Sorry, folks, this will be a bit of a downer.
I don't think i want to go into details, but today was my first really bad day doing the census work, due to hitting two consecutive homes, the first ones i visited today, where the people were really, umm, bitchy. Then i hit a 3rd house just as bad, later in the day. I actually parked by the side of the road and cried. This after 4 weeks working full-time and for the most part enjoying the work.
I'd like to quit, but realize i really can't because it could affect the unemployment benefits I'm still getting. So i'll have to tough it out for another 2 weeks or so, which is when the work is expected to wrap up.
I called my crew leader to talk about it and spent the rest of the day here at home, not doing much but just feeling upset. I'm not used to people yelling the F word in my face. It's really shocking that people feel free to verbally abuse a stranger and then call the cops to complain about me.
I talked to the cop on the phone and it was no big deal. She just reminded me that when people start getting nasty, just leave immediately. Problem is, the CB wants us to try to talk people into doing an interview if they resist. It's a very fine line between recognizing someone who's just grumbling, but who will do the survey with you if you're patient and persuasive, and someone who goes from grumbling to furious in a matter of minutes and recognizing the futlity of trying to talk to them.
But there are many more nice people than not.
After the nasty people, I soldiered on and the next residence i went to, i was still feeling very shaky and the guy i was talking to picked up on it. I mentioned I'd had some particularly difficult homes to visit. He seemed curious about it and while i probably shouldn't have, i told him all about it. I needed to vent. He was very kind.
I've had others invite me into their home and offer me water to take along with me when the weather was hot. One man toldme he intentionally didn't mail in his survey becus his brother, who works for the Census Bureau, told him that the more people who don't mail in the survey, the more unemployed Americans will be put to work. I was able to tell him that I'm one of those people, and i was very grateful for the work.
I've had many interesting conversations and connected with a lot of people. I find that people often want to talk about whatever's on their mind and I enjoy the dialogue. But it just takes a single nasty person to ruin my day and it's hard for me to bounce back quickly.
I've been working 7 days a week, not full days, but 7 days nonetheless becus i need the money. Now i'm feeling gun shy about approaching a new house becus i have no idea if loose dogs are going to rush me (I always drive into the driveway for that reason; if there are loose dogs, the car offers protection) or, more importantly, are the people going to be nice or not.
I'm taking tomorrow off,and hope to regain some of my confidence early in the week.But I guess the novelty of doing this has worn off now.
So tomorrow i'm going to see Alice in Wonderland at the $2 movie theater with a friend. Maybe will mow the lawn.
Wasted half the day feeling sorry for myself
May 22nd, 2010 at 05:19 pm