini­tia­tive to help peo­ple ac­cess and ac­ti­vate their dreams. You can send ques­tions to askhar­ri­[email protected]­ri­et­tecole.com or c/o An­drews Mcmeel Syn­di­ca­tion, 1130 Wal­nut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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