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.

Strange news of the day…another census showdown

For today’s circus, click here.

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20 Responses to “Strange news of the day…another census showdown”

  1. anonymous Says:

    Kansas City RCC and it’s LOC’s in the central part of the U.S.: many privacy and safety issues regarding the public. They do not tell Census workers. You have to watch the news or read a newspaper.

  2. Enumerate this Says:

    Dude’s lucky that lady didn’t pound the shit out of him. Two words: Large Marge. (Yes, I’m dating myself.)

  3. nylonsandcigarettes Says:

    How likely is it that a deputy just happens to know someone, and knows that the same person is a Census employee? A few of my friends know that I am, as well as most everyone in the LCO itself, but the cops? What, are our peoples’ pictures in the post office now?

  4. nerfoo Says:

    Y’know what I’d like to see? A news story about the 500,000+ census employees who politely go about their business, don’t get into confrontations with anyone, fill in their timecards accurately, do their best to be efficient and respectful to the environment and the taxpayers who are employing them and who are getting this huge job done for our country.

  5. CLA Dave Says:

    As my Uncle Harry told me fifty years ago, “There are more horse’s asses in the world than there are horses.”

  6. NarfooSnafoo Says:

    @Enumerate this–

    You mean this classic?

  7. ACLA Says:

    The problems abound within the BOC in the Charlotte RCC there is rampant nepotism and employee abuse. The Regional Technician Linda J. Shell is so full of herself that she hired her own daughter as a Recruiting Assistant in out of the ELOC and has been employed sine 2008 with agency. The RCC seems to relish in the curruption and has chosen to look the other way. As it relates to over recruitment this is being done so that the RCC officials can share in bonus money.

  8. GS-X Says:

    Welcome to Small Town America, nylonsandcigarettes.

  9. Dean Says:

    I think this makes the woman look dumb:

    ‘Peterson said she was nervous about the incident – and even more so when she said she found a U.S. Census survey packet sitting on her desk in the basement of her business. It showed up a day after the incident, she said.

    To go downstairs, “you have to go through the building and down the stairs,” she said.

    “I have no idea how it got there,” she said. “My husband doesn’t either. Now that’s spooky.”‘

    I’ve had respondents wonder aloud with me how a notice of visit ended up on their kitchen table or even in their pocket. What census packet is the woman talking about? The questionnaire she received weeks ago and ignored, which the census stopped mailing since then and enumerators don’t have?

  10. Enumerate this Says:

    @Dean: The whole story makes the woman look dumb. The census man stressed her out so much she had to take a day off?

    @Nylons and cigarettes: Cerro Gordo County is a small place. Not surprising at all that a deputy would know an enumerator. (Honestly, the deputy probably knows the woman as well — she seems like the type to call 911 every time someone turns around in her driveway.)

  11. communeration Says:

    @nerfoo, so would I.

  12. Dixter Says:

    Nerfoo – I totally agree. There are plenty of good people working for the Census. I’m one of them.

  13. anonymous Says:

    Nerfoo, is correct. :)

  14. JJ Says:

    Some things in this story just sound fishy. As for the cop knowing the enumerator – I live in a small town – that means nothing to me. I also know that as a FOS, I’ve received complaints from some wacko people out there just trying to A.)get a little attention, B.)get a little money (small towns have lawyers that like to sue too, and C.)are just wack-jobs, pure and simple. In small towns, we know pretty much who those people are. The fact that the police are not going after the man is sending up a flag that perhaps the woman herself if “well-known” to the police.
    I like the added zing of the mysterious envelope…um, it’s been about two months since anything came from the Census in an envelope.
    Not buying it.

  15. JJ Says:

    And yes, there are many, many wonderful people out there working for the census that get treated like crap from respondents – we rarely hear of that. I have a team of 8 crew leaders, 16 CLAs, and 113 enumerators that are the cream of the crop. I was very fortunate and happy to have such a wonderful group. And, yes, we got complaints to the most ludicrous and far-fetched proportions. I am shocked at the levels of rudeness that some of my people have been subjected to, but proud of how my team handled the situations.

  16. SNARFU Says:

    As an enumerator working in rural NC, I have become accustomed to a significant yet persistent minority of paranoid and confrontational respondents. Yesterday two of the tea party/militia types harangued me about how I was ‘working for THEM’ and that I just wanted to take their tax money, despite the obvious correlation between greater participation and getting their money back (let alone the fact that rural areas get more funding than the revenue they generate). These geniuses also said that I had to come back ‘during normal business hours’ because the weekend is family time- so okay, I’ll spend more of our tax dollars to come back to get a simple pop count if anything.

    Today, while sitting in my car in the driveway of a house with nobody home I was filling out a notice of visit when a man came roaring up in a hijacker pickup and told me that since I “ain’t from around here” I had no business there and that the census shouldn’t be working on “the lord’s day” (I was there on a Sunday evening). When I smiled and told him that I was just doing my job he complained about the fact that I was smiling and my ‘smart mouth’ and that I didn’t want to come over to his truck for what looked like a potentially violent confrontation. He said that he would call my LCO about me. Who knows what kind of nonsense this person will make up in their quest to take out their frustrations about the ‘guvermint’ on an enumerator, and who knows if the office jockeys with no clue about the field will take him seriously?

    Those who are encouraging non-cooperation with the Census and fanning the flames of wholesale (important distinction) anti-government rage are only costing a lot more taxpayer money to pay for enumerators to make three visits at an average of $57/each (according to this site). Maybe we should add that $171 to the tax bill of refusers.

    The hostility also leads to a confrontational attitude and potentially dangerous situations. Sure, there’s rampant corruption throughout government, (and Wall Street, baseball, or the Church), but the lowly enumerator walking around in the heat and the rain and dealing with all this hostility is hardly the culprit. Do these people hassle their mailman too? Sure, there are some field staff who get too big for their britches, but most are just hard working people. We don’t get to see the media cover all the angry and/or crazy people we have to deal with.

  17. communeration Says:

    SNARFU: well put.

  18. nerfoo Says:

    Exactly, snarfu! And, I’d like to see the media report on not only the craziness that we have to face, but the wonderful things that we get to experience, too. Neighbors helping neighbors, communities coming together, the friendly people who offer you a drink of water while you fill out their form – some newsperson should interview the woman who does the blog.

  19. Enumerate this Says:

    @NarfooSnafoo: That’s the one! Good find. My brother and I were obsessed with that movie back in the day.

    @JJ: I think your assessment of the complainant is on the mark. The enumerator isn’t being vigorously investigated because the sheriff already knows she’s nuts. Who knows what really happened — maybe the enumerator really did curse her after they scuffled — but the woman seems like the kind to precipitate something rather than just take three minutes out of her busy lawn-moving life and play ball.

  20. dedstick Says:

    the latest …..

    Census worker charged with assault in Cerro Gordo incident

    Posted: Monday, June 7, 2010 3:30 pm

    MASON CITY — Gene Watson, 67, of Manly, a U.S. Census taker, has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a rural Mason City woman.

    Cerro Gordo County Chief Deputy David Hepperly said Monday Watson was charged with simple misdemeanor assault, which is punishable by a fine not to exceed $625 and a jail sentence not to exceed 30 days.

    He is charged in connection with an incident on May 20 when he allegedly confronted Dana Peterson in front of her home on 300th Street.

    According to Peterson, Watson drove onto her rural property on May 20 just before 6 p.m. Peterson said she was mowing the lawn of her business property, which sits directly east of her private residence.

    Watson reportedly identified himself as a census taker but Peterson was suspicious and did not want to talk with him.

    As she resisted, he allegedly pushed her.

    Rich Gerdes, an assistant regional manager for the Kansas City Regional Census Bureau, said he would not comment on the charge, citing employee confidentiality. Last week, Gerdes said Watson had been disciplined but would not say how, citing the same reason.

    “I am glad to see that he’s charged, although I have to say I wished he would face a trespassing charge, too,” said Peterson on Monday. “He was trying to get into my house and that was scary.”

    — By John Skipper

    and Deb Nicklay