My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Notes on a Scandal Part 1: The Curious Case of Antonio Sanchez…

Earlier this week, we received a tip from an anonymous Census Bureau employee in Westchester, New York. The employee informed us that on May 1 at 8:59am, he/she and dozens of his/her fellow field workers received a text message sent to their HHCs (handheld computers) that started with the line, “Please remember to drive safely…” and ended on “with great sadness we regret to inform you that two enumerators have been killed in fatal car accidents.”

Now, this text message is problematic on many levels. First, after searching through thousands of news articles, we have been unable to uncover any information about Census Bureau employees perishing in recent accidents. When we inquired with the Census Bureau, they also said that they were unaware of any accidents. If there were accidents, why haven’t they been reported? And if there have not been accidents, why are Census Bureau employees using scare tactics and lying to field workers?

MyTwoCensus successfully contacted the person who sent out the text message in question,  Antonio Sanchez, who serves as an Assistant Manager of Technology in the Westchester County  office of the Census Bureau.  However, since Census Bureau employees are not permitted to speak to the media (can you say “violation of the first amendment?”) Sanchez told us that he couldn’t discuss anything and that we should call Washington if we had any questions…

So that’s just what we did, and we’re waiting to hear back from Census Bureau HQ Washington on this issue…

Presumably, as a technology expert, Sanchez was directed by a superior to send out this message, so we don’t blame him for disseminating the information. However, until we get to the bottom of this most peculiar and disturbing incident, our investigation is still wide open.

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3 Responses to “Notes on a Scandal Part 1: The Curious Case of Antonio Sanchez…”

  1. Anne Onymous Says:

    SCARE TACTICS seem to be an acceptable strategy to use with the lowly listers. My CL threatened me during training after I returned late (FIVE MINUTES. When I was phoned and told I had a job, we were told we would be trained from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an hour brak. The CL did not like the schedule and modified it to a 30 minute lunch break. Not enough time for me to take care of things I had on my lunch HOUR agenda. Others had been consistently arriving LATE each morning, one person came in 20 MINUTES LATE. The day I returned FIVE MINUTES late I was called out in front of everyone, “I’m going to have to terminate YOU, if this happens again. THEY take punctuality seriously.” OH REALLY, funny how I can’t even RECORD being five minutes late then. I was so upset at having my job threatened before it began. I spoke with her directly, she was NOT apologetic. NOT surprising. One thing she told us in training, was that it didn’t matter if someone was clearly inconvenienced by our “courtesy knock” we were “NOT TO APOLOGIZE” period. LOL, that just seemed rude. You can tell when you’ve knocked at a very inconvenient time, someone comes running to the door with their bathrobe on and their hair is all wet, I still did say: “Sorry to bother you…” a few times.
    The people and the interactions this Census are so different from my past experience and it is NOT an improvement, I really had expected it to be a far better experience, with our new Administration, and enhanced budget.
    Anne Onymous is very disillusioned with the entire business, thank you.
    It is outrageous that field workers would be told there were deaths that never took place. Who the hell do these people so far from the field, think they are? They treat us poorly.

  2. Anne Onymous Says:

    I do know how to spell BREAK, lol
    and that closing parenthesis are missing. JEESH wish you could edit this stuff, after the fact.

  3. Anonymous CL Says:

    Anne Onymous: “I really had expected it to be a far better experience, with our new Administration, and enhanced budget.”

    FWIW, the new administration hasn’t had time to do hardly anything yet about the Census operations you’ve been experiencing… Rather, these operations are the culmination of years of late/under-funding, inadequate planning, misdirection of resources, etc, that occurred over the past eight years under the previous administration.

    The new administration will hopefully be able to partially improve things in time for next year’s work, but even then there’s only so much they can do when dealing with such a massive operation that doesn’t change trajectory quickly/easily and for which the foundations were badly laid in many ways. And hopefully they will be able to put things in motion to have better preparation for the 2020 census.