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Home > 1st Census paycheck and more on my census Experience

1st Census paycheck and more on my census Experience

May 15th, 2010 at 04:45 am

...it was so small, after taxes, if you compare it to what i used to make in my field, but compared to what I'd otherwise be earning now, as a long-term unemployed person? I netted $640 (gross: $860).

I'm enjoying the work. I've run into a few bitchy women (it's always the women, I'm afraid). I actually think some are jealous I'm talking to their husband. I was talking to one dad in the driveway while the teenage son was on the cell phone with mom. Son told me his mother said to move my car out of the driveway becus she was coming home. Geez.

I've had 2 compliments on my diamond peace sign necklace, and they were both from men who were from my generation. It's unusual to get compliments from men on jewelry, usually it's women who notice it, so I'll consider that a good sign that i picked a nice piece.

My assistant crew leader told me that he and the crew leader both agreed that i was, far and away, the most productive "enumerator" (Census worker) they had in my group of 15 or so. I think our crew leader made a mistake when she told us in training that the census bureau expects us to complete one survey per hour of work. Of course, that includes time spent finding an address, tracking down people who may not be home and/or looking for a proxy/neighbor who can give you basic info about the housing unit.

Still, i think that gave a number of people the false idea that they could generally goof off and get a day's worth of pay as long as they completed just 8 surveys.

I've been averaging about 16 a day, sometimes more. So they want to pile on the work and i said sure, bring it on. Otherwise, my crew leader's boss had threatened to "bring people in," meaning, enumerators from other towns, to finish the job, which i guess would be an embarrassment to her. Some people are going to school, or doing this on the side after another job, so that accounts for part of it. There's one guy i talked to who has a tree cutting service, and he only does his census work, which pays less than tree-cutting, on rainy days when he can't cut down trees.

But i made sure to clear my schedule so i could focus wholly on the census work, and my personal goal, as mentioned before, is to do as close to 40 hours a week worth of work as possible, becus once it's done, that's it. No more work (at least for another 10 years).

I'm scheduling my 1 day off for whenever it rains, so this week, that'll be Tuesday.

This past week my assistant crew leader needed to "monitor" an enumerator in action, so he went out with me, which i was dreading. They make a big point of your reading the questions EXACTLY as they're written on the survey and you're supposed to ask, for example, whether the person is male or female, even when you're staring them right in the face. Most people get impatient or irritated at that point since the answer is obvious and you're wasting their time. But anyway, he only needed to see me do one interview, and after that, he said I aced it and he took off.

In between census work, i manage to keep the lawn mowed and i've also continued planting squash seedlings in the garden. Yesterday i planted 5 very small tomato plants but i hope they mature quickly.

3 Responses to “1st Census paycheck and more on my census Experience”

  1. rob62521 Says:

    Thanks for sharing how your census job works and congrats on doing a good job!

  2. scfr Says:

    Hang in there ... To tell you the truth, I am one of those people who does not like the Census at all. Why? Because of what the Census Bureau did to Japanese Americans during WW2, and what they did to Muslim Americans after 9/11 (as reported by the NY Times). Their so-called promises of confidentiality have been proven to not be worth the paper they are written on. Fortunately, I researched it and learned that the only thing that I am required by law to provide is the number of people in my household. I followed Clark Howard's advice and filled in the number of people and ages and mailed it back in (early). If the law had required to answer more than that, I would have been forced to be a conscientious objector.

    I'll bet the Census would get much better results if they did not ask so many irrelevant questions such as race, etc.

    If a Census worker were to come to my door, I would politely tell them I had already provided all the information the law requires; if they pushed I would firmly ask them to leave and close the door. I would not, however, do as one woman here in Austin did and shoot at them. I do differentiate between the agency and the folks like you just trying to make a living.

    Be careful.

  3. Jerry Says:

    Good heavens, where are people's MANNERS? Where I was raised, shooting at someone on the front porch is considered the height of impoliteness... unless they are, like, naked or wielding a weapon or something. It's important to be nice to the census people, they are just asking the questions, and as scfr points out, there is a difference between the agency and the people trying to make a living. It's not like most of them are living off of a retirement annuity or trust fund and out asking personal questions for grins and giggles.

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