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Carlson: The census-taker's tale

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posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 09:34 AM
With all the other threads about the census, and census takers I thought I'd share this story. It's a pretty different point of view on the census than you won't see much of on here.

Carlson: The census-taker's tale

I‚ÄČknocked on the door of a basement apartment in a dingy hallway that smelled like old sweat socks.

A gruff voice growled through the closed door. "Who is it?"

"Peter Carlson from the United States Census Bureau."

"I already mailed in my form."

Of course he had. The kind of people who yell at census workers through locked doors always say they already mailed in their form.

"Apparently, we didn't receive it, sir," I said to the door. "Can I do a quick interview with you now?"

"I'm sleeping."

It was 10:30 in the morning. "I'll come back another time. When would be convenient?"

"Never!" he yelled. "Don't come back."

But I did come back. A census enumerator is required to try three times.

"I'm busy," he bellowed through that closed door on the second visit.

"Stop harassing me," he hollered on the third. "Go away."

I left, thinking, "I should come back every day until he opens that damn door." But of course, I didn't. I had other doors to knock on.

I do disagree with this paragraph though...

The other 30 percent don't mail in the form because they forgot, or they lost it, or their dog ate it, or they didn't understand it, or they hate questionnaires, or they hate the government, or they just don't give a damn, or ... whatever.

"Distrust the government" I think would be a more fitting statement.

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 10:39 AM
Well I can tell you way too much money was spent to count the hubby & I.

We live in a rural area overtime our address has changed 3 times. First it was a private development address, then it was changed to a county road address. We didn't like having our mail sit out on a highway miles away so we changed our mailing address to a PO Box.

Anyway we got 1 census form in the mail which we filled out and mailed back right away. We ended up getting a total of 5 home visits and 3 phone calls from two different census workers with 3 different addressed forms. We kept explaining the problem they would make a notation yet they kept coming back. Their claim was they had forgotten blah blah blah. I think they were padding their paychecks. I believe they get mileage in rural areas. Since we had three forms in our name the census workers visits were completely justified on paper. In reality this waste didn't need repeating.

By the last visit my husband was a bit perturbed. He reminded the woman they had just talked on the phone at length the day before. She claimed to have forgotten as she talks to so many. Either way I'm certain she made a note of the mileage to our house. My hubby asked her as much. I mean we are out in the middle of nowhere yet this lady repeatedly made the long drive to our house for absolutely nothing and sent the bill to the taxpayers. What a much for the government's version of jobs creation.

Edit to add: What I find most ignorant is the fact that 10 years ago we were counted at this same location. At that time we were using the PO Box address. The form had the correct address and no other forms were sent. So why now after so many years did our 2 previous addresses cause such a problem?

[edit on 7-12-2010 by Morningglory]

posted on Jul, 12 2010 @ 10:45 AM
Friday afternoon I was harrassed. I told them if they stepped foot on my property I would have them arrested. If they would like to make an appointment I charge 100$ an hour 4 hour minimum. The forms went to the mailbos months ago where they went from there is not my problem I'm only required to answer them and send them in. The wife did both. They kept asking why the gate was locked. Well DUH!!!


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