Census Enumerator Training
For additional and current addendum's, scroll to bottom of this post.
The ten year Census count is starting as of April 1st. The first being in 1790, there have been 23. As long as the occupancy of the household Unit was in place on april 1st, they Will be counted. After patiently wondering if my name was still on the 'roll' of Census Applicants, Voila, Patrice called. She is my dedicated (and also very attractive) Crew Leader.
There are approximately 42,000 Enumerators now hired and working. If you notice the 'New employment figures' increasing in your gushing Daily Media, it is because of this rare and costly, taxpayer funded occurence. Part of the Largest peacetime roll of government hirings.
We all met in the church building on Monday morning, April 26th of 2010. Several rooms and Crew Leaders with full classes, filled the church halls. I arrived at 8am just to be early and 're-con the situation'. It is an old habit of mine, even though we didn't have to be in attendance untill 8:30am.
Eventually five of us showed up while Patrice gathered our Equipment Kits, laying them out at our tables. Surprising to find out from another source, that so many recruited, passed the test, then failed to show,even after agreeing to work on this job. One source mentioned that many are liking their government 'subsistance' funding better. They don't have to do any work for that money.
A black bag lay in front of me, labled with the U.S. Census Logo, loaded with manuals and forms eventually weighing about five pounds. Patrice affirmed our intentions of becoming Federal Enumerators. She then had us raise our right hands and commenced with the official ceremony of 'Swearing In'.
A neck lanyard with our Official I.D. and information cards, is mandatory wearing apparel, to be presented at time of a PI (personal Interview) while handing a copy of the reason for the PI to the Respondant or the 'Proxy' Respondant. Some modification was required to affix our name.
Patrice had an idea, so I copied it and printed my name on my computer, cut it out and taped it to the name tag. Looks better than a signature. PII is personal identity information. Don't forget it :>) Everything you touch in the training room, every bit of paper with written words on it is PII. Don't let it lay around, Stash it or destroy it. Do not lose anything. If any PII is lost, an emergency will be declared and a team will come to investigate (theoretically).
Manuals, Forms and their numerous code initials for every conceivable duty and situation we are to perform, were in our kit. The morning was spent reviewing each regulation, restriction and procedure, form by form. Patrice read each page of the process and had us fill out our many personal registration forms. "No errors allowed", according to a source with Homeland Security, who works on the accounting end in another state.
A short 15 minute break and we were back at it. There is absolutely no way I will remember everything about this process. Hopefully repetition on the job will take hold and the information flow will become productive. Patrice is wonderful. Her attitude of happy and positive encouragement, is addictive and quickly spreads through this very intelligent group around me.
Near the end of our first 1/2 day of Training, we were finger printed by two of our other members that were trained in that aspect. I also have been fingerprinted in obtaining my 'Concealed Carry Certification'. Now the 'Gummint' knows who I am and of course where I live. Did you know that Corn Huskers Lotion is an aid in 'plumping' the fingertips. It is also injected into the fingertips of Corpses to fingerprint for identity.
Gather up all PII. Time of arrival at home was 1:30pm or so. We were also paid travel time with our work time of $11.50 per hour. Mileage must be accurately recorded (.50 per mile), as well as total hours spent each day. The term NO OVERTIME was repeated often by Patrice.
Orders: Return tomorrow at 13:30hrs (1:30pm) for the rest of the 'first day' training. A total of four days will be spent on training alone, then it's "Hit the Road Jack". The amount of paper work is 'Governmental'. Just wait until you have to deal with the New Federal 'Health Care' Reform, you as Voters just implemented. You deserve it. Of course you may expire before you finish the paperwork. I think that is the actual plan.
I accessed this Census website
NM (Lobos) is down around 62% with Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) at 70%. Latest figures show New Mexico down near the very bottom, #50 "The land of Manana" (tomorrow). Neighborhoods vary in response as well. Our job as 'NRFU Enumerators' is to contact the non-responders and verbally gather their information.
The cost savings, if everyone mailed back their forms, would be approximately 1.5 Billion Dollars. Oh well it's only money, Taxpayers money. The 'responder' results overall were approximately the same as in the year 2000. I wonder how Ruby Ridge Idaho
"Siren" Patrice lured me from my home one more time. Today we got there at 1:30pm, the PC class of 1/2 men and women, started a little later due to a slight delay in lunch break. Now we have grown to twelve, with the two 'half day' classes synched. The time was spent going over the handbook and the workbook. This time a trial census form was filled out by the class. Patrice does a great job in keeping us enthused. Her local government background in Human Resources as a 'Trainer', keeps us trying hard to please her.
At this time, I feel like the class Turtle in a cage filled with 'Geckos'. When the fast cricket is tossed in, guess who can't catch it. They are all highly intelligent and obviously from detail oriented backgrounds. They like to 'OFFICE'. I am the only 'mechanic' in the lot. It takes me a while to get up, after I change the oil on my trucks. Same feeling in classrooms.
We ran through the forms with everyone around me competently clicking off the data and doing the workbook. Reading the map and finding the addresses that did not respond on the mailed forms, was our lesson. What the many codes and descriptions meant, were covered. Lost me there. I finally got the idea but much slower than the class of other quick thinkers in attendance.
Now it is set up like an interview, with the person that answered the door.
Patrice was our 'responder'. We read the questions, her answered details were documented in the correct lines and boxes. A portion of time was spent correcting a few loose ends from yesterday. In my case, more than 'a few'.
I had to give a second set of finger prints, sign a form that missed a signature, then redo my green time form (D-308). This was only one of many times I botched that simple procedure. I have gone through so many forms it is wasteful. No wonder one of my classmates demanded we 're-cycle'. She apparently observed my process of repeatedly trashing paperwork into the 'burn' bag. Maybe I can catch on to this stuff, but so far it looks like I will need a lot of repitition before I will get it stuck in my old brain neurons (what's left of 'em).
Patrice works another job as well. I have no idea how she juggles all of her responsibilities, she is amazing. Her background also crossed paths with an aquaintance of ours. Fun to meet a common link. One guy next to my station at the table, was in a film with me last year. He was a 'Stand In' during the filming of 'Crash', while I was a "Hand Double' for Dennis Hopper.
More fun to find links in daily life. We all have to be back at it tomorrow, 8:30am. Guess I will try again, it can't get worse. A flashback of 'Valence' came into my thoughts during class today. In HS I dropped out of Chemistry because of the math involved in figuring Valence
Patrice and her enthusiasm brought me back again. Arrival at 8:30am, The group is lively and questions were intelligent, as the lessons in filling out the 'EQ' Enumerator Questionair (11 inches tall, over 28 inches wide, tri fold) started to take hold. There are several other various types of forms. Each has it's own situational purpose. The rest of the class was busily assimilating the information as fast as Patrice read it from her manual. Patrice mentioned about the long hours. Her humorous assessment of "The Brain can only absorb what the 'Butt' can endure", is so true.
I, being a 'Hardware' kind of guy, and of course not having a background in 'Documentation' (Office) of any sort, stumbled and eventually crawled through the day. I was still trying to find the forms while the rest of the intelligent class, familiar with 'forms' and not suffering from A.D.D, Were already completing the documentation. Patrice being nearby, pointed them out to me :>)
The letters and codes were to be printed legibly in each little box. No marks outside the boxes. Only a #2 pencil was to be used. In school, remember the classroom pencil sharpener, on the wall in front of the room? Boys liked it when the girls twirled the little crank. They shook their butts to the turns of the crank. Well forget it, we all had our own little 'twisty' type in this class.
Periodically Dale our boss (FOS), stopped in to pick up completed forms, drop off others and offer new information.
The forms deal with each and every situation the Enumerator will encounter. The person at the door will spend about ten minutes answering the questions on the 'Basic' non response form. The easiest way to be counted in the Census, is to send in the mailed form after filling it out at home. The 'question and answer at the door in person' is the least desireable. Keep that in mind ten years from now. Judging by the workbook the enumerators have seen and heard every excuse, including total 'refusal', from the persons being interviewed.
The enumerator is not allowed to enter the 'housing unit' during the questions, due to liabilities. In the case of female enumerators, their safety could be an issue. Apartment managers will be busy. The various forms cover such things as race (btw Hispanic is NOT a race), country of origin, sex (as of April 1st) and date of birth, and age. A 'Proxy' respondent if used, is anyone not directly related, or a neighbor willing to 'get involved'.
A different official numbered form is used for each situation. In the case of a large family in residence, an additional form is used to collect each of their personal data. If a home is vacant, the exact reason must be documented on yet another form. Details of an unsuccessful trip, due to vacancy of a structure in case of fire or other reasons, require yet another form. No sticky notes or bits of paper. Everything requires a special numbered 'form'.
For most of my life I was employed as a technical field engineer for multi-national corporations. Later with another company I helped start, I was offered a position as Service Manager over the technical crew I helped build, worked with and supervised. I saw the paperwork involved, and turned down the lucrative office 'desk job'. Before I was married, I only carried cash and did not even have a bank account. My brilliant 'accountant' wife has kept our books and has overseen our investments ever since.
My career was as a field engineer on machinery and hardware, communications and data equipment. I at one time, could fix most highly technical machines with thousands of moving parts. Even now, I still can replace a garbage disposal unit, faucet assembly, sprinkler heads and valve control systems. Most vehicle maintenance I do myself. I Pilot a 55' 28,000 lb Motor Coach 'rig' across the country and go on mountain hikes without getting lost. :>)
I was an Agriculture employee, worked with an inventor, field engineering his inventions. I sold cars, and worked construction. This paperwork and filling in the little squares, is not my 'thing' (obviously). I will stick around until the end of the four day training class for the experience and gather some knowledge of the Census.
I am surprised I was able to get this far. Oh well I took the test for this job three times to raise the final score. I don't think they will allow me to take this training course three times though. I have learned my "limitations", as Dirty Harry mentioned to one of his 'Targets'. :>)
Maybe return to parking lot security at the Mall? Maybe the Census people have a job as 'Courier'? I can handle that part, as long as there is not a lot of various forms with many little boxes requiring several 'codes' and scripts. I am now Finger Printed, Security Background Checked and can fill out the D-308. :>)
BTW have you all seen the immense list of new 'Bureaus' that were magically created with the passage of the New Health Care Bill? It is phenominal the number of New 'Gummint Jobs' now out there. Lots of 'OFFICE' for everyone.
Leave home at 8:15am, drive 3 1/2 miles to the meeting site for another day of 'forms orientation'. Patrice is a great trainer. The absolute best I have ever met. She has the patience of 'Job' (the biblical one). Views everything with a positive, happy attitude that is contagious. She is the only thing that has kept me at the task at hand. If not for her, I would have left after the first four hours.
On arrival we did a few fast corrections and my own 'trashing' of even more 'time and pay' forms. Quickly we were into yet more situations and the forms required. The use of WHOHU's, HUI's and about a dozen more 'extra' codes to be printed into the little boxes on the forms, to describe conditions encountered and dealt with.
After a bit of 'role playing' by one more of our highly competent Enumerator trainees, and we went through the manual reading the 'situations' an Enumerator could face. Everything from Not carrying guns or Mace, to Dog Bites and the recommended wearing of 'Running Shoes'. Situations in the past have gotten a bit 'dicey' for the Enumerators.
When Patrice mentioned the 'pairing up' for our first hours of actual 'in field' experience, I reluctantly told her of my decision to get out of the way, and let this great group of people do their new job. The small pairs of Enumerators, using their actual AA Binders (with forms of Non-Responders), will have enough to concern them without a 'tag along' slowing them down. This job is important for many reasons, not the least of which is 'Representation' and Federal Revenue Sharing.
I am now assured, after observing and participating in the training process, the job is in competent hands. Lunch break and my announcement to the class, ended our little 'get together'. Thank you for the experience my friends. It was a fun little 'Office' affair for a definetly Physical kind of guy (BASS PRO OUTDOORS and Cabela's).
Patrice, if you are reading this, My heartfelt gratitude is offered. I hope I wasted no one's time, or hindered their efforts by being in attendance. Your Professionalism and Personal Magnetism was 'the key' to making this one of my more memorable life experiences. You will NOT be forgotten. btw, I Hope you enjoy your new water heater. We, being very resourceful, will find another way to get to Oregon :>)
Addendum June 20, 2010:
Violence on an unprecedented scale, greeted many Census workers. 379... reported 'so far', with 3 weeks to go in this 2010 Census, vs only 101 total in 2000. Vicious hatred against the Government inquiring into citizens lives, is being displayed. The Official Government office spokesperson says, "No problemo, nothing unusual". Washington Post' journalist, June 20 2010, Carol Morello, in her report, "Census Workers weren't counting on Trouble", seems to disagree
Dogs being sent onto attack, Crossbows used in a threatening manor, Weapons brandished... and used. A metal patio table thrown in anger at the woman Census worker, at the mention of 'The Census'. Baltimore Crew Leader shot seven times, murdered while sitting in his car. Robbery at knifepoint in Richmond Virginia. Carjacking in Connecticut. Wisconsin Census taker fought off an attacker, pulling her into his apartment. Fingers crippled for life by vicious Pitbulls released to attack. Baseball bats, pickaxes and hammers used in attacks. Most non-partipants, voiced hatred against Obama, and viewed the Census takers, as his emmissaries.
Hostility and Violence is unprecedented this year, and it's still got 3 weeks to go. Census takers say "It's not worth your life". Many have droped out of the program after being attacked. Many want to carry weapons for self defense....If they ever do it again. One man in our neighborhood, attacked our Census taker, chasing him with a baseball bat. Maybe I didn't miss out on the fun afterall?
Update 22 June 2010:
Hah...The Census called and asked if I wanted some more training. Of course I said Sure, what is it for? Can I get Patrice to train me? The guy said 'Follow up' and some of the same crews will be used.
From what I recall, the Follow Up people, go to the homes of the non-responders that did respond in person, and maybe even the mail-in responders, then ask if 'they were satisfied with the Census... Hah. That is a Hoot. I wonder if the female Census worker in Wisconsin will return to the apt of the guy that tried to drag her inside? Maybe ask him if he was satisfied with her last visit? :>)
Is this sort of like:
"Did You enjoy your shopping experience with us today? Would you return to shop another day? Were our prices reasonable? Was the quality of the merchandise as expected? Was the clerk pleasant and did they thank you for your business? Thank you for taking the time to answer this survey. Please accept this coupon for one Free visit on your next Census. :>)
At least I will not be asked to go to do battle with the Axe and Hammer swinging, Bat clubing, Crossbow Hunters with Pit Bulls... If so, I will just quit, and ask to be re-trained for some other 'safer' cushy 'Government' job.
What purpose does that serve? I will get paid for my training time ...again. Mileage...again. I think I will just endlessly apply for government jobs, Attend training courses, but never do any of the actual work. :>)
I may have found my Niche. Of course with government of today, millions of people are doing just that. I wonder where they post these Government 'Training Seminars'? I think I am getting the hang of being a 'Gummint Employee'.
This is most intrigueing. To train, quit, then get asked if I want to train some more.
No wonder the experts are predicting double digit inflation within the next two years. I wonder if they will 'fingerprint' me all over again? Got to keep the Fingerprint people employed.. After watching all of the CSI's, the more Fingerprints, the better. How about some nice DNA? Maybe I can apply to get that job?
Inez, who has a Ministry in a more dependant part of Albuquerque, called to verify my attendance at her class. She sounds very nice. I told her sure, I will be there. Monday eight of us showed up at the H.S. on Candelaria, to find out what this NRFU VDC plan was. My entire previous class was there (minus a couple). Within a few hours I realized it was more of the same 'detail' work I was reluctant to do last time. This time it is even a little more intensive.
My 308 was the same form to account for time and mileage. My friend Patrice, sat in front of me, and verified my little boxes for accuracy. Good thing, I didn't want to throw away another single one of those things. Inez started the class with several posters outlining the latest codes to be filled into the little boxes. Inez is extremely upbeat and quite attractive. This is one of the perks, get to meet nice people.
The crew told their memorable experiences from the past few weeks. Everyone survived the rigors of the job. The posters Inez hung on the wall, told of several points to follow. Kind of a visual quick reference in itself. Questions again were answered intelligently and with minor points covered.
Inez kept up her smiles during the questioning and commets. This crew is quite intelligent and very quick witted. They apparently do their job correctly. Inez mentioned only two former members of another crew, that were a bit difficult.
Patrice was appointed as assistant Crew Leader (ACL) this time, and Very well received by the crew (her same crew last time). We were informed that Six times is the supposed limit for contact with some of the more difficult 'Non-Responders' Phone calls were saved for last resort.
If hostile confrontation occured, the rules state, that same Enumerator would never see that particular address again. It would be given to an Enumerator with more experience and persuasion talent (a 'closer':>) Many ways to address the reluctance of the hostile 'non-responders' were listed in our Enumerator Manual. Our Job aid manual gave the page by page directions for locating the proper response to each agument.
Maintain enthusiasm, always smiling and friendly, works better than an authoritarian approach (Enumerators don't really have any power anyway). Staying Calm and Listening patiently to all of the objections, then knowing the correct response to each, is tantamount to success in this job.
Many people have those quality traits in this crew I have had the priviledge to associate with (twice now:>). Ice Breaker comments are a good way of starting off on the right tone at the door. Like the 'Hit on' comments made at the Bar? No, not that kind :>) Maybe compliment the dog?
After realizing this phase of the Census is slightly more intense than the other actual 'Enumerating' phase, I declined to continue. Inez did grade my answers. She said, with five points off, it was not bad for my only working from memory on the test...yes Test.
I turned in my new bag and manuals with no pen or pencil marks on the pages. I turned in my new badge and all PII. Yep I recalled that directive from the last class. No Personal Information is to be divulged. Experienced Darcy the FOS, stopped by to leave some comments. One was that the office had 'overhired'. I then had little remorse to leave the program. The rest of this dedicated crew, could then put to good use, the extra hours..
Maybe one of these times the Census will call, and the job will be 'Just Right'. I was looking forward to this job as being only verifying 'Vacancy locations'. Not quite that simple, as I found out. Details are better handled by 'Detail Oriented' people. Possibly with a government employee past? Oh well, I have not ever been 'fired' :>)
One fun note: Attractive Patrice is interested in answering a few 'Casting Calls'. We may work together 'On Set' some time :>)
After all, this is still The United States of America, "One Nation Under God"