As many of you know, I have been working for the census bureau this summer doing address verification for next year's census. It's been quite the experience.
Here's the deal, people. First, if you receive mail at your house next year, you should get a form in the mail. FILL IT OUT AND MAIL IT. Then no one has to bother to drive to your house and ask you questions when you'd rather be watching something on Hulu. IF you don't get mail at your house, or for some reason you don't mail in your form, BE NICE TO THE CENSUS WORKER. He/she hates her job more than you hate her for doing her job, and she's just the messenger anyway. If you don't believe in the census, tell her so politely and shut the door (I'm using female pronouns b/c 90% of the workers in our area are women). No guns, no swearing, no dogs foaming at the mouth -- please.
I've learned a lot so far on this job -- like the fact that there are a lot of kind and trusting people out there. I was offered water for myself and my dog on hot days, I stayed and chatted with some people about what it's like to be new to the area, and I left some homes feeling a strong sense of faith in humanity. Then there were the other houses -- the ones with "No trespassing or I'll shoot your f*ing head off" signs (and we're supposed to ignore those). I've been bit by a dog. I've been sworn at and shooed off property. I've stood ignored at doorways where I KNOW people are home b/c I can hear the TV, when all I want to know is if that house is # 350 or 352.
I've learned I need to update my cell phone with some local numbers. One day my car got stuck in the mud (yes, I live in the country), and I had to walk 4 miles home in the rain because Ryan was on a scouting trip and I had no Paonia numbers in my phone. I even had to pee in the woods -- all you who have been pregnant will understand.
I've learned that materialism is relative. I've been to multimillion dollar ranches and shacks in the woods, and if I were to tell the owners of the latter that they're poor, I don't think they'd believe me. *Start singing "The Best Things in Life Are Free" here. It's been good for me to step back and realize that my definition of needs was inappropriate. Well, it still is. I need a dishwasher.
And last but not least, I've learned that maybe SUVs aren't the spawn of satan after all. I could really use some higher clearance and four wheel drive out here!
In conclusion, be nice to your census workers. They've been through a lot!
10 months ago