As the 2010 census comes to a close, I am tired. What possessed me to want to go back to work, even temporarily, for the 2010 census? Structure is no longer a vital part of my life, and I find I now struggle with anything remotely associated with personal interaction with strangers. In a nutshell, I learned a lot about the census, but I’m glad my participation is over. The final straw was when we had to check a housing unit already reported. The house had no door. I know, I know. My crew leader didn’t believe me either, until she got out and circled the house herself, several times. We had it listed as occupied, but if it was, apparently the people flew in.
As I understand it, I am prohibited from writing about my experiences as a census worker. I don’t take kindly to restrictions, so I have decided to share with you how I foresee the 2020 census taking place, using my vast knowledge of this disaster…er, oops, I should say “count” as a basis for my tale. As with everything, there is more than one way to skin a cat.
My crew leader and I spent a lot of time in her Mustang, which is very low to the ground. By the end of the day, as she was still springing in and out of the car, I was clutching at small shrubs and tree branches to hoist myself up and out. Ten years from now, I expect a company car with a bench seat the exact height of my ass end, a lot more money, and pencils with good erasers attached. Lack of any one of these is a deal breaker.
So, here we are in 2020 driving around looking for an address.
“This might be it.”
“THIS MIGHT BE IT.”
“You don’t have to shout.”
“Hey, there’s a car here. Someone must be home.”
“Well, get out and knock. I’ll hold your iced coffee.”
“You get out. I almost strangled myself with my badge lanyard at the last place.”
“You rolled it up in the window, you idiot.”
“I rolled up the window because that maniacal old codger was coming after us.”
“What was he so fired up about, anyway?”
“He said we had been there eight times.”
“No, I think it was only three times, unless he’s counting 2010.”
“Where are we now?”
“How the hell would I know? You’re driving.”
“I am? I thought you were.”
“Hey, here comes someone. Hellooooo? We’re from the Census. Do you have a minute to answer a few questions?”
“Oh, good. She’s walking over to us. Hello, my name is … uh… er, can you tell me where I am? Great. That’s where I’m supposed to be, I think. Did you live and sleep here on April 1st? Uh huh. Could you please give me the names of the people you slept with? Wow. That many… hey Bonnie, hand me a continuation form, will ya? Really, this is strictly confidential. (Yuk yuk) You’re how old? Yikes. And those things are still that perky? No that’s not on the form. You own this free and clear? Guess sleeping with all those people paid off, huh?
“Wait a sec! I only have a couple more questions…crap. Well, I guess I can make up the rest…. Look out! Here comes that old coot again. He’s got a bat this time. Get the hell outta here. We’re getting too old for this crap. Watch the dog! Oh %$^*! Hey, I just remembered why the old guy is chasing us…