Census Nightmare

Now I know  An Ex-Expat  works for the census, and he seems to be a reasonable sort, so this rant only applies to the Census workers at the Sanford Florida Office.

Oh My.
So back in April…I filled out my form.  I mailed it by the deadline.  I felt like I was participating in the count like a good doo-bee.  
In May, I got a notice that a census worker had visited my apartment.  I called left a message this worker never called back.  I figured no big deal, I had already filled out the form. 
So Last week, I get woken up at Noon by a loud banging on the door.  I live in a large complex and children are often getting their friends houses mixed up…so since I was not expecting anyone or a package and I was asleep…I did not answer.  
Census again.  
I admit.  I forgot to call the Census lady back immediately.  
So two days later, 1 pm… I am fast asleep….Bang bang bang…..
Its now Friday afternoon.  I figured I'd call Monday.
Saturday around 4 pm.  
Census again……except I was actually out walking the dog.  
So this morning, I call the Office, I figure whatever they need they can get done at the office. 
I talk to someone who actually asks me  and I quote,
"After you filled out the form in April, did you actually mail it, using the US postal service?"  
I wanted to tell him no, I sent it on the wings of fairy dust, but I decided not to bother.
I tell the man yes, and he says. well, we didn't get it.
Then he tells me that I can be visited again or do a phone interview at a later time.  
I try to explain to him that I do not want to be bothered yet again by the Census. 
He essentially hangs up on me saying he apparently can answer the phone at the office but can not do the 10 question interview.  
So I call back the other number for the actual census taker.  Of course, I get an answering machine.  I explain that she is under no uncertain terms not to ever knock on my door again.  
She calls back, saying she doesn't know which apartment i am in.
I give her 5 pieces of info and then she thanks me and hangs up.  I wonder if she will be making up my income and age?
So after my experience with the Census, I do not think it is going to give any sort of accurate information at all, plus it is annoying a heck of a lot of people out there……
I am glad that so many people have jobs via the census, despite the fact that I am not sure that quite so many of them actually need to be employed….
It has been months since I lost my temper.  So I guess I was due.  

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12 thoughts on “Census Nightmare

  1. Jeeezus! I personally have not seen/heard of such, but I am not doubting this for an instant either. Kinda like the great chef with lousy waiters and the rep of a restuarant.

    BTW the census forms do not ask for income.

  2. He essentially hangs up on me saying he apparently can answer the
    phone at the office but can not do the 10 question interview. – No surprise there given the roles and rules specified by government dictates. I'm not going to broadcast how I dealt with the Census in case there are spies lurking about Vox.

  3. I got a kick out of this since my husband is currently a supervisor for the Census here in SLC. (And yes he needs the job because since the collapse of the mortgage industry he's been unemployed!) But yeah, his team has had to do work for those who weren't doing their jobs or using their common sense. I'm ok with that since it keeps him employed just a bit longer 🙂

  4. I sent ours in via the US Postal service and we also had someone knock on our door saying they didn't get it. I basically said that was too bad because I'd completed it and was sure it would eventually turn up and no I did not want to do another one. She made notes and went away……

  5. You know Karen, when I was a Historian…(back before I made money) I used to use Census data a lot in research. So I found it invaluable, but of course….now I am questioning exactly what Data I was using! I have a feeling that my experience is unique. in a project that large it is expected that some incidents occurred!

  6. Another crazy story that points out how the Census Bureau is trying very hard to breed resistance and paranoia amongst the populace. We were just moving when the census form arrive; we filled it out with best intention but apparantly misplaced it (or not, having read this thread..). We had a live agent come to the door eventually, and I complied happily with all 10 questions. Honestly, I was pleased to have employed him having told me he would be unemployed if not for this job.
    The problems started when we his superiors started calling to "make sure" that the in-person agent got the data correct. I verified that the data was correct (without providing anything new). A week later, another "supervisor" shows up to verify the information! Having enough of this nonsense, I informed the agent that I'd complied with the letter of the law and provided the answers to an official census taker and if they'd lost them or didn't trust their agent it wasn't my problem.
    That seemed to satisfy the agent who left with a chagrined huff.

  7. It does seem that there is a better way to do this. I just am starting to feel like none of the data collected is going to be accurate. I will give my poor census lady Barbara some credit. I was very frustrated by the time I ended up with her and she somehow remained cool and un flustered, while I was neither!!

  8. Our census folks were pretty nice but they did seem to need an awful lot of follow up. Most government-run stuff seems so disorganized and inefficient.

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