Lest Ye Be Steved (5/24/00)

Jury duty: the great equalizer of American society. It doesn't matter whether you're a plumber, a greengrocer, or the CEO of two high-tech companies-- sooner or later, your number will come up. Steve Jobs was reminded of that fact as he reported for his civic duty on Tuesday, as reported by a Yahoo Daily News article we first saw mentioned on MacNN. Apparently The Steve wasn't too keen on the idea of spending a couple of weeks away from Apple and Pixar, because he tried to persuade Judge Paul Teilh to let him out on the grounds that he was "the head of a medium-sized company" (you just have to love that modesty!) that would suffer "hardship" if it were to be deprived of his famed micromanagement techniques for any substantial length of time.

Well, all we can say is, Judge Teilh may well be the only RDF-proof person on the planet, because even though Jobs undoubtedly had his Reality Distortion Field cranked up to 11, the judge wasn't buying it. Steve's request was denied, as the judge noted that "other corporate heads has previously served successfully on juries." But at least Steve's attempt to play the CEO card inspired other prospective jurors to try daring excuses. One man, attempting to be excused because of a six-month-old shoulder injury, actually went so far as to say, "if Steven Jobs can get up with a straight face and claim economic hardship I feel I have to bring this up." Unsurprisingly, the judge said no.

But fear not for Apple's welfare, because Steve didfinally manage to get out of serving. His daughter Lisa (yes, that Lisa) is graduating from college in Boston on June 6th-- three days before the expected end of the trial on which he would have served, so the judge dismissed him. So the important lesson here is that while running a computer company won't get you out of jury duty, prepaid airline tickets will. By the way, since Steve will be hanging out here in Boston on the 6th instead of sitting in a San Jose courtroom, we have half a mind to try and track him down and get a horse's-mouth answer on some of the mysteries of the universe. We'll let you know.

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The above scene was taken from the 5/24/00 episode:

May 24, 2000: CNET loses its mind and proclaims Corel Linux to be just as easy to install as Mac OS 9. Meanwhile, Steve Jobs gets out of jury duty-- not because he's the CEO of two companies, but because his daughter's about to graduate from college, and Microsoft takes one on the chin as Judge Jackson says "no more process" and hints at a three-way breakup...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2314: Just Say No, Kiddies (5/24/00)   Look, questioning conventional wisdom is healthy and in the whole "think different" spirit and everything. After all, if we never challenged what we're told, we'd all be using Windows right now. But when setting out to question a belief that most people take for granted-- say, that the Mac OS is far easier to install than just about any other operating system out there-- it's vitally important to stay away from the psychotropic drugs, particularly if you're going to be publishing your thoughts online...

  • 2316: One Seriously Bad Day (5/24/00)   If Microsoft's lawyers are good at anything (and, judging by their performance during the "Redmond Justice" trial, they aren't good at much), it's spinning bad news into good. It seems that no matter how badly they got thrashed in court, at the end of the day they were always able to address the media and say how great everything went...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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