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.

MyTwoCensus Editorial: 2010 Census work should be suspended for Memorial Day

MyTwoCensus has received numerous tips that Census Bureau offices will be open on Memorial Day and that enumerators will be out counting households. MyTwoCensus strongly disagrees with this decision to operate on Memorial Day for many reasons. First, Memorial Day is FEDERAL HOLIDAY, and the 2010 Census is a federal government operation. Second, Memorial Day is a time to show respect to veterans, living and dead. Third, Memorial Day is a time when not many people will be at home anyway. American tradition dictates that families and friends gather at parties that can be held in private, on beaches, in parks, and other public spaces. Enumerating on this day will likely be a major waste of time and money because few people will be at  home to answer their doors. Additionally, if all other federal workers receive Monday off, why should Census Bureau employees be held to a different standard?

Tags: , , ,

104 Responses to “MyTwoCensus Editorial: 2010 Census work should be suspended for Memorial Day”

  1. GS-X Says:

    Sorry, Field Staff. The Census Bureau collects data every day except Christmas.
    Employees of Veterans’ Hospitals won’t get Memorial Day off either.
    Please serve your country. You can find many people at home on holidays.

  2. anonymiss Says:

    I was told not to work Memorial Day or the Sunday before.

  3. noncensical Says:

    SORRY – GS-X
    Census is non ESSENTIAL OP – unlike the Fed military, hospitals or law enforcement – this making up for the PBOCS caused problems – by keeping offices open on Memorial Day a federal holiday – - if a census worker came to my home on Memorial Day – they would get butt kicked back down the road – - from the start is just pure FUBAR recovery – Obama is going to be in Chicago at picnic on Memorial day rather than laying th wreath at Arlington – -you do the math on respect here.

  4. noncensical Says:

    Hey Steve Morse – Some of us out here would be interested in Director Groves explanation of having offices open on Memorial Day? I wonder how many will be working in Washing ton that day on a non-essential op and getting triple overtime? Like 1 (sacred) day would make up for the $$$ & time wasted waiting for PBOCS to work????

    Would love to read that press release…..

  5. Crew Leader Says:

    I told my crew to not work all weekend (Sat, Sun, Mon) for several reasons:

    1- There is more to life than work. Whenever you get a long weekend, take it. All the work will still be there on Tuesday.

    2- I don’t care what the LCO or my FOS thinks about it. It’s just another chance to tweek the noses/poke the eyes of a bureaucrat (great fun)!

    3- The public is, already, losing patience with us. Let’s not disturb their holiday weekend.

    4- This is a time to reflect on the sacrifices that were made for the freedoms we have in this great country and to remember the individuals that made those sacrifices. As a veteran/patriot/citizen, I see this like a holy day. To work would disrespect that.

  6. JJ Says:

    We are required to work the full weekend to wrap up our area by Tuesday morning. Enumerators wonder, but are afraid to ask, if we will receive holiday pay for hours worked on Monday. Yes, we are federal employees, but we appear to be governed by a whole different set of rules!

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I’ll give you three guesses as to who else won’t be working this coming Monday.

  8. Enumerate this Says:

    @Crew Leader 7:34 a.m.: Great post. Clear thinking. What are you doing working for the census?

  9. To Infinity and Beyond Says:

    I am working on Monday, Memorial Day.

  10. NarfooSnafoo Says:

    The only Census work I’m doing for Memorial Day is to stay home and correct forms and writing O’s and V’s in my books. I don’t want to piss the public off on this day.

  11. To Infinity and Beyond Says:

    Crew Leader 7:34 am: You are a great CL, I can tell! :) I especially agree with (3) “the public is losing patience with us”. You are 100% correct. The public is educated regarding identity theft, opening the door to strangers, privacy issues, fraudulent census workers, …. We write numerous Info-Comms, tell our CL/CLA/other Census workers …. Some Census workers at our LCO said that our Info-Comms get thrown into those recycled boxes like the New York office — I believe it! We have alerted our CL/CLA regarding safety concerns ….

  12. To Infinity and Beyond Says:

    Oh, I forgot. Some people do not feel comfortable giving us their personal telephone numbers.

  13. noncensical Says:

    Crew Leader 7:34 am – Good for you and your folks! I bet that there will a “no comment” from Groves on this if Morse calls the Commerce Dept – WHY? Because he has already LEFT for the weekend……nonCensus- cal

  14. CLA Dave Says:

    Our crew was told we don’t have to work on Memorial Day, but we can if we want to.
    (Which is pretty much like every other day. As long as we put in at least 20 hours a week, we can pick which days we work.)

  15. Anonymous Says:

    I think it has something to do with getting an accurate count to the President.

  16. Dixter Says:

    Our new crew leader wants us to work all weekend, and to meet for two hours each day. If I wasn’t desperate for work this would be the end.

  17. CL Eric Says:

    I’m encouraging all my enumerators to take Monday off. As for Saturday and Sunday, I’m leaving that up to them to decide whether or not they want to go out.

  18. anonymiss Says:

    I went out today and it was tough!!!! Several doors slammed in my face, I had some prior refusals, and some eqs that needed a little follow up. I wished I had already turned in todays 308 as I would not go to the meeting tomorrow and relax. I am in a resort area with a lot of holiday traffic and it’s a long ride to our meeting place now. One man told me today that I was the 4th person who had been to his house to census him. He had sent in his census and had an enumerator come fill one out and then his wife refused a 2nd enumerator and then he gave me a bare bones count and a little info. Where do the eqs go I wonder?

  19. In some LCO Says:

    “GS-X Says:
    May 28th, 2010 at 5:57 am
    Sorry, Field Staff. The Census Bureau collects data every day except Christmas….Employees of Veterans’ Hospitals won’t get Memorial Day off either.”

    Sorry genius, employees of veterans hospitals get double time pay on Memorial day. As do all other federal workers forced to work.

  20. Maiasaura Says:

    Since when did Memorial Day become a sancrosanct holiday? It’s a good day to enumerate. Lots of people will be home who would otherwise be at work. I’ll be there for my crew. My crew sets their own hours, so I’m not going to order anyone to work or not work on any particular day. I let them know what our deadlines are and what work needs to be done. If they want the hours, they will work. If not, some one else will work–and when the job is done, the hours are gone. I hope to be reassigned to another task after NRFU, and if I am, I’m bringing the best of my crew along.

  21. Anonymous #11 Says:

    Needing this forum’s opinion: CL taking 3-day Memorial Day time off. CLA told us early this morning that we are “on call” today and tomorrow. Some peoople have 40 hours already. He said the Census would pay OT – we don’t believe this. He said we must work Sunday and Monday, too. Will the Census pay OT, regular pay, or will we be fired for working more than 40 hours? He said we will work this evening, too. CLA must stand-in for our CL this entire Memorial Weekend ….

  22. Anonymous #11 Says:

    Maiasaura, I agree. However, Memorial Day is the beginning of Summer for many individuals – it’s a private day to relax and enjoy being with family and friends. Memorial Day is a day to decorate the graves of those who gave their lives to serve our country. We also decorate the graves of our deceased family and friends.

  23. TR Says:

    Anon, I would say that if you do need see a signed authorization for overtime form, do not work overtime. I would ask for a copy as well, just in case.

  24. Current CL Says:

    “Must an employer provide employees time off on holidays?
    No. There is no Federal law that requires an employer to provide time off, paid or otherwise, to employees on nationally recognized holidays.”
    and
    “Must holiday time off be paid?
    For non-exempt (hourly) employees, no. An employer does not have to pay hourly employees for time off on a holiday. An employer is only required to pay hourly employees for time actually worked. On the other hand, exempt employees (salaried employees who do not receive overtime), who are given the day off, must be paid their full weekly salary if they work any hours during the week in which the holiday falls. This requirement for exempt employees did not change under the new federal overtime regulations.”
    From http://humanresources.about.com/od/legalissues/a/holiday_pay.htm

    Sorry, there’s a reason holiday time off is considered a benefit.

    Plus, as a Temporary, Part-Time employee, believe me, there are others who will be working – and those who do the time will see the benefits. The people who work (i.e. the best and brightest) are the first choice for extending the appointments.

    Since I want my appointment to be extended (and those for the best and brightest in my crew), I told my folks that the Census Bureau is considering Monday to be a normal working day, which is what our LCO published with us.

    Believe me, I respect those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I am just not willing to completely contradict what my supervisors told me to honor them on that day. That’s a good way to lose my job.

  25. Probability Wave Says:

    I have to disagree with most of the points made here. People WORK on weekdays; it’s already hard to reach them at their doorstep. I don’t see how this particular holiday is going to make it any more difficult than it is already. I think the idea that more people will be out of their homes on Monday is just wrong; if anything, more people will be at home than usual.

    I do see how people might be upset at being disturbed for enumeration on a holiday, but face it: if they want to, people will be uncooperative no matter what day an enumerator knocks on their door. I frankly couldn’t care less about someone ranting about privacy; next time send in your Census forms and you won’t have to make a jerk out of yourself! I think it would be more accurate to say that Memorial Day will be just another excuse to treat enumerators like garbage, and I have zero sympathy for anyone who does so.

    Finally, I applied to the Census for one reason: I needed work. With that in mind, I’d be the last person to whine about getting hours. A bump in pay for the holiday would only be icing on the cake (and unnecessary considering that I’m happy just to get work hours). So I’m a little amused by everyone whining about not getting the holiday off, or not receiving overtime. If you don’t want to work, why did you apply for this job? I’m GLAD we’re not being FORCED to take a day off Monday. If you’re that upset about working on a holiday, you either need to adjust your perspective or find a job that suits you (good luck).

  26. Current CL Says:

    @Probability
    Right on! Someone who wants to work (and probably pays attention to the forms you turn in, too) – you want to transfer to my CLD?

  27. Anonymous #11 Says:

    Thank you, TR. Our crew has never seen a form for OT authorization.

  28. Peachtree FOS Says:

    @Probability Wave, I’m with you.

    We don’t dictate enumerators’ schedules beyond basic things like “no personal contact attempts after dark” or “we expect at least 20 hours a week.” If supervisors are requiring enumerators to work on Memorial Day, they’re doing it wrong.

    My AMFO meeting for Monday was called off, and I called off my meetings with CLs, though I’m offering a time when they can drop in should they need to discuss something. I’m encouraging them to do something similar and to allow those enumerators who don’t want to work that day to skip their regular meeting. I’m accommodating those CLs who want to take the day off by fielding calls from enumerators that day, too. Why not?

    FWIW, in 2000, my LCO was open with a skeleton crew. On Independence Day, though, we were required to close.

  29. mice anonymoose Says:

    Working Memorial Day. Doubt people will be home—3 day weekend? I’d work Christmas…not a Christian, but if it were me, I wouldn’t want to be bothered on a holiday. Not even going to touch separation of church and state…. Memorial Day actually does mean something to me, having lost a family member in the war. But, I need the money. Wish we’d get paid double-pay for it.

  30. moses mouse Says:

    “We don’t dictate enumerators’ schedules beyond basic things like “no personal contact attempts after dark” or “we expect at least 20 hours a week.” If supervisors are requiring enumerators to work on Memorial Day, they’re doing it wrong.”

    I agree. Our crew is mandated weekend and evening work, which is hard if you have a life outside of your job….

  31. Chicken Little Says:

    So many different LCO work philosophies ….

  32. MotleyCrewLeader Says:

    We where told we and our crew had to work at least 20 hours this weekend in the combined friday through monday. Its highly amusing as most binders are at their end with between 3-10 EQs left per enumerator. Those are the repeat visit or refusals. I myself and the people I work with have no problem with working hard. I have a strong problem with the complete lack of respect in how we are all treated. I was asked to make my enumerators sighn a form where they pledge to work at least 20 hours this weekend. They are now not allowed to proxy until the 4th visit regardless of circumstance, we are not allowed to turn in EQs with 6 personal visits or refusals and we are completly left in the dark about the future.
    I will be taking monday off.

  33. Jay Says:

    Yeah, it would be nice to be off Memorial Day, but, then what. We don’t get paid holidays, so if I’m off, I don’t get money. Sure, I could work Saturday, but then I get 1 day weekend. So, I work. Generally, no bid deal.

  34. Chicken Little Says:

    A pledge form committing to working 20 hours this Memorial Weekend?!

  35. LCO-AM Says:

    Business as usual this weekend and Monday at our LCO.

    Oh, I think the managers have Monday off.

    ;)

  36. Jollyd Says:

    This is my CL giving instructions for enumerators at Jones Beach on Memorial Day.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEV-zgmYKUQ

  37. tlas Says:

    Memorial Day? Does that even exist? ;)

  38. anon Says:

    To Anon11 – DON’T do overtime unless you see the auth in writing.
    To Motley – I can’t believe you were asked to have your crew sign a pledge! Insane.
    It’s my first time reading this board – I’m QA on NRFU RI right now, and I gotta say most people are NOT happy to see me, and many are verbally abusive.
    I don’t think I’m going to find alot of people home this weekend, and I expect that those I do find are not going to want to be interviewed… again. We got word from the LCO to stop work by 11 am Monday.
    We did receive a fair amount of pressure from the LCO to not submit refusals, and have been instructed to not mark visits over the 3rd so that we could keep going back until we get someone. And they are being bitchy about mileage this time, which is a problem in the rural area I’m working. I worked Update/Leave QA in March and often had 120 mile days – no issues. This time I was told they are not willing to pay for delays due to weather or traffic, and our mileage will be checked daily against Mapquest. So if a road is closed and we have to go another way, it’s on our dime. We were also told during training that we would not be re-imbursed for phone charges despite the clear policy stating otherwise.
    The LCO’s must have gotten some memo about budget over-runs I guess.
    Like most crews, we have a min of 25 hrs (no enumerators are getting anywhere near that though due to delays getting the NRFU’s back out of the LCO for us to do QA on). We are not told when to work, but common sense dictates certain days and hours work best.

    Everyone, enjoy your holiday, and if you are lucky enough to get some hours, then good luck and stay safe!

  39. South Central Cali Valley Says:

    One of my adult children, a Veteran, is in the W LA hospital with a fractured back and spinal cord damage (not military associated). I have been making the 2 1/2 hour drive to go see her on Sundays.
    Tonight, my crew leader told me that she was told by our FOS that I would be terminated if I did not work during this Memorial Day Weekend.

  40. anonymous Says:

    South Central Cali Valley, I’m sorry about your child and pray for her recovery. your LCO is …..

    anon 1:01 am – great post!

  41. anotherNV4me Says:

    Needing this forum’s opinion: CL taking 3-day Memorial Day time off. CLA told us early this morning that we are “on call” today and tomorrow. Some peoople have 40 hours already. He said the Census would pay OT – we don’t believe this. He said we must work Sunday and Monday, too. Will the Census pay OT, regular pay, or will we be fired for working more than 40 hours? He said we will work this evening, too. CLA must stand-in for our CL this entire Memorial Weekend ….

    First off ppl with 40 hours worked can work Sunday/Monday. Since Sunday starts a new pay week = 0 hours again. Next OT is paid after working 40 hours in a pay week, that means you can work 12 hours on Sunday or Monday and still not get OT pay “unless you work in the LOC office”. To work more than 8 hours in a single day only requires a “verbal approval” from your CL, OT over 40 hours requires a “written approval” from LOC manager or FOS leader. FYI im having a CL meeting with my team on Sunday morning to collect EQs and D-308s from saturday, then at the end of the meeting, everyone fills out a D-308 for the Sunday meeting wink* everybody worked on Sunday!!! \o/

  42. lagirl Says:

    Most people in my crew have less than 5 EQs left. I have one left. Monday would be a great day to maybe get these done. Course my CL wants to take Monday off, therefore wants us to take it off to so he doesn’t have to collect the 308s. Really it’s about what is good for him, not what is good for the enumerator or the most likely day to wrap up the remaining EQs.
    I thought everyone’s work was winding down. Where do you guys get 40 hours out of just a few EQs?

  43. Embarressed Says:

    We were handed some pretty hefty production goals that we need to meet by Tuesday am. Maybe the enumerators will get invited in for a game of horseshoes and a beer. I am sure the Ivory Tower peeps will be enjoying their dogs and beer while we sweat out our goals. Our LCO smartly decided no RI calls until tuesday. One good thing is we can all start wearing white after monday.

  44. South Central Cali Valley Says:

    moses mouse

    If the FOS and CL are not to dictate what hours we work, do you have any idea what exactly it is that has caused them to think they can demand this of us now?

    The original terms of employment stated a minimum of hours needed for continued employment with nothing said about which day we had to work other than it was said evenings and weekends may produce increased contact.

  45. South Central Cali Valley Says:

    Thank You anonymous….and I agree..

  46. moses mouse Says:

    SC Cali: I think it depends on the CL. I’ve talked with other enums from different crews, and they don’t have such a mandate as my group does. We weren’t mandated a number of hours to work this weekend, but those who aren’t working this weekend are having their cases transferred to those that can. There seems to be a big push to get everything done by the end of the month.

    IMHO, go visit your child in the hospital. She is far, far more important than any census work. You can always attempt contacts via phone.

  47. Randall Flagg Says:

    Check out this Dept. Of Commerce website:

    http://hr.commerce.gov/Practitioners/CompensationAndLeave/DEV01_006223

    Scroll down to “Holiday Pay.” It is double-time, and it is NOT considered overtime. It seems to be required. Does the census have some special exemption, or are we going to get double-time for working on a Federal holiday?

  48. anonymous Says:

    Check it out: My entire apt. building (myself included) had NV notices on our front doors today! We have unlocked, classic mailboxes next to the front door. You could look down the breezeway and see everyone’s NVs. Everyone received their Census forms on the same day and mailed them back the next day – you could see the overstuffed mailboxes on both days. I called the LCO and the Enumerator to give my info again. I told them about our apt. bldg. They both said something must have gone wrong because every apt. was listed as “no response”.

  49. anonymous Says:

    MEMORIAL DAY 3-DAY WEEKEND SHOULD BE “OPTIONAL”.

  50. non CENUS cal Says:

    Look – enumerators are NOT the only people who work for the Census … clerks in the back office do not have the same flexibility as the field staff – so while you all might be able to deal with hours anyway you want – office clerks have been DICTATED to be in on Memorial Day …. & yes it IS a Federal holiday and yes managers have off Obama is not working and has a oil spill & millions of people looking for real jobs …. field staff can also only work 40 hours in a week – so working Monday is NOT necessary … also, rushing to get paper into the office will not get it to Washington any faster – most offices have about 2 weeks of paper backlog due to months of PBOCS problems

  51. porkaphile Says:

    I was told that I had to ask my crew if they were working this weekend and if they weren’t I was supposed to take their work away from them and reassign it to someone else. Then on Tuesday I could reassign it back to them. A lot of people in my crew have quit already, were fired, or are quitting in the next few days. There is no new work left, just 1-4 EQ’s left in binders, the hard cases that no one can get.

    The LCO won’t take a refusal, they just send them back. Why did they even have a box for refusals? They are sending back EQ’s like crazy, things they accepted with no problem in the beginning. I was told that was due to a bottleneck at the LCO, now they are caught up. They won’t take a proxy on a vacant unless the proxy gives their phone. I’ve had cases go to 4 enumerators, no one can get them. I just plan to sit on these cases till next Monday, my appt. will be up and I will be out of there.

    My theory is the LCO wants to keep some cases floating around till mid-July so they will still be working. Then if what I read on this site is true, that there is another operation starting in mid-July, they will finally shut down NRFU and go on to that without losing their jobs. My FOS told me that NRFU could go on till mid-July, but they will combine districts.

    The morale among my enumerators is way down because it is frustrating to just spin your wheels going back to the same places over and over and get nowhere. Then when you can finally locate a proxy to give you a few details, they send the case back because there is not enough info.

  52. your answers are confidential Says:

    Try calling the LCO offices today – they are operating with skeletal staff.

  53. your answers are confidential Says:

    Westfield, NJ man threatens Census worker with gun posted 7 hours ago. Man was arrested and said he was tired of “pushy census workers” who kept coming to his home.

  54. NarfooSnafoo Says:

    Bahhhhh…Visited apartments and most of them are empty, and most likely until Monday night. Sunday would be dead. I left NVs at places on Thursdays and still saw them tonight.

    @Porkaphile–

    Got the same word that our crew needed to stretch out and work the REs that the LCOs returned back. We endure June, we get bumped into the next phase in July.

  55. Very temporary enumerator Says:

    The frustration of the public with seeing us over and over again on their doorsteps, especially when they may have already sent in their forms, is escalating to the point where we are in greater danger than we were a month ago.

    How can I promise a resident that, if he/she cooperates with me and provides me the answers, he/she will not be bothered again for ten years, when others are sent into the field or calling them within a few short weeks to ask them the same information yet again? How can we fault the resident for slamming the door in our face when we become more bothersome than the pest control salesman?

    I am now getting EQ’s back in which I have already documented a proxy who knew little about the resident, but was able to give me a head count and a little very basic information. I am told to go back and “try, try again.” Other EQ’s come back, asking me to go back again and try to find a proxy, at least get that head count. Yet EQ’s with the head count and a little information are coming back demanding more information!!

    The proxies were nice enough to provide what information they could, and to provide their name, address, and phone number. Why do we have to bother them again, to milk them for information that I’ve already documented that they don’t know? At what point do we become obnoxious??

  56. mandy_Reeves Says:

    very temp….EXACTLY!!!! In training we were told it was totally fine just to get the head count. That is what mattered the most. Now they go back and contradict everything.

    Oh well, I don’t worry, my CLD got laid off today. Thank goodness…I was tired of bothering folks.

  57. your answers are confidential Says:

    Very temp enum is correct. Even the most patient, understanding individuals hold their tongue when we are the 3rd Enumerator knocking on their doors asking for more info or asking them to proxy a neighbor. They tell us they have mailed in their census forms or talked to someone already. Some people tell us they talked to a “pushy” census worker or supervisor. This only makes the job more difficult. Many people do not want to give personal info about their neighbors.

    Some people have called us door-to-door telemarketers or state that we interrupt their personal free time like telephone telemarketers!

  58. your answers are confidential Says:

    Randall Flagg: Memorial Day – holiday pay is double?

  59. CLA Dave Says:

    re: “I am now getting EQ’s back in which I have already documented a proxy who knew little about the resident, but was able to give me a head count and a little very basic information. I am told to go back and “try, try again.” Other EQ’s come back, asking me to go back again and try to find a proxy, at least get that head count. Yet EQ’s with the head count and a little information are coming back demanding more information!!”

    They’re just *asking* for disgruntled enumerators to start making stuff up just to fill the boxes so the EQs don’t keep coming back.

  60. Randall Flagg Says:

    Scroll down to the little section titled “Holiday Pay.” It emphasizes that Holiday Pay is NOT “overtime” (it’s DOUBLE TIME), and it MUST be paid to Federal employees who work Federal holidays.

  61. Randall Flagg Says:

    http://hr.commerce.gov/Practitioners/CompensationAndLeave/DEV01_006223

  62. CLA Dave Says:

    Flagg, that does not apply to us temps.

  63. Current CL Says:

    The backlog at my LCO is now almost nonexistant, there was actually a push this afternoon for us to bring any and all completed EQ’s to the office today. I guess it’s a good thing that we don’t have a big backlog anymore, but it required me to work more than I was supposed to, having only 4.75 hours left for the week, but we can’t claim overtime. I’m thankful for the job though.

  64. California FOS Says:

    To my knowledge, Census employees on an intermittent work schedule are NOT entitled to extra pay for holidays. (By the way, everyone with a white ID badge with just a name and no photo is an “intermittent work schedule” employee. The green badges with photos are “mixed tour” employees and I have no idea what their pay situation is.) Absent any specific directive from my LCO, I sent my crew leaders a message telling them that we are not entitled to extra holiday pay; that enumerators are welcome to work the holiday but are not required to do so; and that if any of my crew leaders planned to leave town for any or all of the weekend, they just need to let me know which of their CLAs I can contact in their absence in case I need to. To my knowledge only one of my crew leaders is actually leaving town for the weekend, but I wouldn’t be surprised if only a handful of enumerators across all 8 of my districts turn in 308s for Monday. And that’s fine with me.

    Whether you all end up working Monday or not, I hope you will take a moment to remember the men and women who have given their lives in the service of our nation. Your Census Bureau experiences perhaps notwithstanding, we really are lucky to live in the greatest country in the world — and we owe our veterans our gratitude and appreciation for fighting to preserve our freedom and our way of life.

  65. anonymous Says:

    CA FOS, excellent post! :)

  66. angrycl Says:

    Our FOS-D is idled, except for people who made specific appointments (I had an enumerator go out yesterday because he had made, in advance, arrangements to get interviews that day.) Our LCO is working with a skeleton crew.

  67. In some LCO Says:

    “California FOS Says:
    May 30th, 2010 at 3:29 am
    To my knowledge, Census employees on an intermittent work schedule are NOT entitled to extra pay for holidays.”

    Umm, Intermittent federal employees also cannot be forced to work holidays, and if they decline they cannot be fired for it, in contrast to claims by LCO management (who are making double time).

    The managers want the offices open Memorial day because they themselves make double time.

  68. Very temporary enumerator Says:

    Hmmm….making stuff up….now that’s a concept! I’ve already felt that the information received from the overall 2010 census is going to be suspect because of citizens receiving two (or more) forms in the mail and sending them both in. But if we start making stuff up to appease the LCO? Nothing will be credible in this census! It would be comical except that it’s our tax dollars paying for this boondoggle.

    BTW, I did decide not to work this weekend. I just have a couple of returned EQ’s to follow up on, but people are so tired of being bothered by us, I don’t want to spoil their holiday weekend. I can do them on an evening this week. Or maybe just make stuff up. :)

  69. Pablo S. Says:

    Memorial Day presents a great opportunity for otherwise umemployed people to go out and earn some money! Yet people complain. Geez.

  70. Pablo S. Says:

    It is quite apparent from this forum that it is very difficult for some people to adapt to change. They actually complain that procedures have changed since training. Not sure how they’d ever make it in the real world where quotas, marketing ideas, sales prices, etc. change on a regular basis.
    Keep in mind that the responses NRFU HU’s this year are quite different than 10 years ago…approaches that worked then and were prepared for this census must be adapted. Roll with it and avoid the grief. Or you could just resign.

  71. Randall Flagg Says:

    The D-590 says nothing at all regarding the subject of “Holiday Pay” for working on a Federal holiday.

  72. Senseless Says:

    LCO clerks that work are paid regular hours for the holiday. Enumerators and field staff can work and are paid at regular pay. Managers only are paid holiday pay. Managers are usually told not to work holidays because they don’t want to pay them and they don’t want them to take off another day when office is at full staff. No one gets double pay.

  73. Loser Says:

    I sooooo wish i had work to do……I don’t get enough work to do…………..week one : 4hrs, week two : 2.5 hrs, week 3 : 37.5 hrs, week 4 : 16.5 hrs…….and today nada. I am QA [RI] in brooklyn. WTF!!!! No, really, what the hell is going on !

  74. anonymous Says:

    My CL and CLA quit today because they did not want to work on Memorial Day Weekend. We found out today at our crew meeting – they did not show up. A different CL took our D308, completed EQs, etc.

  75. Randall Flagg Says:

    Senseless, where is that specific exemption from federal law in the D-590, or anywhere else? They can’t just say it and make it so, it must be documented. The law is referenced here:

    http://hr.commerce.gov/Practitioners/CompensationAndLeave/DEV01_006223

  76. Anon Says:

    Pablo S.: Are you being paid double-time to post your comments …

  77. Very temporary enumerator Says:

    I can see four possible outcomes of visiting homes on Memorial Day while people are celebrating the holiday: 1. People are not at home; 2. Some people are at home but holding garage sales while the people from #1 are making the rounds of these garage sales; 3. People are at home with guests over for a barbeque and they’re nicer to us than normal because they want to impress their guests with how nice they are; or 4. People are at home with guests over for a barbeque and they’ve had a couple of beers and they are more belligerent than normal because they want to impress their guests with how much they can intimidate that poor census worker, and what are we doing invading the privacy of American citizens on this sacred weekend of barbeque and beer?

  78. As disillusioned with the census job as anyone Says:

    “GS-X Says:
    May 28th, 2010 at 5:57 am
    Sorry, Field Staff. The Census Bureau collects data every day except Christmas….Employees of Veterans’ Hospitals won’t get Memorial Day off either.”

    and then this comment…

    “Sorry genius, employees of veterans hospitals get double time pay on Memorial day. As do all other federal workers forced to work.”

    Employees of veterans hospitals get double time pay on Memorial Day cos they are full time-salaried workers. 2010 census workers are temporary. When did you ever get double time for a temp job? Get real.

  79. Loser Says:

    This is a serious question. There are more than 2,500,000 people in brooklyn.
    No more than 60% returned mailed in the forms. That means at least 1,000,000
    people need to be visited & about 50,000 re-visted by QA. Ummmm Divide that into 5 LCO’s & you get 10,000. Am I missing something ???? I got 20 cases in weeks !!! What don’t I understand ????????

  80. Loser Says:

    20 cases in 4 weeks.

  81. Randall Flagg Says:

    The D-590 does not address the “holiday Pay” issue at all, nor do I see any other evidence that Census employees are exempt.

  82. Pablo S. Says:

    @anon…No, just don’t understand all the lazy people.

  83. Nobody anywhere Says:

    Pablo S.: lazy people?? We don’t have any work left to speak of!! We busted our behinds while we had binders, and now we have nothing left!! Except for the EQ’s that have been returned because we were following the rules of 2 weeks ago and now they want us to return to the houses where people said, translated into polite language, “over my dead body!” Remember the definition of insanity? How many of us are going to be required to return to that house where we were treated to a barrage of verbal bullets? How many of us expect any different results?? Well, positive ones, anyway. How many of us expect that person to now gladly give us the information? Or will the previous response merely be escalated to the next level of attack? No, thank you!

  84. Pablo S. Says:

    @Nobody anywhere…
    Re: Lazy… Please don’t take that personally. Remember, this thread featured many complaints about the opportunity to work and make money on Memorial Day!
    But let me try to assist your situation…

    Yep, it’s not unusual for a district to receive returned EQ’s accompanied by a request for more information.
    You can try:
    - Having a different enumerator go (I’ve seen multiple situations where the first, timid enumerator got nothing, but the 2nd enumerator elicited all the information requested).
    - Having a CLA or CL accompany the enumerator (again, I’ve seen this work quite well as respondents “open up” in these situations).
    - Try other proxies.
    - Properly documenting the refusal on the EQ (at least writing “REF” at the bottom of the corresponing question, and info in the “notes” section).

    I’m not saying you haven’t already tried some of these approaches, but I’ll list them for the benefit of others.

    Sure, these approaches require additional effort. For example, CL would have to fill out the 201E and manage the EQ transfer between enums. A CL or CLA may have to go back to a site with an enum. Enums would have to cooperate with each other in an esprit de corp.

    But for the districts willing to put forth this effort, rather than just throwing up one’s hands and saying “this is impossible”, the result can be obtaining more iformation — and not getting the EQ’s returned!

    I hope these suggestions help.
    Buena suerte!!

  85. Nobody nowhere Says:

    Pablo:
    On a different enumerator: that may work on a “soft” refusal, but not necessarily on a “hard” refusal. Or if you manage to get the spouse of the original respondent. But if it’s a single occupant and that person was very vocal in his/her refusal, another enumerator is not likely to have an impact.
    On having the CLA or CL accompany the enumerator: the evangelists on bicycles also work in pairs. I followed some through a neighborhood. Do you think people will open their doors if they think you’re another Bible-thumper? Hardly.
    On trying other proxies: I had an entire small apartment complex where the units that I was seeking would not open their doors. All of the parking spots were filled. One not very knowledgeable resident (who could/would only say that the units were occupied, didn’t know any names) looked out at the parking lot, and said that it looked like everybody was at home. Yet nobody was answering their doors.
    On properly documenting refusals and proxies: Those are still coming back. Even ones with complete proxy information, stating that the resident was “hardly ever home” or “never answers the door”, but with a head count and a gender and race description but who knew no other information, which was also documented, came back to try to go back for more information.

  86. Hermit Says:

    Well, I sent the census form on time last April, and still being visited by a census employee…found a piece of paper on my door…I don’t like unexpected visitors, specially on MY time to relax. Am I being RE-COUNTED? I made it a point to send the census on time just because I don’t like anyone to come to my home…still being bothered…

  87. Pablo S Says:

    @Nobody nowhwere…
    1. We certainly can agree that sometimes sending a different enumerator works! :-)

    2. People not answering — One successful approach that enums have conveyed to me is that they’ll stand a ways back from the door so that a person peeking out a window or peephole can see the enum’s badge and the bag’s logo! I’m sure others have their own successful approaches; I’ve met some enums who take great pride in their techniques!

    3. Returned EQ’s — It sounds like your proxied EQ’s are not complete since you’re stating that they don’t have “other information”. Even if this is documented the EQ’s may still get returned by the office. Reasons include:
    – poor quality control procedures at the office.
    – insufficient visits to the NRFU address
    – requests to try a different proxy (We have observed great cooperation from apartment managers, i.e. proxies, when we treat them professionally, with respect for their time, and we show them our appreciation)
    – lack of proper documentation (“DK” or “REF” at the bottom of each corresponding correction, etc)

    Sometimes, however, there are no mistakes. A FOS can simply return an EQ back to the office without the enum’s (or CL’s) “corrections” because even the FOS believes that the EQ was correct and simply erroneously kicked back by QC. It’s nice when a FOS sticks up for an enum/CL.

    You should be receiving information on why the office is returning submitted EQ’s to you. If you are not, the CL or FOS should get involved. It can be very frustrating to be trying to do a good job but not knowing what is expected!!!

  88. Laney Says:

    I went out today and finally has some success with a couple of houses that I had already visited 3 times. They weren’t upset with me bothering them on a holiday, surprisingly enough. What else can I do? They didn’t return calls or answer the door any other day, so I kind of had no other choice.

    Then of course there was the house where I clearly heard people inside talking (I think they were even talking about ME) and they ignored the knock. That’s four visits, and I’m not going back again.

  89. anonymous Says:

    Pablo S.: I respect you and your answers. Regarding “hard” refusals: come to the areas of the U.S. with a large number of Tea Party members …

  90. anonymous Says:

    Hermit, my entire apartment (and me) received an NV on our front doors a couple of days ago. We have classic, unlocked mailboxes next to our front doors. I could look down the open breezeway and see everyone’s NVs! We all received our Census forms on the same day and mailed them back the very next day. I know this — our mailboxes were over-stuffed on both days. I called the LCO and the Enumerator – I gave my information again and told them something was not right because I know we all mailed our forms in at the same time! The LCO said we all showed up as “no response”.

  91. outta my census Says:

    Hermit- It’s possible the piece of paper was left by someone who is doing “QC” on the NRFU work that has been done. (This quality check is done on about 10% of the NRFU households from what I understand.) I’m on this operation and it’s pretty challenging. I wish the “notice of visit” that we leave included an explanation of this. Might make people a little less fed up and more cooperative.
    I, too, however mailed in my form yet came up as a non-responding household. So much money is being spent on unnecessary, redundant gathering of info with a blind eye to the households who didn’t even receive census forms in the mail (for whatever reason) and I’m sure we’re going to end up with an undercount.

  92. Census Star TS Says:

    I went out today and did pretty well. Folks were home, it was 91 degrees, I was melting and I guess they felt sorry for me. I am on the site mainly to find out if I will receive holiday pay for today. Couldn’t find it in any of the manuals.

  93. outta my census Says:

    Looking at the spirit in which rules for getting overtime are written, I seriously doubt enumerators will get any kind of holiday pay just because they chose to work on Memorial day. If you were ORDERED to, however, I think you’d have a good argument.

  94. anonymous Says:

    Census Star TS, today is a regular day with regular pay.

  95. Nobody nowhere Says:

    Thank you, Laney – I may go out in a bit and try those follow-up EQ’s that I have. See if I can find people rested and relaxed, and home after their weekend.

    Thank you, Pablo S. – They probably thought that I didn’t try enough times at the home itself. When a home looks vacant, I’ll try the neighbors to verify that it is vacant. If they say it’s occupied but “good luck getting them to answer the door” and can verify that there are indeed x number of people living there and they’ve been there a couple of years but the neighbor doesn’t know their names, IMO, why keep knocking on their door?

  96. Pablo S Says:

    @Census Star TS…Glad to hear your day was so productive! The few enumerators that I know who worked today instead of taking a day off also reported considerable success. And they made some $$$$ too!

    @outta my census…Hilarious handle!!! LOL!!

  97. Pablo S Says:

    @nobody nowhere… Why keep knocking? Well, we are paid to try a certain number of times (in hopes of getting the most accurate data possible). Of course you could try another proxy (neighbor), but honestly, we’ve had success just returning repeatedly so that the folks who haven’t answered know that we are serious. We use the NoV’s a lot, too. Sometimes people eventually answer so we’ll quit bugging them!

    But if enums have made the appropriate number of contacts and have contacted proxies where appropriate, as well as completed the EQ per requirements, it’d be interesting to hear why the EQ’s are returned from the office, if inded they still are returned.

  98. loser Says:

    No work to do & one bother’s with my question. Sigh.

  99. Pablo S. Says:

    @loser…Might be a better question for your CL or FOS. How have they explained it to you?

  100. moses mouse Says:

    Hope everyone had a safe time enumerating today.

  101. GS-X Says:

    outta my census and Hermit,
    If a resident mailed back their form on time, they should not receive any home visits during NRFU.
    There are no QC home visits on forms that were mailed back. Mailing blank forms does not count.

  102. anonymous Says:

    GS-X, I mailed back my form on time and still got an NV notice on my door! I called the LCO and I (my entire apt. bldg.) was listed as “no response”.

  103. Follow_The_Idiot_Leaders Says:

    Ummm…. we were told in no uncertain terms that if we didn’t work the entire weekend including Memorial Day, our binders would need to be returned on Tuesday and we’d be terminated.

    Funny thing is that one of the houses I enumerated was that of a fellow enumerator (and one whose sheer incompetency and lack of productivity amazes me to no end how he even got offered the job) who had taken a five day vacation that included Memorial Day and I caught him at home pulling in with his RV that day.

    Its comforting to see that not all areas are beset with as much disorganization, inhuman, corporate treatment of its workers and inefficiency as mine is. The zealous pursuit of filling quotas, the complete ignoring that this isn’t widgets we’re making where you can predict with 100% certainty about how many you should build in a day is amazing to me.

    For any Teabagger or anti government nutjob who looks at the government as a “nanny state” I dare them to work one week under these conditions. The disregard for enumerator safety in the face of hostile residents, the complete inconsistency in application of policy and work standards, etc… should give comfort to those fearing a “big government” takeover of people’s lives.

    In response to GS-X, if I had a nickel for every respondent that swore they mailed their form back in plenty of time and the system still generated a NRFU EQ, I’d quit this stinkin’, frustrating, ever rule & policy changing make work gig. Its hard to believe that with 20+ previous Censuses to guide the leadership, it can be this badly run in my area. If I had a dollar for every LCO that in direct contradiction to the manual on personal safety, keeps telling my CL to keep sending us back to the same houses that have displayed a shocking level of hostility, I’d be retired.

    The cold hard reality from my experience of the last couple months is that despite one of the ripest, employer tilted labor markets in the last fifty years is that some really stupid, illogical, poor work ethic, lazy, unreliable, mentally unstable and unsuited for public contact folks make up the majority of the crews I’ve worked around, with or been exposed to.

    I hope other areas are serving the taxpayers better than what I’ve seen on a daily basis.

  104. California FOS Says:

    Follow_The_Idiot and others, please look up United States Code, Title 18, Section 111. It is a Federal crime to assault or “interfere with” a Federal employee conducting his or her duties. “Assault” does not necessarily involve physical touching. You need to call the police when these incidents happen. Insist on pressing charges. Then call your CL and make them fill out the BC-1206, Security Incident Report. If you end up getting fired because you acted to protect your own safety, then you have an excellent lawsuit against the Department of Commerce.

    Nothing makes me angrier than hearing about so-called “leaders” who fail to look out for the welfare of their employees. If you are a CL or a FOS, or higher, your enumerators depend on YOU and they need to know that you value them enough to care about their safety. I keep my Accident Kit and BC-1206 forms in my shoulder bag and carry them everywhere I go (even when I’m not “working”) and my crew leaders know that if they have any sort of incident like this, I expect them to call me no matter what time of day. We’ve had three police interventions and I have personally responded to all three of them within 10 minutes of hearing about them.