Monday, May 17, 2010

The Census

I have several sources of income, but none of them usually provide me much work during May. So, when the Census bureau called and asked if I'd like to work for them, it seemed like a chance to earn a few bucks and have a new and interesting experience.....well, at least to earn a few bucks.

I spent last Monday through Thursday in training for a job called "Enumerator", which is actually what the Constitution stipulates that the government do every 10 years, enumerate the people in the country. This training included mostly how to fill out the many forms that you would expect any government agency to require, and what to do in the variety of circumstances you might encounter while out trying to count people.

While I am now prepared to do this job, it turns out I am unlikely to get any actual work doing it. Ten years ago, the economy was still at the end of it's big upswing that started in the mid-90's, and unemployment was very low. Therefore, there was about 70% turnover in the jobs, as skilled people could find better paying work. This year, he opposite is true, and the turnover rate in about 5%. That is for 2 reasons: 1) people are quitting less because other jobs are not available and 2) they don't fire many people because they are able to hire a better level of worker (like me!).

Here are interesting things I learned about the census last week that you should know:
1) The info is used only for counting, and the actual names and other information obtained from individuals can not be released to the public for 72 years.
2)Violation of the confidentiality law carries a 5 year, $250 penalty.
3)The nuts who refuse to fill it out, who are also likely the nuts who think they are defending the constitution by arming themselves and going to Tea Party meetings, should know that the requirement that there be a census is stipulated IN THE CONSTITUTION!
4) Here's the best part. It is absolutely illegal for the census bureau to share any info about an individual with anyone...the FBI, IRS,....ANYONE. So, the only way the census will bring the FBI down on a citizen is if that person threatens or attacks a census worker, which is a federal crime and will get you in huge trouble.

Anyway, it turns out that the count is going pretty well around here, and they are finished in many areas. If you didn't send in your form, then cooperate with the person who comes to your door. It only takes a few minutes. Oh, and make sure they have a bag that says Census on it, and an ID. And if they do ask you stuff about your SS# or bank accounts, call the cops immediately, because that is NOT a census worker. And whatever you do, don't shoot at them!

1 comment:

Art said...

When is your book coming out with all of the jobs you have had in your life? I really hope you get to do some "enumerating".