So I had to go in for jury duty the last two days. Like most Americans, at the same time that I understand how important it is for me to be a voice for my peers (particularly since I’m an African-American woman), I’m also annoyed AF by the process. See, back in my corporate days, I wouldn’t have minded it much because my job still had to pay me while on jury duty. Now that I’m self-employed, I can potentially miss out on thousands of dollars and only be reimbursed $40/day. Whaaaat? Not to mention that I have a bad back that was particularly achy the morning I had to go in but I couldn’t take the one thing that would make it better because it makes me extremely drowsy and I didn’t want to be knocked out cold in public, so I had to suffer through it. I also had a series of annoyances that began the minute I left my house to head to court but I will save you those details as they make me sound like an elitist brat and I try to remember that even when I have it bad, someone else has it even worse. But the time I sat there waiting gave me time to think. And when not in the actual courtroom, gave me time to scroll through my IG feed with a more critical look than usual particularly when it comes to influencers.
(For the record, I got sent home after the second day because they didn’t pick me for the available case.)
My random jury duty thoughts:
1. My iPhone X has really great battery power. I went from 7:30 am when I left the house until about 4:30 pm when I left court before my phone said it had 20% battery left. I bet I could have made it home with only 20% left, too.
2. Some people seem to always want to please others in “authority.” I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’ve personally have become less likely to agree to something I don’t want to do as I’ve gotten older, but it seemed like the people who were being questioned as potential jurors seemed to want to appear as “fair.” Liars! Haha—maybe it was just me.
3. There are a lot more “fake” influencers out there than I thought. I’m not gonna give you the witch hunt guide. If you’re that interested, I’m sure you can google how to figure out if someone bought followers. But I had to unfollow a few because while I was genuinely engaging with their content, once I found out they were engaging in activities that inflated their follower count (brands tend to pay more if you have more followers), I felt like I was participating in their caper. I was a cog in their Joanne-ing.
I don’t know who I want to blame for this behavior but so many factors play a part. There are brands who basically refuse to work with influencers who don’t have a certain amount of followers—which then causes some influencers out there to go the “easy” route to get there by buying followers, likes, and comments. Some brands do understand the power of the micro-influencer and that quite often micro-infuencers drive more sales than mega or macro influencers. Yet there are still brands who think they can only work with influencers who have over 100K followers so a lot of people make themselves look more attractive to these brands by buying followers. But what happens is that now the brand has wasted money spending ad dollars only to have bots “view” their campaigns. Then they make no money (because obviously brands are in this to make money or spread awareness) and then deem influencer marketing not to be worth it and then nobody wins.
4. I forgot how hell-ish the NYC commute is. Hats off to those who do it daily and haven’t committed crimes yet.
5. If I had to commute again, I would have to do some SERIOUS food prep to save my waistline and my wallet. I’d only been off my regular schedule for two days and already my digestive track is off, my skin is breaking out, and I feel lethargic (well, probably because I was finally able to take my back medicine and it made me drowsier dinnamug).
6. I also really learned to be grateful for what I have. I may not have everything, but I have created a lifestyle for myself that makes me happy every day. That was made completely apparent by the last two days. It also reminded me of the sacrifices most of us have to make to get the things we want. I don’t want to commute during rush hour everyday so over the years I have created an environment for myself where I don’t have to (you can find out more about what I do here). But in order to do that, I live where I can afford to pay rent which happens to be somewhat far from a lot of the “cool” things that happen in Manhattan (I happen to think where I live is cool, but if we were to take a survey, Manhattan would blow my neighborhood out of the water…lol). I also have to hustle in a different capacity now than when I had a corporate job. When I had a corporate job, I could simply just show up for work and still get paid. I can’t just simply show up for work now. I’m the president, the secretary, the head of sales and marketing, the accounts receivable, the talent, the creative director—basically I am the show and when I don’t work, I likely won’t get paid. But these are the things I give up to live the lifestyle I love. We all make some sacrifices to obtain the things that we want. What should be important though is your happiness.
Now I’m playing catch up with work, but there’s a really cool event tomorrow (Thursday 4/23) in the city where you can catch a breather from the work day (they have relaxation pods and other cool treats)! RSVP here. I’ll be there—if you see me, say heyyyy.