The Perils of Census Work

25 Mar

With 2010 being a Census year and my current (let’s be honest) under-employment following the 2008-2009 year of technical unemployment (and underpaid freelance), a couple people have suggested that I apply to be a US Census worker. I’ve declined. I support the Census and all, but being a young woman out on the streets, alone? When people with a gripe against the Census who can’t pass an IQ test can pass a 7-day waiting period?

As it turns out, I was right to be concerned about safety. My dad, bored with retirement, did apply to be a Census worker. And yesterday, he was attacked.

In the course of his duties, Dad approached a house out in the California desert and was met by one of its residents. Though friendly at first, this resident grabbed the Census form out of Dad’s hand and attempted to destroy it. After a brief struggle, Dad managed to recover the remainder of the form. Determined to fulfill his task, he returned to his car to fetch an intact form, only to have the resident follow him and, bizarrely, jump up on the hood of the car.

So who was this rebel, this American thumbing his nose at the federal government, this (I suspect) teabagger? Fortunately, we have a photo of him, so if you see this villain, steer well clear!

Truth really is stranger than fiction at times!

(Photo courtesy; no, it’s not the actual assailant.)


4 Responses to “The Perils of Census Work”

  1. Bill Wells 25 March 2010 at 23:20 #

    In the 1990 US census, I had guns pointed at me when I rang doorbells, a rooster chase me on top of my car, a chihuahua bite my leg and more often than not was treated like I was a spy sent to collect data that could be used against people in the future. It was brutal.

    • ButMadNNW 25 March 2010 at 23:34 #

      Hi Bill, welcome to the Refuge, and thank you for your hard work collecting the 1990 data! It is weird how badly Census takers are treated. I’ve never understood it. I mean, I understand why people have a problem with it, but I don’t understand how they can be so wrong about the process and what it means.

    • Elaine 16 July 2010 at 00:53 #

      I can handle the anti-government. I’ve heard it all now. I can even brush off the door being shut in my face because for every “nasty” I encounter, I meet many more who are friendly and hospitable. And while some grumpies are to be expected, it’s a sad revelation to discover just how many lonely people there are out there who are happy to have me on their doorstep, if only for 10 minutes of company. This has been an eye-opening experience. The pay is good and I’m REALLY gonna miss this work when I finish this month. Today was probably the most exciting day in the field: I was attacked by a rooster! Fortunately, it was only a scratch and I came away with a CI.

      • ButMadNNW 16 July 2010 at 01:20 #

        Something must be done about these scofflaw roosters and goats! Round ’em up! 😉

        Thanks for dropping by, Elaine. And thank you for your service to the census.

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