Monday, July 19, 2010

Census 2010

Here is my Census 2010 story....

We get the form in the mail.... It was the "short" form and not the one that was pages and pages....


It asked how many would be living here on April 1, 2010.... They got a big ole "5" and we mailed it back.... Thankyouverymuch.....


We then moved - to the farm - aka: Heaven.


And then the phone calls started.... They started at my Mother's house on the farm. "Who else lives out there?" "Do you know any of the people that live south of you?" (which are not related to us) "Are you sure you dont know the people that live behind the gate with you?" She called several times.... My mom is a rock - she told them she didnt know - wasnt giving this information out but would pass on this chick's phone number and then told her to quit calling.


At this same time we got a notice on our front door of our town house that a Census worker had been by and wanted to "complete" our census.... NOPE.... You got everything you are going to get....


According to the form left on our door, it was against the law to identify the people that live in the house.... So where did Census Worker #1 who called my mother get her name and phone number?


So, I have CW #1 and CW #2's phone numbers. I dont call....


I dont call CW #1 until I learn that she has been IN THE LOCAL BANK ASKING ABOUT ME... If anyone knows me and the Hubs and if anyone knows how to get a hold of us.... ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME???? She then tells fabulous Bank Employee (whom I know) that I should speak to her ASAP or I will be talking to the Federal Marshals.... Seriously - she said that....


So - dont think that this is anything anonymous.... Dont think that its just about addresses and numbers....


And so I call.... I use my cell phone and *67 - a little immature, but I was not going to give these people my cell phone number via caller ID. Neither picked up - duh - I wouldnt have either if a call showed "BLOCKED".


Left this message for CW#1 - This is Pearls, I understand I am on your list. Well, according to the Census, it asked where I was on April 1, and I answered the form, mailed it in and have done my job. I did not live in this area at the time in question on the form. I lived in XXXX. I do not belong on your list. I will not be contacting you again and you can cease immediately asking around our town about me."


Left this message for CW#2 - This is the occupant from address XXXX. I filled out our census and mailed it in - I put a "5" on it for those that occupied the home on 4/1 and that is all I am going to answer. Thanks.


Also find out that CW#1 is wife of a guy that holds elected office in our small town. Great.... I have to find a picture of this woman, because I dont want to be at the farmer's market and get introduced without knowing. I dont like getting blindsided - but I dont mind doing the blindsiding ;)


And so far, that is my story from the Census 2010 - I would type "THE END" but something tells me there might be a PS about all this in a future post.

Pray - Praise - Prepare

6 comments:

Brad K. said...

Pearls,

1) Refusing to answer the Census questionnaire is a violation of federal law. And, no, you don't get to decide what information to provide. The Census does.

2) The information you provide for the form, unlike what turns up locally as the Census Worker tries to identify who lived at various addresses and other "housing units" is confidential, by federal law. In past censuses, this privacy, kept for 72 years and then make public, has been strictly honored. Answering the questions - even when asked multiple times - actually ends up being more private. Sucks, I know.

3) The Census Worker gets a list of addresses. If no one answered about where you live now, or the neighbor, or the abandoned shell behind the neighbor's gate - then there are requirements to answer about those addresses or non-addresses. Each requires a person's name and address, or name and phone number, before the Census can mark off that address.

4) You were mistaken about having finished with what was required. Even though the form you mailed in the first time may have been addressed to you - the only thing actually completed was the questionnaire for the place where you lived, where that form was mailed to. Only, from what you say, you forged that one - left out information, deliberately, then signed the part where you pledged giving full information. That would be one reason that the *incomplete* form would have to be completed in a followup operation. Yes, you did, deliberately, spend bunches of tax money. One man I talked to near Elk City claimed the radio reported an average $40-60 for each followup questionnaire. Thanks.

5) The odds of you facing a federal marshal are slim. The county sheriff, more likely, is also pretty rare. The probability that your "games" hurt your community - that you and your family weren't counted anywhere, undercutting Oklahoma's representation in the US House of Representatives, and affecting where voting districts for state and local representatives and school districts - that is really strong. Thanks again.

6) The questionnaire uses the names, gender, ages, and relationships for various reasons, primarily for identification, to reduce the chance someone is counted multiple times.

7) In Oklahoma, the first followup stage I was involved in ran from the end of April through mid June. Lots of door knocking (Kay, and Roger Mills counties, mostly). The second followup ran from July 1 through about the 15th. Each activity focused on questionnaires not completed - as on the place you moved to, the neighbor place where no one lives, or where they wouldn't answer the Census. That last frantic effort involved a lot of cross checking sources, asking neighbors and businesses and postal workers - I "got" two abandoned sites by stopping a county road maintenance operator. In each case, a completed questionnaire identifies the people living there - and includes the name and address of who provided the information. Yes, this probably does mean that the general efforts are over, and you might not be bothered by this activity again until then next census required by the US Constitution - in 2020.

8) The US Census Bureau conducts other census and canvasing projects for federal, state, and local purposes. When your address pops up, however many times, for whichever project - please *complete* the questionnaire. It protects your privacy, and satisfies the law.

Some areas of the state have been remarking roads and house numbers - sometimes three and four times, and a pending additional change to "911" numbers has locals angry about addresses. Which is a special challenge when the Census counts people where the live and sleep "most of the time" as of April 1, 2010 - Census Day.

wardhouse said...

I filled out the census form and sent it back in. Then the calls started. I asked if they had recv'd the form (which I knew they had) and he said they needed to verify. So the fact that I took the time to complete the form meant nothing since he had to cover all the information with me again. WTH? The fact that he survived the call without crying amazed me.
Local workers know not to ask around town; that will get you shot. There are parts of the county into which even I do not drive.
*shakes head* Big brother is scary stuff.

I drive my tractor in pearls... said...
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I drive my tractor in pearls... said...
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I drive my tractor in pearls... said...
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