My time is worth more than $1.25 an hour. Everyone’s time is worth more than that.
Yet that’s how much I was paid to go through a jury selection process at my local courthouse a few weeks ago. I didn’t get on the jury — for a murder trial that’s still taking place — or the pay rate of $7.50 a day for six hours of jury duty each day would have turned out to be less at an hourly rate.
I was only at the courthouse for two days, earning $15 for jury service and $2.38 for mileage. Others had been there for a week before a jury was selected. Some received full pay from their employers for their time in court. Others, like me, are freelancers who don’t earn money if they aren’t working.
I don’t mean for this to be a rant on how to improve the jury selection process or the importance to society of volunteers for jury service. It’s a key part of a working democracy.
Value your time
What it got me thinking about was how we value our time. I’ve written here about how to set rates as a freelancer. It’s not rocket science. If you want quality, you pay for quality.
The same goes for jury service, I believe. Again, without going too far on a tangent about jury selection, do you really want jurors who are in a jury box against their will because they can’t get out of jury duty? Who have employers who can pay them for a month or more to miss work? Continue reading