DEAR HARRIETTE: I work freelance and do not make a dollar when I am off work. I just got called in for jury duty, and it's at my busiest time of work. I have to go, because they threatened to fine or arrest me because I have been unable to make it in the past. I am worried that I am going to lose work if I get picked for a jury. What can I do? -- NO JURY DUTY
DEAR NO JURY DUTY: You must go to court on the day that you have been asked to show up. Go with your paperwork in hand. Apologize for not having shown up before and then plead your case. Make it clear how you earn a living and that you need the work that is coming in right now.
Ask if you can reschedule jury duty for a specific time in the future. You will need to recommend a time and then see if they will agree. There is a chance that they will say no, since you have been negligent, but be kind and conciliatory and patient. Perhaps they will work with you.