Boomers v. Millennials/Gen Z: Jury duty
Not to be judgy
The hardest part of being an adult is adulting.
Other than raising kids, paying the mortgage, slogging through work and wondering why you married this stranger, jury duty is one of the most adulting things adults can do.
But not all adults treat jury duty the same. In response to the sneering, ageist “OK Boomer” retort, let me offer an unfair, sarcastic, stereotyping, disrespectful, toxic, traumatizing and completely untrue take on the difference between Boomers and Millennials/Gen Z. (Trigger warning: It’s “sus.”)
How citizens are selected for jury summons
Boomer: At random, for fairness.
Millennial/Gen Z: That is so random! It’s so unfair!
Jury summons received
Boomer: Excellent! Jury service is one of the most important civic duties you can perform!
Millennial/Gen Z: Yeah no. That is so basic. I can’t even. Can’t we just Zoom this?
Jury date arrives
Boomer gets up early, puts on suit and tie or scarf and dress shoes. Packs briefcase with laptop, chargers and various other wires, work documents, pens and legal pad, newspaper or book, and sandwich and apple for lunch. Drives to courthouse and circles for a place to park. Holds up courthouse security checkpoint as briefcase is emptied for everyone to see as each item is carefully examined.
Millennial/Gen Z gets up after the jury summons reporting time, throws on yesterday’s threadbare t-shirt, cargo shorts that display awesome leg tats, ball cap and flip flops. Grabs phone. Takes Lime scooter to courthouse, slaloming past startled pedestrians and drivers, and dumps it on the sidewalk. Sails through courthouse security checkpoint, rolling eyes at Boomer for holding up the line and for reading the news — and reading books! — on paper no less.
Waiting in juror lounge
Boomer takes advantage of business center equipped with work stations and a copier/fax machine to get some work done. Responds to urgent work emails. Sends a few.
Millennial/Gen Z lounges, scrolls Instagram, ignores urgent work emails. IGs sarcasm about Boomer fax machine.
Boomer [silently]: Pick me! Pick me! Oh please please please! Over here! Look at me — I’m an upstanding citizen! Just because I’m old, white and look conservative, it doesn’t mean I’m tough on crime! Or racist!
Millennial/Gen Z [muttering, looking around]: Me? WTF? NFW. GTFO.
Judge asks, “Is there anything about the anticipated length or daily schedule of trial that presents a problem, whether it be personal, business, or health, that is significant enough that you feel the need to be excused from service on this jury?”
Boomer: No, your honor, thank you — I’m happy to serve.
Millennial/Gen Z: Actually, sorry, I’m like totally literally slammed with work and me time.
Boomer listens intently, takes copious notes, writes down thoughts and questions for jury deliberation.
Millennial/Gen Z, bored without Instagram because phones are off in the courtroom, quietly quits.
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington writer and OK Boomer.