Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 11, 2012

Not Everyone Hates Jury Duty

I’m slated for jury duty next week.

It’ll be the first time I’ve ever had to do jury duty and I’m not exactly pumped for it.

It figures to be really boring and gobble up a bunch of my day. I’ve got to get up super early and the commute to get to the courthouse figures to take well over an hour. It just sounds gross.

That having been said, there are some people who really like jury duty…or at least really like pretending to have jury duty.

One such example is Mona Lisa Tello, a 61-year-old who teaches taught at a New York high school.

Apparently, Tello claimed she was serving jury duty as an excuse for 15 absences from work between September 2010 and May 2011.

Now call me crazy, but I feel like 15-freakin’ absences—all for jury duty and all spread out over nine months—is just a tad fishy right from the get-go.

Like I said up top, I’m new to the whole “jury duty” thing, but I’m pretty sure you get called once and then you’re off the hook for a long damn time.

Anyway, despite the obvious, um, “bullshit-ness” of her story, no one thought much of it until well after the fact when the principal—likely after having spent a weekend watching a Matlock marathon—realized that none of her excuses for missing work made a damn bit of sense.

It was then that he finally asked to see some paperwork to back up her claims.

That request would ultimately prove to be her undoing, according to the New York Daily News:

Tello was busted after she allegedly submitted a fake jury duty letter rife with bone-headed misspellings to get out of class for two weeks.

Tello spelled “trial” as “trail,” wrote “sited” instead of “cited,” and “manger” instead of “manager,” officials revealed Tuesday.

Also, Tello allegedly put the wrong address on the letter and included fake bar codes and bogus fax and telephone numbers, they said.

Please take a minute to remember that this lady was a teacher. She was paid money to educate children, for a living.

Despite this fact, she couldn’t spell the most basic words correctly when her ass was on the line?

She couldn’t take, like, 30 seconds to hop on Google and hunt down the right address or phone number for the courthouse?

What the shit is going on here?!

Back in my day teachers knew their stuff.

They were smarter than you and you had no doubt about it. Plus, they’d seen every weak-ass attempt to get out of stuff that had ever been tried.

Heck, if a student had tried to pull this bullshit on one of those teachers, they’d have smelled it coming a mile away, smacked ‘em with a ruler and sent the kid packing to the principal’s office.

As a teacher, you’d think she could have come up with something better than this, right? It seems to me that she’s gotta be the type of teacher who would haven duped by the ole “dog ate my homework” routine.

Needless to say there were some ramifications beyond earning a reputation as the teacher who can’t spell:

Tello was arrested at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office and charged with forgery in the second degree, criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree and offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree.

Department of Education officials said Tello agreed to resign irrevocably as of Jan. 15 and to pay back more than $3,350 in unmerited pay, rather than face a termination hearing.

Now I’m not sure how I’m going to take to the whole jury duty thing, but if it can earn 15 freebie days off where I’m getting paid and don’t have to burn up vacation or sick time, I could really get behind this whole thing.

Mona Lisa Tello might really be onto something here (minus the whole, “getting caught, fired and arrested” thing). Jury duty could be downright awesome.

You know, as long as I don’t have to actually do jury duty at any point.

That just sounds gross.



  1. In November, I finished 7 weeks as a juror on a capital murder case. Yes, it is kind of nice to have a break from your normal life, but a case such as mine is a grueling experience. I hope yours is a nice short one.

    Take a book, crosswords and maybe some cards with you just in case. Good luck.


    • Wow, that sounds drastically more exciting than anything I’m likely to land. I’ll definitely take the advice regarding books and whatnot to keep myself occupied.


  2. I like that the newspaper described her errors as bone-headed. That is some kind of journalism.


    • Yeah, makes me fondly recall my time in journalism school…I don’t recall them advocating for that kind of language, but they probably figure no one is reading newspapers anymore anyway, so what the hell, right?!


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