The Census is underway!

I have a retired friend who applied for one of the census jobs back in November, and was hired in December. The job was supposed to start at the beginning of this month, but she didn’t hear anything until today.

Stupidly, we thought that the government might think its a bad idea for workers to be knocking on doors to count people at this time. We was wrong!

She is supposed to go to training from the 24-27 and start working on the 30th. She applied because she thought it would be good for her to get out and walk around the neighborhood while talking to people and meeting neighbors. She would be going to visit folks who don’t get mail at their residences, because the Census Dept doesn’t mail the survey’s to post office boxes, they just send people to knock on their doors.

Currently, she doesn’t think it would be such a good idea and probably won’t go to her training.

I know that we all need to get counted every 10 years, but honestly, is now a good time to do the walking around and talking to people part? How about sending the forms out, then later, when a vaccine or something has been found, send folks out to knock on doors.

It makes me very nervous about postponing the census until some tenuous “later.” Next thing you know, they’ll be postponing elections. As a practical matter, a mask and some sanitizer ought to handle the risk – in addition to their own beneficial effects, they will remind the people not to invite your friend in for a chat.

This is my paranoid view of the world. Some people panic over getting a disease. I panic about how other peoples’ panic change the world for the worse.

I applied a couple months ago and have yet to hear anything. If it’s meant to be for me, it will happen.

Fill out your form and nobody will come knocking. That’s all.

BTW, I had wondered how the census handles things like people in nursing homes or prisons, and it turns out they have provisions for this; in short, workers obtain lists of who is living in this or that institution on April 1st and go from there. It’s not a HIPAA violation if it’s on a “need to know” basis.

I applied and haven’t heard anything, other than I’m approved to be considered for a job.

I’m hoping I’m in a second or third wave of hires that will go to work after life is back to normal.
(Oh, wait, it hasn’t been normal in years. Ok, back to when we were Less Paranoid That Talking To A Neighbor Could Put You In The Hospital)

They even attempt to count the homeless!

Does the census even have a provision for delaying it due to a national emergency?

The Constitution says Congress can enact laws determined the manner of how the census is conducted but the scheduling is set in stone. A census has to be conducted every tenth year and it has to be an “actual enumeration”.

So Congress could probably get away with delaying it for a few months but that’s the limit. And the operation has been set up. Delaying it for six months would probably take a year’s planning.

Prisons are probably the easiest place in the country to take the census. They effectively already take a census several times a day.

I’ll echo diggs. I applied and have heard nothing. It’s my personal belief that the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. is highly overblown. So I will be happy to wander around knocking on doors.

90% of the Census is going to be done online. Those who don’t respond online are going to get a mail-in form. So they’ll mostly need census takers to go to those people who don’t respond either way. There’s always a certain recalcitrant segment of the population who don’t want to participate at all. I’m not sure I’d want to be the one to ask those people in person. I imagine some can get pretty violent.

I just got my notice in the mail today. But there are three unrelated people at this address and we only got one notice. We’re renting individual rooms, but I guess we’ll have to share the Census response.

I had a phone interview earlier this week and got accepted as an “enumerator”. I have fingerprint and photo appointment tomorrow for my badge.

According to the interviewer, we’ll be operating in pairs when we go out. Roughly speaking, we’ll probably go out starting mid-May until possibly July.

You’ll probably be classified as a household.

I, too got my online invitation, but I’m going to wait until I get the paper form.

So why is that? I’ve been wondering what the differences would be between those who respond online and those who mail it in.

I was surprised that there was only an online reply mentioned. My first thought “Really? Do they think everyone has email? And doesn’t mind giving their email address to Da Gummint?”

We got our survey by snail mail and an option to do it online. We are way too lazy to fill a form out by hand and then deal with envelope and mailbox, so did it online. Same questions, less bother.

First page was invite, other pages were the survey and return envelope.

My notice did not have a form. Nor did it mention email. It gives a url that I have to go to and a 12-character Census ID code that I need to use at that page.

Big Data. It’s easy these days to find out the demographics of minute areas of the map even if you don’t know the political or ethnic identification of every individual. With a paper trail, you’d have to have a wide-ranging conspiracy at every level of the census to alter the results in a way that wouldn’t be easily discovered. With just an online form, a few people could easily alter the results minutely tailored to their agenda. Or even not so minutely, by fudging the numbers a percentage point or so against the states they dislike so they’ll lose several representatives in Congress.

for those that don’t know there is no long form now. Everyone gets the same questions. They do other surveys to collect more data. The main one is the American Community survey.

Also I think a lot of people are not going to want to go door to door now so the people who do might work longer.

I was a Follow Up 2 Enumerator in the 1980 census. We had to attempt to get answers to forms that were deemed incomplete. 99% were when people didn’t mark yes or no on the question of Are you of Hispanic origin or descent… everyone assumed that they had just answered a race question just before that this was covered, but it wasn’t by the census standards. Usually took a 1 minute phone conversation.

The other part of the job was verifying vacant or non-existing households. These were addresses that had been counted in a previous census but weren’t showing up currently. This involved me going to a vacant lot and tracking down a neighbor who was willing to sign that nobody was living in that vacant lot. They usually laughed along with me. One place where I was looking for an apartment at the same address told me that during the depression someone was living in a chicken coop on that property. Chickens and resident were both long gone.

Interesting job… almost got attacked by dogs, interviewed a totally naked woman (she was actually pretty cute), got cussed at a lot, handing over many cards explaining that their refusal to cooperate was a federal crime (I’m sure nobody was ever actually charged but they could have been), found out that there were homes in our little town that had dirt floors, and was told by my supervisor that I should slow down because I was making others look bad (and I thought I was being lazy).

I mentioned the Census notice to one of the other guys in this house. His immediate reaction was that he doesn’t do anything having to do with the federal government and, for all I can tell, the state government too. (Obviously a serious parkertaker of the anti-gov koolaide – I wonder what he does for his taxes. Or gets a jury summons.) He said he’d send it to our landlord and let him deal with it.

I was first inclined to do that, but then had second thoughts. What kind of info do they ask for? I know this guy’s name (more or less, he’s Jeff, but I don’t know what that’s short for) and age. Do they want more than that?

The nine census questions are at this link

I got mine in the mail yesterday and was done answering it online about 4 minutes later.