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.
Anonymous, Without giving any names, street addresses, or identifying geographic information,
please tell us exactly what is missing from your binder and bag. You may be able to shine some
light on PBOCS failures.
The straight answer as to how long this job will last is until it’s done. Unless you can say right now exactly how many visits the census take will need to make to each house and what the attrition rate of census takers will be, how can you expect something more specific?
JAG, of course. All I’m saying is I was told 3 months when I was called and there’s NO WAY the amount of work we have will last that long. I’ll be happy if this lasts until mid-June. If there’s any less I’m going to be pissed off.
Oh yes! Binders themselves are missing – not enough for the 19, or 20 people in my class. Enumerator questionnaires (EQ’s) are missing from what pre-packaged binders we do have. Or the EQ’s which all have preaffixed address labels that are included do not match our address lists.
Our crew leader was running around like a chicken (one damned unhealthy Chicagoan chicken too) trying to:
a)comprehend the problem
b)who to blame the mess on
She finally realized she could not blame it on us her crew (which is what she usually does) so she stated “We gotta lotta new people in the office.”
Ridiculous since an 8 year old child could match the typed number and name address, or even the AA code with the proper address list.
It seems if you are working in the LCO you can do whatever the heck you want and whatever ever fashion you wish and all is forgiven. But if you are one of her trainees you must be perfect and know how to do everything correctly. Even though she herself does not know the answers to most of the questions we trainees have put forth (she hates questions).
As for length of time for those of us who were hired as enumerators? Here in DC for the DC East LCO we were told to write June 27, 2010 as our “expiration” date. However, we were also informed our time working as enumerators could be longer or shorter. However, we may keep our 2010 Census Bag (made in China) for playing.
I agree with all previous comments. Materials were missing or insufficient count according to the checklist — hastily thrown into the bag and binder. We were also told work would last through August during training and we would work 35 to 39 hours per week. Then the crew leader told us 1 or 2 weeks for 20 to 25 hours per week.
Wait a second! Three months of work downgraded to two weeks of work? Are the “unresolved” IT paperwork problems causing this? Have NRFU lists been sacrificed? Two and one-half months work suddenly lost?!
I had to collect the AA binders for my crew during my lunch break on the last day of training. Discovered while picking up binders that the computer system was down, so there would be no master list, instead an excel spreadsheet was provided. The ID numbers and AA block numbers were entered manually on this sheet. I discovered that two of the binders listed on this excel sheet were in fact not provided to me. One was provided to me, but not on the excel sheet. There were two instances of the AA block and IDs not matching the excel sheet. I was provided 12 binders for 15 enumerators. Decided on the spot to pair my CLAs up with two of the enums showing signs of trouble to work together. Paired up two enums as well, so everyone would have something to do this week. So far two binders have been full of 10-20 NARFU addresses, all of which correspond to vacant apartment buildings. I will be forced to reassign individual cases so everyone has work just for the week. Just got a call this morning that I will be getting another enum, making 16 for 12 binders, two of which will be done before the week begins. No word from the office on when we will be getting more AA binders. My district has around 40 blocks. Most of these were assigned in the first binders distributed.
Thank you for providing this site and sharing information before this operation began. Because of what I learned here, I was able to tell my crew on the first day of training not to expect work past a couple weeks, so far this prediction is born out.
Thank you, Stephen plus everyone else for sharing this invaluable information. Yes, there are enumerators “showing signs of working together” as CL Newbie stated above – it makes a tense environment for everyone.
I took the test scored 27 out of 28. I have a Masters Degree and speak English and Spanish fluently. French is conversational and I know some American Sign Language. I was hired as an enumerator. I went to the training and it was the most toxic, negative experience I have had. The manual should be called “Be Afraid of the Public because the Public is really SCARY and Threatening Attitudes will GET the Information” It was supposed to be 5 days of training which turned into 2 angry toxic negative days of training with a third half day about “your safety”. Here is an example of how to be safe, don’t wear a wrist watch someone might steal it. Then there was animal safety, if a dog bites you… don’t pull away as your skin will tear. They were REALLY concerned about the paperwork and the document itself. Don’t bend it off the crease…keep it safe, don’t lose it, don’t drop it, hang on to it, if you are attacked by a dog you can hit the dog with the binder (but don’t mess up the paperwork), blah, blah, blah… You must follow the script…which I likened to the tone of an angry bill collector. Don’t forget we are watching you to make sure you are doing your job correctly and honestly and not just standing on the corner filling out the forms…which tells me …we haven’t even started and we are already thought of as liars and thieves. They say they keep statistics on the enumerators…so if the survey is suppose to take 10 minutes count on the Census wizards to want to see some 6 census’ complete every hour. Fairly sexist from my point of view… the better paying jobs were taken by men, male supervisors and their assistants were men as well…we were given their phone numbers and then instructed never to call them. The money is the hook and the negative hostile atmosphere is the deal breaker. If you didn’t get this job be happy. I was really happy when I returned all the stuff and quit after three days…best decision no regrets.
As a FOS (had 8 CLs and about 110 enumerators) I have some horror stories to tell about the stupidity of enumerators and the pig-headed ineptitude of LCO staff. They gave me the worst district and the furthest from home of all the other FOSs. Started with 10 CLs, 3 quit within 4 days. One other after working a couple of days.
Of the 8, possibly 3 were OK. The enumerators? OMG!!!! Not all, mind you, but many. Pathetic.
Yet with all this I was expected to get them trained and on the streets like the other FOSs who lived in their districts. When I asked for more time to do my job I was denied. When I asked for replacement CLs I was told to solve my problem myself.
I was getting good money for where I live. It wasn’t worth it. I lost 6 pounds (on a 170 pound frame.)
I quit. Let them “solve it” now and see how long it takes them to do it all.
Much more I want to say but better not. I think I will visit my Congressional rep next week.
Some enumerators have been in car accidents, bitten by dogs, other incidences. Scam artists impersonating census enumerators as recent as 3 weeks ago making it difficult for the public to trust the census. We have to watch the local news or read the local newspaper because our LOC and RCC do not share this information with us.
We have still not received binders for 6 people in our crew. We were told the LCO was working 24 hours a day to get these complete and out to us. We were told to not call the LCO for any reason because they are too overwhelmed.
Everyone is given a “not to exceed” date of 2 months when hired. After 2 months they can extend your employment. So they always say 2 months even if they know it will be 2 weeks. We were told 40 hours when hired and now it is 20-25 hours a week. I drove my AA and I can tell it is mostly vacant.
The FOS, CL and several others are at their maximum 40 hours for the week so they won’t answer their phones to answer questions to help enumerators. So crews of new people are out there with no where to go for help if needed. Great planning!
Senseless is correct: they do not take/return phone calls because it will put them into forbidden overtime. You will hear, “I’m sorry the wireless customer you are trying to reach is unavailable, please try your call later”.
SG: Sorry to hear about all the negativity. I am a CL and the training class I ran had 4 people with masters, a few with college degrees, and most were HS graduates. Plus one home schooled 19 year old, who only got 1 wrong on the final review. I also had 3 people I suspect have learning or developmental disabilities–but nothing too major. (I am not a qualified to evaluate people.) A lot of time was wasted when I had to answer some questions 2 or 3 times, because people were not listening, OR they just didn’t get what we went over. I had to “put the hammer down” on the 3rd day because I was behind in the outlined lesson plan. I like questions and open discussions, but things needed to be covered. Even though people could read the manual–I suspect some didn’t open it until the night before the final review.
The safety info is very common sense, but they were instructed to read it to themselves, and I covered the main ones:Wear a seat belt, DON’T talk on the phone when driving–pull over to a safe area in a parking lot, Your personal safety is more important than getting the interview.
Also, the EQ should not be folded, because it might not be read correctly in the scanner.
BUT, yes, they are concerned about the paper, because it has PII on it, and if you took the class, then you would know that.
We have 7 men and 10 women enumerators. My district has 4 women CLs and 3 men CLs. I am also female and I picked 2 women as CLAs, one because she had previous assistant experience in address canvassing and the other–well, she might not be a great choice, but she is bilingual and will be an asset in dealing with those situations.
Our 4 day training was crazy. The first day was a horror story, because of the deadlines needed to be met. Fingerprinting was horrid. 4 out of 18 needed to be redone–and I knew they all would have to be. 3 were “older people” and they just couldn’t move their wrists and arms very effectively, and in addition one had very dry hands and the prints showed all the dry eruptions. The other just had a lot of wrinkles! One young woman had very fine lines. Yeah, what a horror!
Had one young man removed from class because had was in the FBI data base. No details were given to me.
Trying to Make Sense: Yes, I heard about the missing labels, but my experience was that we went over the binder and the totals and discovered that for the one missing label, there was a cross out. Didn’t seem too major to us. The binders were printed up over a week ago, in my understanding and any late questionnaires would be pen and ink cross outs. They probably instructed the clerks to remove the “cross out” label, and just insert a blank, as there were probably other people who were going to just do a basic physical count. “This binder needs 30 EQs, so there are 30 EQs.”
I got 21 binders, but I only had 18 (now down to 17) Enumerators, but I know the area next to me got 20 binders, for 22 enumerators, so I imagine the CLAs didn’t get a binder yet.
I think every area is going to have different experiences. I worked for a national company in 3 different places: NE, SW and Southern California. We all did the basic job the same, but the quality and ability of the management varied GREATLY!
I am off the clock this afternoon. I did give 2 extra hours out in the field, but I am answering phone calls. Even 30 minute calls from hyperactive, ADD type of enumerators.
I know I am only allowed 40 hours, but I still feel that I am responsible to get this job done. I guess technically some people don’t feel obligated to put in extra hours or phone calls without getting paid–and I guess they do have a point.
I think it is just my personality–a pitch in kind of person, and the belief that what goes around, comes around. Maybe not in this job, per say, but in the future karma will be keeping tabs.
Also, I was on unemployment for a few months, so perhaps I just feel like the couple of extra hours here and there were “already paid for?” Yeah, I am pretty sure that is just me!
the management of vangent told us last week that we would have enough work til end of july and this week said their cutting back on people….typical government!!! i don’t get why people are so angry that they didn’t get hired for the census, who cares!! if you do get the job you’ll be used and let go in two weeks ne ways! i work with the documents department and people are dropping like flies but who cares!! it’s a TEMPORARY JOB!!!!!!!!
I took the class and I understand that there is Personally Identifiably Information on the paperwork EQ once it is filled out and we are trying to protect the confidential information of individuals …however the idea of our personal safety being of concern is really BS. They send out the lambs to do their dirty little info. collecting work. The Census wants the info. and it wants it NOW and your job is to GET it…that is the main theme… First visit is always personal, second visit can be personal or a phone call if the person decides to call you back after you left them a note stating you had come by and you want them to call you at the phone number provided. More than likely you are going to make another personal visit, and then a third visit if you do not come into contact with anyone…we were told GET the information from a proxy…YOU had better GET the information, KNOCK on a neighbors door FIND someone nearby and ask them about the occupants at the address you are canvasing for the Census. The Crew Leader was basic angry hysterics and I got the sense she was AFRAID of the public and did not want to hit the street walking if she had to pick up the slack of any of the enumerators. I understand that the paper is so SENSITIVE that if a fold is in the wrong place it won’t work in the Census sorting machine…as this was a reoccurring theme in “training”… and that if the paper was folded “wrong” the information input would have to be done by hand…but lets face it the questions are printed all the way across the lengthy paper, (which would make a better scroll than a folded sheet), in such a manner that it will be folded “wrong” and it will probably not work in the scanner and…then you can count on YOUR Supervisor, some armchair sitting man, who will be complaining to YOU, the Crew Leader, that you did not explain sufficiently about the “sensitivity” of the scanning machine and therefore YOU cost the Census Bureau a great amount of time and money…and then you in turn you will be angry at the enumerators. I would bet money on it! The problem is with the CENSUS wizard who created the ridiculous format of the form and the hostile script used to elicit information. The training was all threats and conjecture and offensive. The only thing I took away with me was…the Federal Government is REALLY Afraid of the public and because the FEDS. are scared they believe (no thinking here all based on the scary stories they tell each other) that they must threaten people in order to get them to cooperate.
Clay: Fascinating! The mind numbing training is the up-side!
NEWS FLASH!!!! “NRFU” delayed in the NE because of incompetence….there are actually “hire packages” that haven’t even been keyed in yet…amazing that the upper management of the NE Region still have jobs….more to follow
Well seeing as how the job is “temporary” it behooves one to make a mess of the mess so as to stay forever…since there is no employment outside of the Census Concentration Camp…I suppose that is why nothing works…in government. What is it that the government always says…what is that BS line…hum…we would like to help you and we feel your pain but the rules (we created) have our hands tied….have a nice day!
Tri-state….didn’t know if you knew this but, from April 26th to the first week of May the FBI unit that works with fingerprints, and their “validation” will not be operational….so kinda frightening to think that any “hot match” employees can already be dispersed visiting homes throughout the region, when in effect could be a known convicted felon, rapist, B and E etc….interesting
I notcied some strange things on our last day of training. And by strange I mean unethical and perhaps even illegal.
All of a sudden the representative from DC East asked for a raise of hands of those enumerators who had another job. She then instructed our crew leader to get our names along with schedules from our other jobs. It seems they began targeting those of us who were dual employed.
I was told over the phone that it would not be a problem for me to leave by 4 pm on the Tuesday through Friday of training. There were a few other people who also had timeline concerns due to obligations to other employers and one college student who was working on papers and finals for this school year. All of us were told it was okay and if anything important was missed we would have to give up our lunch hour, or stay late on another day. To my knowledge we all agreed to these terms without any hesitation.
But on Friday afternoon everything changed. One young woman, the university student, was quietly taken away. She whispered “good-bye” to me and another young woman. It was very strange and made me think we were not in a training class but a humiliation and degradation course. Then a woman from DC East’s Local Census Office (LCO) yelled (as usual) “Anyone who missed one minute; one second of training has to leave.” The other young woman asked our crew leader if that meant her too and our CL replied, “Yes, you better go.” so she left.
Then after lunch the second woman who had asked if she should also leave returned. She told me she had called DC East and talked to HR. The HR rep was horrified but what this young woman relayed to her about our CL and how she had been told that her work schedule was okay. She told her that she should return to class and that an HR super would speak with our CL.
Training that day was in some ways more normal. My CL actually said, “Good morning” to me (for the very first time all week) and she was closer to focused than I’d ever previously observed. But then they spirited that one enumerator away and then the removal and subsequent return of the other.
We completed our training and then took our test (open book ffs!). I witnessed with my own eyes our CL sporadically erasing our tests and then quickly re-marking them. I was not close enough to see what she was erasing and then rewriting but why was she using a pencil to grade tests written in pencil? What could she possibly have been erasing? What could she have been re-marking? I pointed this out to the enumerator who had left and then returned. I needed someone else as a witness to verify what I was seeing and to know that she also thought it very strange and completely questionable.
We then waited over 30=45 minutes while our CL ran around like a lunatic trying to organize our binders. In that time she had only assigned 2 binders. The young woman who had a full time job needed to leave so she asked if she could be given her binder. Our CL ignored her. Then the woman from DC East LCO started screaming at her in front of the entire class. Other enumerators requested that she, the representative from our LCO be more professional and tone it down and go into a side room or outside to discuss the situation. The rep from our LCO screamed at those enumerators who had made such a sensible and professional suggestion. She told them something like: She (enumerator who needed to leave for her ft job) wants everyone to know what happened so I’m going to make sure y’all know how this is go’in down.
She continued berating and degrading this young woman in front of the entire class. Then her super, Mr Fisher or Fischer entered the foyer and was right next to the LCO rep who was still in dominatrix-ecstasy and he did not intervene. Then the humiliated enumerator left. Just as she existed Mr. Fisher/Fischer ran into the training room and with proud hostility announced to our CL “She’s gone! I don’t give a damn what HR has to say about it!” In the background the older woman rep from DC East’s LCO gloated and in high pitched immature gleeful tones repeated the episode to our CL (she had been outside for some reason when this ugly scene came about).
Now I come to find out that one of our CL’s assistants is a trainee who was missing in action for 45 minutes one afternoon. So while the rest of us had a 45 or 60 minute lunch this guy had a 2 hour lunch-time break. She even asked where he was just before we were to continue with our lessons but said nothing to him when he returned or after class.
The only common denominators shared between the 2 enumerators is they were young and had other jobs/university obligations.
Later on that very same day, while we were in the 90 minute stretch of waiting to be assigned an AA binder another young woman received a phone call that she was being offered a new job. The older women at the table looked at our CL imploringly and said things like, “She’s a good girl. Please let her take this new job and still work for the census. She’s a good girl. The economy is bad and this is a good job for her but her other offer is for a permanent position.” This young woman left the table and stepped outside to make a phone call. I’m not sure what if anything happened after that.
I wish I had a hidden camera. I would never believe the toxicity and hostility of those working in the DC East division of the Decennial Census if I had not experienced it for myself.
Since those of us in this training team were met with and taught by such an ignorant hostile unintelligent rude and toxic group of people – many of us never even knew each other by our names. There was no welcome. There was no introduction from our CL. There were no name tags. There was no introduction from her supervisor, Mr. Fisher/Fischer to us either. The only reason I know his name is because while he bragged about having been a DC public school teacher and president of the teacher’s union and flashed his black and gold Masonic ring one of the older enumerator’s asked him his name.
I wish people would at least name their region or city. A fellow colleague is working for the census in Arlington, VA and it’s a COMPLETELY different experience over there – just 12 miles from me. Her CL is sweet and even though there is obvious disorganziation she said her CL would be there early every day or remain late – making corrections and reorganizing materials for her crew. She also said that in Arlington they made it mandatory to attend a mini-class this morning because all their teams were slightly behind. Yet here in DC we were told (we had made the suggestion of taking the exam on Saturday morning so that we could have more training) that training had to end on Friday and could not be extended.
Today more strangeness. My CL never got back to me about when to meet her. She called me sometime in the afternoon while I was conducting interviews. I met with her later in the afternoon to give her EQ’s I did not have time to go to so that she could then give to other enumerators who were not given an AA binder since there were too few for our group. She insisted I fill out a survey to critique the training course and of course her, my CL. I was seriously running late and asked if I could take it with me and she refused. Isn’t strange that the survey should be filled out in front of her and that it is not something which is done in private and then mailed to the LCO or the main office in Philly?
She claimed it had to be completed today but then said I could do it on Monday. I will not be able to be honest in my critique if I wish to continue working for the census. But after watching what they did to those two young women I feel very guilty about staying on. It is one of the worst working experiences I have ever had and I seriously doubt that it is beneficial to the community in any way shape or form.
Got AA binders today at around 4pm. I got mine first, but I believe there was enough for all 20+ of our crew. Went out for about 3 hours in the field. Left a lot of notice of visits. Completed 6 interviews. Was only threatened by one guy. Offered beer and wine by another. Lots of fun.
NEWS FLASH!!!! “NRFU” delayed in the NE because of incompetence….there are actually “hire packages” that haven’t even been keyed in yet…amazing that the upper management of the NE Region still have jobs….more to follow
Tri-state….didn’t know if you knew this but, from April 26th to the first week of May the FBI unit that works with fingerprints, and their “validation” will not be operational….so kinda frightening to think that any “hot match” employees can already be dispersed visiting homes throughout the region, when in effect could be a known convicted felon, rapist, B and E etc….interesting
I am also shocked at the training experience- degrading and unnecessary and, ultimately, not very effective.
I am in the PNW; there are great people on my team but the non-thinking follow-the-manual don’t-have-any-common-sense training has made me a little bit bitter.
I sure do like talking to the people though. I trained for 3 days sat around for a while witing for binders, got too little training on them once they arrived, and am scrambling to observe as a CRA all over the county.
America, love it or change it,
I don’t know about the problems in the NE region but I do know that all hire packages MUST be entered with 24 hours. Most LCO’s were open all night. We were told from Day 1 that there would be no exceptions or excuses for meeting the deadline. I would hate to be there tomorrow when all payroll has to be entered.
Anon May 2, 2010 6:35 am. I actually did make an anonymous complaint to a Mr. Al Tucker who is the supervisor for my CL and the other two management employees I mentioned. I did this on our second day, Wednesday, April 28, 2010.
The following day our CL’s super, Mr. Tucker returned but was not yelling and screaming at us (if I recall correctly). Still he never ever managed to even introduce himself to us on the 3 visits to our class. Whenever he did arrive, he frequently took our CL aside and there was a lot of whispering. This meant that while they gossiped for 30 minutes (if not more) there was no training. Then that afternoon they finally sent us someone who knew how to take fingerprints. She was actually the only professional and amiable person I met who was from the DC East LCO.
The berating humiliating vile disgusting person from the DC East LCO arrived late Thursday afternoon (after 3 pm). She did introduce herself but with so much anger and hostility in her voice and her countenance in general I quickly realized she was simply an older clone of our CL. She is the management employee who happily bragged to us that when she was an enumerator in the 2000 census she stalked people who refused to do the EQ with her. She also freely claimed that she googles people and tries to get as much information on them as possible. So not only does she stalk them on terra firma but she’s also a cyberstalker. This is the same individual who humiliated the young female enumerator in front of the class. This is the same moronic management person who when I asked a simple question about the race section of the EQ she went on a tangent about how “those people are always fighting amongst themselves.” ‘Those people’ would be Latinos. As a Latina, I found her comments inflammatory, ignorant and completely out of line. I also found her idiotic take on Hispanics/Latinos/Spaniards ironic because she, an African American female, had no qualms humiliating and firing the two young African American women who had been training as enumerators. I guess I can deduce that “they” too fight amonst themselves.
It is clearly evident the other managers fear losing their jobs or getting severely reprimanded so they have defended our CL. Why they honed in on those two young women is beyond me because they were both very intelligent, personable, attractive, logical, organized and could read and write at a university level which is something our crew leader cannot although she claims she went to a university in Illinois. FFS the woman cannot say, “decennial census”, or “two thousand and ten.”
It is obvious there was more than a little immature unprofessional cliqueing going on because there was no mention to the class that the opportunity to be a CLA would be from those in the class. Why anyone, no matter how much money they offered, would chose to be this ignorant hostile woman’s assistant is beyond me. Especially after what management did to those other enumerators.
We have an older woman who is extremely intelligent and personable but can barely walk. She never complains but how many EQ’s do they really believe she can complete without sitting down? I was actually hoping she would become one of the CLAs because she is fast, bright, has a sense of humor about things and has great organizing skills. Plus I think she may really need the extra money.
The other woman who was chosen is younger and thinking back I believe she was angling for the position from the beginning. Asking the CL if she wanted anything from local restaurants at lunch-time; talking to her about what school she atttended in Chicago (yes this woman is either also from Chicago or at least went to college there). The man, well he was extremely upset on the first day of training because his name was not on his roster. He said he had cancelled a trip including airline tixs in order to be an enunmerator and would file a complaint and be “very upset” if he were denied the enumerator position. He seems to be an outgoing type but on at least 1 day did take an extremely long lunch. Close to 2 hours or perhaps a little over 2. Yet nothing was said and he was not asked to leave the class. I can’t grasp why he was chosen over the others when he was clearly conducting business in the midst of at least 2 training sessions and as I mentioned, left for an extended lunch on another day.
I have nothing at all against the two enumerators who are her CL’s. It’s just another unprofessional way DC East, or at least my CL, operates. Everything is secret. There is no transparency.
I really wish there was some way I could get a copy of the survery they are asking us to fill out. I may ask my colleague who has a sensible professional human CL in Arlington if she can give me one so that I can answer it truthfully. Then with the one my CL, or her assistant gives me tomorrow I can be vague.
Since speaking on the phone with Mr. Tucker who is the regional super for DC East (I think) I may try to speak with whomever is his supervisor. But you know it’s like invasion of the body snatchers. I meet a new person from DC East management and for a few minutes think they are going to make a difference and that they are logical professional people and then it turns out they are cut from the same bizarre cloth as our CL.
The dis-organization is almost acceptable in a way because my CL inherited it from an organization which has a lot of problems. But she embodies those problems and perpetuates them. She herself if highly ineffecient, slow and implacable to change. She cannot think on her feet. She cannot trouble-shoot. She has absolutely no common sense. The palpable atmosphere of hostility, unfairness and dishonesty she cultivated is inexcusable.
NRFU ends, NRFU FV starts, plenty of jobs for that operation and they all go to the people who tough out NRFU.
Problems, yeah, lots of them. We did not have enough binders and PBOCS is a disaster. We were only able to prepare the “even” binders at first, and when we started on the “odd” numbers, well, we ran out of binders.
Assembly of the internals continued, binders are due to arrive “any day” so assembly will be somewhat easier.
So far it appears the AMFO has used PBOCS to check out all binders, while they should of also used a manual check out, I’m pretty sure they did not.
Working 3 shifts, and clerks/others are becoming disgruntled about being “hosed” on overtime.
If they work more than 8 hours in a day, they get overtime for the extra hours, but once they go past midnight – it all reverts back to regular pay because it is a new day in DAPPS and many, many people are fuming over this.
And the fact they have to complete multiple 308′s (timecards) for one shifts worth of work.
All of the staff has been required to work to assemble map pouches and binders, this may put the other facets of the operation in a bad position –
Unfortunatley SOP for the census…….
Hopefully our LCO has buffered the enumerators from much of this.
Complaints from the training classes were minimal. We have had to pull a percentage of the new hires out due to fingerprints not being legible or due to them failing the FBI check.
If you have complaints, take them to your immediate supervisor, then theirs if needed, and work your way up.
Enumerators > Crew Leader Assistant (CLA) > Crew Leader (CL) > Field Operations Supervisor (FOS) > Assistant Manager Field Operations (AMFO) > Local Census Office Manager (LCOM) > (RCC Level now) Area Manager (AM) then if you get nowhere, well, there is always the Regional Director –
Most AMxs (assistant manager of: Field Ops (AMFO), Recruiting (AMR), Admin (AMA), etc. are most motivated by a ‘congressional’: a complaint by a constituent to their Congressperson – is considered to be a very big deal.
Going up the chain of lower command (CLA, CL, FOS, etc.) is a waste of time.
Shaking my head at the horror stories. In Northern California, we had a great training, well organized, books ready for everyone to go out.Everyone is pitching in to make it work. Interesting, no promises were made to us about how long, people making themselves available for questions, respect for everyone in the class regardless of whether they got it or not. Maybe we should send some folks back east to get it straightened out!
I am surprised at all the horror stories here too. I am a CLA for NRFU in San Francisco and our class went well, our FOS is great, and our enumerators are working hard and doing a wonderful job so far. I worked GQ and TNSOL night and that was a bit of a nightmare due to a very misinformed and disorganized CL but 1/2 of us from that group went on to be CL and CLA’s for NRFU. We learned from her mistakes and are doing a much better job. Most of our enumerators really want the work and are competent. We have a lot of college grads and many with higher degrees working at all levels.
The false sense of urgency,and fatique and stress associated with this, may have contributed to the tragedy of the 2 census folks killed 5/1 in a wreck. You would think it was 9/11- but it is forms. These people really need to become EMTs or cops if they love the adrenaline rush and the power (and heck, who doesn’t?)- this is government paperwork, and it is dealing with people right at their front doors. Getting it right and giving the citizens the respect they deserve should be our priorities, not speed.
My CL sent me out at 8:30 pm last night to observe a crew member in a very rural gravel-road isolated area. The crew member and I agreed that this was unsafe and did not go out. The CL implied the next morning that this crew member, because she had not been observed, might be “cut loose”. Like it was my fault (I am a CLA, making the same $ as an enumerator- in our cases, $15.35 an hour). And, of course, she was not- she was observed by someone else, (someone unbelievably obnoxious, but that’s another post), the next day.
Why must this be so difficult? The enumerators are lovely and intelligent people, mostly. We want to do a good job and are competent, if trained correctly and not abused.
Wow. Over here in my little corner of the L.A. region, things are apparently going fairly well. I have an amazing group of crew leaders who in turn have a generally squared-away corps of enumerators. Our LCO has had some issues with the famous PBOCS and getting binders made, but despite that, all of my enumerators have a binder to work and each CL has a few left over, with the rest of our workload promised within “a few days.” You folks out in D.C. East have my sympathies. As a FOS, on the first day of enumerator training I visited each of my crew leaders’ classrooms and introduced myself, welcomed the trainees to the Census, and gave a little 5-minute spiel about their role in the census and how important it is, and how much I value them as individuals and look forward to working with them. I did touch on the fact that the operation is called “Nonresponse Followup” for a reason — that we are attempting to interview folks who chose not to return their census forms for whatever reason, and that some of these folks may resist our efforts. And I assured the trainees that their CLs would be sharing strategies with them on how to turn those interactions into positive results. I certainly didn’t imply that we were scared of the public.
Throughout the rest of the training week I spent my days sitting in on the training classes, a half-hour to an hour at a stretch. It’s what our AMFO told us our job was for that week, but besides, it only made sense. If my CLs’ job is to train their crews, and my job is to supervise the CLs, then the only way I can think of to do that is to be present in the training rooms. I am amazed at the number of times I’ve heard from CLs in other areas who say their FOS never visited their classroom or came by only to spend 30 seconds dropping off and collecting paperwork, and never even bothered to say hello to the trainees. Makes me wonder exactly what these FOSs were doing all week.
I have fired a handful of enumerators for being late to training, but certainly not “a minute or a second.” And truth be told, I fired them because they were late without advance notice or a reasonable explanation. Other folks have let their CL know in advance that they had to miss some time, and given their reasons and their willingness and ability to make up what they missed, I let them stay. The written policy is clear, but at the same time you have to have some compassion. I had an enumerator (actually one who had been selected by her CL to be a CLA) wind up hospitalized for emergency gallbladder surgery. We ended up selecting a different CLA, but the CL and I went to see her in the hospital and told her that whenever she’s ready to come back to work, as long as we still had a binder for her she would get it.
California FOS at 324am:
You sound like a real person. You are 180-degrees away from what my experience has been. Abusive, nasty, snide, berating and belittling behavior out of the ones in charge. This is in the office, not the field. Work being done several times over, each time slightly different (with the worker bees being made to feel as if it is THEIR fault, when it is really all about management being unfocused and chasing their own tails.) Hostile responses when trying to ask questions – like they’re implying that since you’ve been there two weeks, you should know the entire operation inside and out already. I mean, they did devote a couple of hours for us to read a several-hundred-page manual and all… Totally unrealistic. I have witnessed cutting, abusive tone and language directed at others and felt very uncomfortable as a result (the only thing I can compare it to in a small way – it’s like being a little kid in a violent domestic situation and seeing siblings or your mother getting abused.) Maybe they sent the managers to a weekend retreat at Dick Cheney’s for training or something. If I didn’t need the money, I’d walk out without saying a word. Maybe the lousy economy makes them think they can get away with it – folks are so desparate they will shut up and take it.
Let me assure you “Senseless” the hire packets were STILL being entered as we speak….total, total incompetence here in the NY area….from ARCM on down…..and yes. I can’t wait to see when pay-day rolls around
My experience in Central Valley CA has been good compared to some of these stories. We have a great CL who worked very hard to make the training run smoothly and she was apologetic when material was redundant and just a bit boring. Our CL never looked down on anyone when she had to repeat an instruction. We had field training on Thursday and Friday we began observations. Saturday I did ?? EQs (a lot of vacants) and as ACL I did a few observations. Everyone passed and did great. I think everything was very well organized for such a large undertaking and I feel the foundational organization in our area must have been great for it all to run so smooth. We have a great FOS, very funny. Our group meeting yesterday was a bit confused, checking the EQ s and answering questions but it only took 45 min. for 16 people. We have a great group and of which I’m glad to be a part. And I’ll take the extra money even if it is a few weeks; it is better than unemployment.
I resigned as an enumerator on May1. My CL and FOS were bright and competent and like others have said—I think they did their best to shield us from the crap they were getting from THEIR higher-ups. The FOS came to visit us during training, spoke with the group for a few moments and observed a bit of our training. I believe they did a great job given the limited information and support it seems they had.
As far as why I resigned—there were two main reasons. #1—IF I really was gonna have 4-6 weeks of work, MIGHT have been worth it. After getting our binders it became apparent that we would be ‘lucky’ to get another one, thus I would have had only about 35 hours of field work (hardly 4-6 weeks worth)—IF I stretched the job and ‘milked it.’
Stephen Robert Morse Says: May 3rd, 2010 at 12:04 pm Anon2 – That’s terrible! Is it official policy to leave your phone number?
But the main reason, reason #2, had to do with ME leaving MY personal PHONE number on the little ‘Notice of Visit’ (NV) papers on the doors of places where no one answered. To be fair, my CL asked the class if anyone had a problem with that on the 2nd morning of training. I did not have a problem with it because I thought I could get a throwaway phone or google voice number before I had to start fieldwork. Well the google voice invite has yet to come and a cheap throwaway cell phone proved to be too much of a hassle.
The ‘Notice of Visit’ papers HAVE a place to put the LCO phone # and the enumerator’s ID# in cases where an enumerator does NOT want to put their own phone #. But, we were told that should a non-respondent call the LCO, they would be very busy & it’s possible the caller would never get through to the right person, if they got through at all. Also our unwillingness to leave our personal phone # would create more lot more work for others therefore we might be terminated.
Last Thursday, I did end up leaving my number on one NV; I got a call back this morning –WAY too early. I wonder how all the other enumerators are going to feel weeks from now when they start getting a ton of junk calls resulting from their name and number floating around on little ½ sheets of paper all over their town!
The chance of having to put my name and personal phone number on 34 pieces of paper for the opportunity of 35 hours worth of employment was not really worth it to me.
Someone said “Maybe the lousy economy makes them think they can get away with it – folks are so desperate they will shut up and take it.” I totally agree.
Upon resigning, I had to return my lil’ made-in-china shoulder bag AND strap (return of the strap was specifically mentioned), the sign to put in ones car that said something about how this car was on official government business and my ID. I went ahead and returned the 4 #2 pencils, wedge erasers, sharpener, 2 blue ink pens, paperclips and other stuff too! Also, I sorta thought I would be mailed my SF-50-Notice of Personnel Action, but my CL handed it to me when I returned all the other stuff.
PS. A few days ago, I got an email from my CL with mine and all the other enumerator’s contact information (primary and home phone numbers). It was then that I REALLY decided to resign.
I worked on GQE at Austin. It was alright; the work wasn’t too hard and the pay was decent. The problem happened when everyone (enumerators) were told that it looked like work was beginning to run out and that we had the option to transfer to NRFU. The catch was that if we wanted to transfer we could not work for 2 weeks before then. I wanted to work so I agreed to this.
2 weeks go by, I get no call. I start contacting my old supervisor, and crew leader and ask them if something is wrong. We exchange few emails and I’m told contact the admin of the LCO. Because the GQE supervisor put me in for a transfer, I didn’t think there would be a issue. I did call and they blame me for everything.
I’m glad that I will not work for these people ever. I was much more efficient then some of my co-workers and far more honest then most on their time sheets. Yet I get treated for shit. Luckily I got part time job in the 2 week “waiting period”, so I am not that financially hurt. But this experience makes me wary of the CENSUS and how it is run.
What is the point of doing 40 hours of work for this crap? They need to have a better hiring system and hire people that want to/care about the work. Office politics, egos, etc. make this look pathetic. Might as well hire facebook or google to count everyone. They could probably do it faster and cheaper.
Stephen, I don’t know if it’s “official” regarding the personal cell numbers on door hangers. It was not in our NRFU Enumerator Manuals. Our trainer and crew leader told us to leave our personal cell or landline numbers.
Great minds of Census management…You have 10 people to do 8 hrs work each=80 man hours. Their brilliant plan is to divide those workers into 3 shifts to do the same work. You now have less productive and more disgruntled clerks ,lose flexibility and have to utilize 3 OOS’s instead of one. This just to say that the Census is working around the clock to complete its mission… No sensible business would ever operate like that
I’m an enumerater in CA…things have been chaotic (understandable) but generally positive. We had a sharp class (maybe only one dud), and we all get along. Worked a few hours on Sat. & Sunday, and once I quickly figured out how to best organize and prepare and strategize myself, really hit the ground running today (Monday) and while I had lots of NV’s (ppl at work), had a good productive day.
Problem is, I get home and I received a letter stating that I have been placed on non-working status because “either the fingerprint check rsulted in a positive match between your fingerprints and an arrest record in the FBI criminal history index, or information disclosed on the OF 306 needs further review” until the Census Hiring and Employment Check staff can make a final determination. WTF? I have no felonies, and only had one traffic-related misdemeanor in my life (a DUI), seven years ago, which I discoled on the OF 306 twice…once on the original application when I took with the test, and again on the adminstration day of training on my employment app. My CL had to come and collect my bag, badge and binder tonight, and he felt bad and said he went to bat for me to his LCO, said I was a good worker etc. But, he had to abide by the non-working status ruling.
I can’t figure this out, is this possibly a false positive or a beauracratic snafu of some sort? First of all I did disclose the misdemeanor, secondly as I understand it the FBI check is looking for felonies and not misdemeanors. I hope this gets sorted soon because I could use the money and don’t mind the work. I’m afraid if I’m stuck in beauracratic limbo for weeks, when it gets sorted the renumeration period will be over. Either way this is very distressing because I don’t want to have a false flag in my FBI file. Any thoughts or ideas?
Anonymouse, I had to do this Friday with a 50-something woman who had worked for the 2000 census and says she hasn’t had any interactions with law enforcement since she was 20 years old. She was a great enumerator too. Someone in Washington sends down “The List” and once somebody’s name is on it, we are forced to put them on non-pay status. It sucks, because we get NO indication at the LCO level of why the individual’s name suddenly appeared on The List. There’s not even a phone number that we can give these folks to call for more information. If you got a letter, hopefully it has some sort of contact information, and if it does, I would continue to pester them until you can get this resolved. Good luck to you.
California FOS, there is a class action lawsuit against the Census Bureau that the woman you worked with can join that stands against the things you speak of. I’m not saying that I support or don’t support the suit, but I’m letting you know it’s there:
here in staten island i still havent gotten a call from my CL. during the enumerator training last week they said CL would call over the weekend. i called the LCO today and they said their system is down and that the CLs would be calling soon. has anyone else had this problem? they also mentioned in our training that they hired 1200-1300 people but only about 800-900 would actually be working, i asked the LCO about this and they said it wasnt true.
A CL in our CLD also got told to put one of her enumerators on nonworking status. Our FOS had no idea what’s up. This enumerator is 50ish and a good worker too. Thanks for posting the info, Stephen, I forwarded it to the CL so she can share it with her enumerator.
Pinky……..that’s correct. They over-hired in Brooklyn and Staten Island in hopes that the run off wouldn’t be that bad and they would “net” enough workers…again, total ineptitude at all levels…and don’t hold your breath waiting for a call from your Crew Leader…they are some of the worst of the bunch in Stayen Island
I am an enumerator in the NE. There has been a little chaos in the LCO, getting AA binders ready and printer for everyone. It’s not a major inconvenience and its what I expected for a short term job that involves 600,000 people.
The CL are nice folks, who work hard to provide good training,and provide assistance. While I understand there is some risk when you knock on a stranger’s door I don’t feel any more unsafe than I did delivering papers as a kid. The otehr enumerators I work with appear to be responsible members of my community. School teachers, retirees, moms, and fire fighters who know the area and citizens well.
Training got behind last week, was rushed at the end. 2 trainees pulled and told leave the govt. stuff. 2 of 15 fingerprints unreadable. I had to go to the LCO and the 2nd set was rejected and the clerk overrode the system. How to handle refusals…well the public will be happy to cooperate…NOT! Test answers given out the day before. Day of test told to throw a question or 2 so not 100%. Of course do not fold, etc. the EQ. Give the dog ur leg and smack him with the binder or the bag. No OT drummed into ur brain. Pencil, Pencil, Pencil! Had torn labels on the EQ where the numbers are unreadable.
No AA binders yesterday so the early finishers had nothing til today. Was told could leave LCO phone# on NV…today FOS said NO ur personal phone!
Was told on 3rd visit if still NC look for a proxy…the neighbor across the street, next door…well today the FSO said YOU WILL NOT KNOCK on a non-NRFU address. Thats all for now.
Must be something in the water in San Francisco because we are doing great in my CDL. I did 3 observations on enumerators so far and all are super nice and doing a great job. All 3 got one nasty person when I was with them but they all handled it great. We mostly got nice people who completed the EQ’s, twice we were invited in by older women, one gave us Russian chocolate and offered us saltines. The other woman offered us strawberries. People are stopping us on the street and asking questions about the census. One guy came by on a skateboard and asked us a question and when we realized we had an EQ for his apt. he completed it right there with us. We are all from our neighborhood and the CL and I specifically tried to assign the first binders to enumerators who lived on that block. So a lot of them have first hand knowledge of who lives in the houses they are going to. We have several enumerators who have started their second binder and we have some who don’t really want more work, they just wanted to be of service so they are fine with the go-getters getting more work. We have no one who wants work and doesn’t have it. We were never told to use the internet or any other means to locate phone numbers and we are not doing that.
This business of using the Internet to find phone numbers … WTF? I don’t remember reading that in any of my training materials, and our LCO certainly isn’t advocating such a thing. Doing a prearranged phone interview (after leaving a Notice of Visit and having the resident call back) is one thing, but I’m not keen on the idea of cold-calling residents with no warning. Do the American Community Survey enumerators use this tactic? I know many people, including myself, routinely do not answer our home phones if we don’t recognize the caller’s phone number (and, sometimes, not even then).
SF_our training was very good. Have been Census taking in my hood this week hard to get people home most cooperate only had one real rude guy ask us to leave was with my CLA this morning when that happened, but other than that it’s been a good experience. Love being a FED too!!!
Hey, Anonymouse – I’ve run into the same problem here in ID. My six-year-old arrest record is just that, an *arrest* record (for a misdemeanor pot charge with NO conviction). Despite the fact that I disclosed it on the application AND sent the administration official court documentation (which resulted in me being made eligible for hire), the fingerprint background check and/or info I put on the I-9 in the hiring packet during training led to me receiving the same letter you got. I thought that the problem was resolved since they reviewed my court documentation before the second background check! I doubt they’ll terminate my employment over it, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it took them until after the NRFU operation is finished to clear me for work again. Post again when your problem finds a resolution? I’m curious.
Hard-working enumerators, LCO staff and RCC staff,
Besides reporting technical problems with printing assignment registers, getting binders assembled properly, and Excel spreadsheet workarounds here on MTC, you can report these and other PBOCS-related problems to the Inspector General at http://www.oig.doc.gov/oig/hotline/000015.html
You can keep it confidential.
The IG can’t do anything about difficult people. Just the facts you know about what is not working right.
Remember no names of residents, street addresses or identifying geographic information.
Ok, I am curious….how many questionaires are folks completing in a day.
For example I worked for 4 and 1/2 hours, not counting my commute time and I finished 6 eq and left quite a few nvs. I split my time between am and pm though maybe I should go later I went from 4 until 6:45 in the evening. I had to go to meet to turn in payroll and had an appointment with a person to complete an eq this am and caught another person I had missed previously. But It seems slow to me ….
anonymiss- I think you are doing very well to complete 6 EQ’s in 4.5 hours plus leaving the nvs. We were told in CL and CLA training it should average out to about 1 hour per EQ so you are ahead of average.
We were told to use whatever mean necessary to locate telephone numbers. The LCO would get numbers if we couldn’t and a law enforcement official may accompany the crew leader back to the house. We must use our personal telephone numbers for NV, not the LCO number.
Our crew in SF is really getting ramped up. 7-10Eq per person rolling in per day, meetings getting shorter, people are getting it! One or two getting left behind but support being offered to try and help them make it. We even had one EQ done completed on a basketball court while the guy was practicing. LUCKY- strong team and teamwork!
I’m working in Queens, NYC and the experience is positive so far. The training was boring, but the instructors did do their best to make it a little bit fun. The only concern I have is we just did a extremely unresponsive apartment building, and I hope no one gets in trouble for all the forms that don’t have interviews/proxy interviews. The building in question is mostly composed of insular non English speakers, and knocking on neighbors doors turns out to be a mostly fruitless endeavor. The supers were helpful, but they couldn’t provide all the info we needed either.
I hope we’re not required to back there to knock on even MORE doors (which we really shouldn’t do since there has already been many complaints), or possibly hang around and track down even more building workers. I suppose it’s part of the job, that would cross the line into obsessive stalking imo.
I’ve been getting a little better than 1 EQ an hour. Once you have exhausted all the personal visits and end up left with proxies only it goes way faster. I have one more EQ left in first binder and all neighbors know nothing about them. I was told told to look up their phone number online. A few in my crew have not received binders yet. So I am will be on a waiting list as of tomorrow for a second AA binder. OC Cal
California FOS: I was told by my crew leader that pretty much if we have exhausted all of our options and cannot locate a proxy that we can do a reverse address look up on the internet. I am definitely against this as I feel really weird about cold calling someone out of the blue like this. I think we are being told this because the reverse look up is public record, but I don’t think the residents are going to be happy with us. We’ll see what happens.
Did the RCCs give the LCOs any paper or electronic reverse directories?
For those of you not familiar with reverse directories, these commercial products are sorted lists of addresses
with phone numbers and/or names.
The reverse lookup directories for telephone and address info can be wrong. Some individuals give incorrect info to credit card companies, telemarketers, etc. Then, the incorrect info stays in a database like People Search, etc. That is why you may keep getting telephone calls from banks, telemarketers, etc., for other people who had your telephone number 5 years ago. The same goes for your address, you may get bill collectors, etc., sending info to you even though you have lived at your address for 7 years. The reverse lookup is not always current or correct.
Don’t think you have to “Pay for” your unemployment benefits. The full name is Unemployment Insurance because you have paid into it in advance! You shouldn’t have to work for free, ever, and it is, in fact, illegal for any company (even the Federal Government) to require you to do so. I do, however, sympathize with the idea that filling out a D-308 for a 10-minute phone call might actually be more pain than it’s worth!
NRFU Newbie, each company within a state is required to pay into an unemployment insurance fund. This is the law. Many employees can work all of their lives and not have to apply for unemployment benefits. However, it is available to protect against layoffs, etc. And, each state has rules regarding how much you qualify for and how long you must work before you qualify for unemployment benefits.
I wonder where people across the country are meeting for their daily meetings. In SF we have tons of coffee shops which is what we are using but we got asked to not come back to one place that our FOS was using twice a day. I wish we could get reimbursed for all the drinks and snacks that I’ve bought in these places. The enumerators don’t seem to buy anything at the place we are meeting with them and only a few of the CL’s and CLA’s bought at the place that we are not welcome at anymore. With all the empty storefronts in SF, I wish the census had rented a few in different neighborhoods so we could have had a permanent place to meet.
Ok I finished my first week of NRFU enumerating. It has been both annoying and interesting. I have interviewed a lot of really nice people.
I have almost memorized my current neighborhood. I am tired of riding aroundI look forward to getting paid as I could use some gas money.
So far a positive experience….
Our local library has 2 meetings rooms which are in high demand and census workers are not given priority. We can have a room for only one hour and if someone else wants it after that, we have to give it up. Our CL for GQ used the library a few times and she usually did not have time to meet with everyone before the hour was up. We would move to a bench outside of the library. Also, the library has limited hours so it opens at 1 pm several days a week and closes early some days too.
I tried to find a classroom for our enumerator class as the one the LCO lined up for us needed us out by 3 pm everyday. I called every church, park and rec center, community center, YMCA, hospital, etc. in the area, about 15 places, and no one was willing, let alone happy to assist us in any way. The churches usually said their rooms were for church members only and the other places had their rooms booked up for months already. Weight Watchers, AA, Narcotics anonymous etc. had taken all their slots.
Stephen, thank you for posting articles so quickly.
Happy Mother’s Day to all NRFU Moms!
Today I was very busy enumerating all day. When I handed in my D308 Daily Pay Record, a different CL showed up. He told me that my entire crew had quit today and they fired my CL and CLA! Tomorrow I start with a new crew.
I work out of the San Angelo, TX LCO. It has been an absolute nightmare of confusion and chaos. Walking into the LCO, you experience a scene that looks something like a kicked over fire ant nest. Our AMFO was fired a couple of days ago for “performance issues”, and the person they got to replace her is an IT guy with no field experience who I’m frankly unimpressed with. The CLs and their enumerators were told last week that instead of having a full week to do initial observations, as it states in the manual, they had to have them into the LCO no later than Wednesday. We were told this on Monday. After one of the FOS’s reminded them of what it stated in the manual, they very reluctantly agreed that we had until Saturday to get them in to the LCO. The cops in our FOSD have been uncooperative and downright hostile toward our enumerators and CLs. D308s are being processed extremely slowly, and in several cases the FOS’s are still being paid at the trainee rate. We were told it would be “looked into”, but there has been no word on this as of yet.
We were told that estimating ones hours was manipulation of hours, yet were also told in one instance that enumerators would have to give Saturday’s 308 to their CL that same Saturday so that a courier could drive 148 miles to the LCO in order to get them there by 11 pm. The courier would have to then drive home in the middle of the night through an extremely deer-infested rural area with lousy (if any) cell service. All so that Saturday’s 308s could be processed on Sunday “to prevent a backlog”. Late 308s are not the reason for the backlog. The reason is that the LCO is both shortstaffed and has 20 computers to handle 308s.
I am inches away from resigning. I can understand a lot of things, but being told I would get paid a certain amount per hour and then finding out otherwise is very discouraging. So far, the only emails coming from the LCO have been negative and intimidation filled, and I dread forwarding them to my people, when my guys are all doing an outstanding job in the field.
The Census Bureau is proof that everything government touches turns to excrement.
I can not imagine how hard it must be to assemble a 1 million strong unit but let me say there was no chance to weed out the bad ones before the process began.
I am a CLA and have a great CL and FOS. They try to insulate us from the worst of the madness.
My CL treats me as a co-equal manager and all the team members as…well members of a team. What a treat. Despite the lack of binders we were able to complete day 4 of training using a nearby apartment complex and get everyone observed by a CLA and CL so we would be ready for Monday.
We sent EVERY team member to the Asheville office to help with maps and AA binder assembly. They know the problems the LCO is facing and can relate.
We have cross trained half of our enumerators in CLA/paperwork issues and frankly could staff six more units with no problem.
Our other CLA who had a secret clearance at a nuclear plant and is eligible for a pistol permit from the local cops was put on “No work status” because of BS. He was told these things:
1. He answered yes to a crime on the questionnaire day 1. Not true. Our FOS called the LOC personally and had them pull the forms and verify that he did not.
2. His fingerprints were being held up by the FBI. Not true. They were not even sent yet.
3. His file has been OK’ed but is waiting on a signature from someone…somewhere…..somehow who will be able to straighten it out.
In the meantime I just love it,,,really! my CL and I are running a crew with 15 of the 24 we were supposed to have by the plan. Our FOS protects us from bad stuff and praises us for beating everyone else in the unit.
I have a case of the Mondays ( but its Tuesay sigh) Headache from enumerating. Have to try hard to find proxies, can go to many homes for proxy(at least 6) Need to note addresses where tried for proxy.
Must not be late with pay sheet! Will get fired. That makes me not want to work on Sat because who knows where I will have to go to turn in my sheet on Sunday, may have to drive 40 miles to turn in sheet.
Feel bad for my CL and CLA…I think they have a lot of pressure on them.
I was told today that someone from the Region Census Center (RCC) is going to observe me and I’m the only one being observed within the 2 CLD’s my crew leader oversees. I was already observed/evaluated by my CLA during my first day out in the field and I did great. I’m just trying to figure out if this is a bad thing or not…has anyone else had this happen?
I’m an enumerator and most of the time this job is just plain bulls*%t. There is no leadership whatsoever. No one ever knows what’s going on. When I asked my CLA how many binders we have left for our district, s/he said “You know more than I do”. Unfortunately, he was right, but damnit you’re the CLA. I trust this person with handing in my D308′s and s/he doesn’t even know what’s going on. I feel like we’re running in circles and people have no idea how frustrating it is to deal with the lack of cooperation in the big city.
May 3 Former Enumerator: Regarding personal cell numbers on NV
I left NV notices with the LCO numbers. People called the LCO numbers and the Census workers answering the phones would not fill out the EQ for the residents. Instead, the Census workers took down the CL code, Case ID number, Block/Map Spot/ address info. Then, gave this info to the CL’s Manager. Then, my CL talked to me and had me go back to the resident (I left another notice! This took 4 days! There are Census workers answering the phone specifically for the purpose of filling out an EQ for the caller at each LCO.
I think there are only a few binders left for our group. I just got a new one and am perhaps a quarter of the way through it plus I have 2 cases in one binder and 4 in another to resolve. I think this current one will be a challenge. I am so sad to see so many empty homes that have been abandoned and aren’t even really in foreclosure yet. I wonder where they went, the home-owners and what will happen to this “excess inventory”. This is a middle class neighborhood, all sorts of races, colors, religions but maybe on my streets every 5th house is not occupied and some appear to have not been for the better part of a year.
My enumerators are finding many vacant apts. in SF. It seems about one in five to me. They don’t even have for rent signs on the buildings. I think the landlords have taken them off the market because they can’t ask as much for rent as they could in the past, and since we have pretty strict rent control laws, they want to wait till the economy improves and put them back up when they can charge a lot more. If they rent them out at a lower rate now, they can only raise the rent a few percentage points a year. Even several of my enumerators are moving out of the city soon.
I’m glad I found this blog, since it reassures me I’m not the only one having issues with Census employment.
I trained two weeks ago in NYC, and our class had all of seven people, which seemed odd for such a highly populated area. It was supposed to be four days, but apparently there was an issue getting binders for us to do out trial runs going door-to-door, so the training wrapped up in three days total (two of which were basically half days). Since then, I haven’t gotten a call about going out for assignments and still have yet to knock on a single door. I called the LCO, and all they said was that they would put my name on a list and pass it along to somebody somewhere. I’m now wondering if they trained for a job I’ll never actually perform. Fortunately, I’m not desperate for money right now, but I feel bad for those who were promised a job that they really need and are instead having to navigate a sea of red tape. I’ve always been civic-minded, but this is making me wonder if government service is worth the inevitable hassle.
On another note, does Stephen Robert Morse have any relation to the Robert Morse of the U.S. News statistics/rankings operation?
HAVE OTHERS HAD CHECK STAFF CHANGE ‘MIND’ IN FBI CLEARANCE DECISIONS
What’s going on with Check Staff? 16 years ago I was falsely accused at Junk Yard Dog Towing Services of hitting a lady with my car so she could attempt to make false medical claims. The charges were never pursued and dropped for “no probable liklihood”, but not before I had called her a bluff and called an ambulance to get her into medicaly neutral hands. In the process I got arrested, fingerprinted, spent a night in jail and charged with assault with a motor vehicle. I heard nothing further from the lady. Ten years ago when I was fingerprinted this was no problem to becoming and serving an enumerator in the 2000 Census.
This Census I took the test again and my name came up as a fingerprint match for which I sent them a copy of the “Closed” court record and was cleared for employment. Two weeks into training to be a Crew Leader as I was picking up the folder to train my Enumerators I was put on leave while they reinvestigated and was Terminated. So am I forever “guilty until proven innocent” for Check Staff purposes?
What is really frustrating at this point is that there seems to be no way besides mail or an EEO complaint to further contact them. EEO did give me a phone number for ChecK Staff, but the respondant there could only confirm my termination and further explain what ‘Terminated’ meant; and stated that they themselves had no way to contact Check Staff for direct feedback.
I really hate this job. There’s a growing distrust toward supervisors among us. Us lowly workers do not understand how inept, incompetent sups are able to survive. If the system serves them so well, allowing for abuse and disrimination, this whole thing is for show.
Yesterday I got told we were really light on work in our crew, and I was asked if I wanted to go into another crew that might have more work. I said sure, then today I got a call saying that we are officially winding it up. Since I handed in my binder yesterday(so I could switch crews), there isn’t any more work for me. So I am now officially unemployed.
I work at a LCO office. To all the enumerators: please read your manuals!! You have no idea how many of the forms we are sending back due to errors that you shouldnt have made. Going to a proxy on the first visit on an occupied unit? really? And keep your X’s in the boxes, or we have to erase them for you.
Just finished cleanup for about 6 CLDs. Pretty much had to redo EQs that were not properly done in the first place. Had to be creative “on the spot” to get cooperation. Easiest was that we were doing quality checks to verify that enumerators had been doing their job correctly. Most my EQs were people who had blown off the first attempt and the Crew Leader had signed off on the EQ and sent in. Incorrect Info-Comms, stuff that should never had been turned in. Some times felt like a stalker, getting proxies for our civil disobedient citizens.
The only major item that would improve 2020 would be better managed creation and distribution of binders.
Get the CLDs their first binders on time.
The add campaign to send in Questionaires even if late was very effective.
Control the creation of new binders to closer when needed. This would allow for late questionnaires to generate “cross through” and reduce confrontation situations.
My later binders had been created 1 to 1.5 ago.
Crew Leaders need to be honest in the Clean-Up. Should have left the EQs with original notes and improperly completed Info-Comms so we could be better informed to do our job. At the end, it was the better Enumerators I was working with. Those with better people skills and understanding of proper documentation.