Friday, February 26, 2010

Census 2010 Part 2: Is This Real Life?

Evidently I am quite the bureaucrat. Despite my personal goal to complete as many crosswords, sudokus, kurokus, napkin notes, word jumbles, text messages, and cryptoquotes during training as possible, I have managed to climb another rung in the Census Bureau. I am now an "assistant crew leader," which evidently entails me training another group of budding enumertors next week. But first, let's review some notes from the last three days.:

Wednesday: Learn which entries are in pen and which are in pencil. Reading maps and calculating mileage by subtracting the current mileage reading from the previous mileage reading. Contingency situations. It is not necessary to remove gun racks or lip piercings but it is required to cover up any political bumper stickers during official business. Fortunately, I can make campaign donations while I work for the census. Eat "monkey-brain roll" for lunch (deep fried avocado and krab meat without rice).

Thursday: On-the-job training. I arrive and discover that I am to canvas the areas around Bosler, Wyoming this morning with the assistance of a partner. We drive 60 miles to find that the roads on the map are impassable. My pupils are replaced with dollar signs as each mile I drive earns me fifty cents. Hit a gas station for newspaper and burritors. Return to work, visiting a rural farmstead. Immediately ram through a rancher's fence and slide off the road. Stuck for two hours (thus earning $27). Get a free tow by fraudulently using someone else's AAA priveliges. The tow truck driver does not have good teeth.

Friday: Drive 65 miles and log four hours of training time driving to and from our final review exam. Finish in 7 of the allotted 55 minutes. Complete 2.5 crosswords and several sudokus before time is up. Receive a 96% tied for best in the class and still argue questions with the crew leader (because I'm obviously right.) Half the class manages to fail the test despite it being open book. By this point, I have learned to just sit until we are explicitly told to leave, because I get paid to sit. Eat a piece of warm string cheese slowly.

After this charade, the boss tells me and three others to sit down and offers us the privelige of training next week's enumerators. I volunteer as it involves being the boss, and I have never really been the boss before. Training will be a different animal with me in charge. I think the most important change I will make is introducting glow sticks, steak lunches, and happy hours into the training process. Yet I plan on ruling with an iron fist and utilizing timeouts, dunce caps, and paddling for disciplinary problems. We will also play buzzword bingo.

Here are some other things I will do like a boss: Talk to corporate. Send some faxes. Approve memos. Promote synergy. Lead a workshop. Remember birthdays. Micromanage. Eat a bagel. Turn into a jet. Bomb the Russians. Crash into the sun.

Anyway, I have gotten a couple serious questions about working for the census. For those people, I have not yet been trained to answer questions, only fill out forms. If you want to know more I can only guide you to the following website: You can also go to but only if you're over 18 and not easily offended (but it won't tell you anything about the census).

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