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.

What is going on in the New York Region?

MyTwoCensus has been getting alot of email flooding our inbox from around the New York Region. Here are just some of the claims. Can anyone verify or dispute these claims?

Hudson County North 2214
A crew leader bragged to me today that he finished NRFU early because a lot of his units returned their census forms. I suspect the reason they finished so quickly is because they marked a lot of housing units duplicate claiming the respondent returned their census form when in fact they didn’t. In the manual it says that if there is a XXXX in the status, date columns and a name in the address listing it means the respondent returned their census form. An enumerator should only visit those units with a blank date and status columns and no name. Each binder should contain about an average of 40 NRFU addresses to visit. In urban areas however a census block usually has more than 40 NRFU addresses to visit so the block comprises of several assignments. In order to prevent duplication of work, a NRFU address will be XXXXed in one binder with no name and blank in another binder.
However some of the crews in mY LCO interpreted this differently. They sat around with their binders and if they found an XXXX in one binder and blank in the other they marked duplicate for the NRFU address claiming that the respondent returned their form when in fact they were never counted. The insanity is that they rewarded these people with extra work by bringing them to New York City.

Bronx Office LCO Unknown
I work as a reinterview clerk in quality assurance. Everytime a questionnaire gets flagged for reinterview it arrives in quality assurance with a small red R written in the right margin. One of us transcribes the respondent information and any notes to a green questionnaire. Without looking at the interview results we telephone the respondent and ask him if a census bureau employee visited their household recently. If the answer is yes then we conduct an abbreviated interview asking them the status of the unit on census day, the number of people and just the names of the household members.
However one of my managers told me that in another office the clerks were just transcribing the respondent information and household member names onto the green questionnaire and said their interview was conducted when in fact it was not. What a great way to get 100% accuracy in your quality check!
New York West 2233
Stephen as you know there have been several high rise buildings in affluent areas we are unable to get into.I believe there is a lot of ambiguity and the Census Bureau is implementing procedures in an attempt to hide this unsureness to prevent the City of New York to possibly dispute the count.
There are two boxes on the back of the enumerator questionnaire which isn’t mentioned in the manuals. The two boxes are REF  and CO which stand for refusal and closeout. We are being told to mark the REF and CO boxes when we are at 95% or above. In order to get to 95% we can take a headcount and write in the margin that the respondent refused or didn’t know on all the questions. But that does not justify marking the CO box. If the respondent opens the door and refuses then it is better to mark a population count of 1 but do not mark the REF box.If a real estate management company refuses you access but is willing to tell you how many people live in the building then the enumerator can assume the total number of people in each housing unit is the total population of the building divided by number of units in the building and the enumerator can be the proxy. However they are still not to mark the CO or REF box.
The only time they are allowed to mark the CO or REF boxes are when they absolutely do not know the population and can not use any of the techniques mentioned above. I believe the Census is trying to minimize and cover up the number of housing units they are unable to obtain census day data. Are the number of refusals and closeouts aggregated and made publicly available to municipalities and city and state governments?

Queens County 223?
Several of crew leaders were speaking one night over drinks and one of them told us they were going to help out in Manhattan because they completed NRFU so quickly. They said that would just use the names off the mailboxes. He even said to me that that’s how the Census works, you work quickly you get more work. I asked him if he ever thought about data falsification and he said he never got caught. Apparently since they could never make contact anyways at these houses after several visits that if they got reinterview the enumerator would probably not be able to make contact anyways. He says that by the time they caught that NRFU would be over but not before he got some more work in Manhattan.
New York West 2233
We have at least one building we can’t get into and RCC is working on getting us access. Last week my crew leader informed me to bring in all my EQs and binders. Apparently another crew leader from Chinatown, and the Lower East Side areas who finished NRFU in just three weeks are going to take our work. I was told the other day when my crew leader met with our group that the other FOS district finished the entire building. How is this even possible Chinatown and Lower East Side finished in three weeks, they have so many tenement buildings and illegal immigrants who speak like Spanish and five different Chinese dialects? How did they gain access to the building and how did they finish enumeration in just one day?

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12 Responses to “What is going on in the New York Region?”

  1. enumerator Says:

    Just found out early this morning, terrible things happening in my LCO 2622.

  2. Anon 23 Says:

    New York gets the hotest mess of all time award. Dont forget 2225, LCOM and AMFO suddenly replaced.

  3. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    More details please???

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    Are you sure you’re getting good info, SRM? You’d think that with a flood of emails you’d see a flood of posts on this story, right?

  5. pranita veeria Says:

    Let’s add Staten Island….mysterious replacement of LCOM…Brooklyn South…staffed by cronies of the Area Manager, who sanctions “get it done any way” to his subordinates…Brooklyn N West..LCOM’d by an ex-Crew Leader with no management experience…

  6. GAEnumerator Says:

    I wouldn’t doubt they were duplicates, on top of having duplicates in the same binder, having duplicate addresses another enumerator in my crew had done in his binder, I had two binders myself with “XXXXX” and the respondent’s name so I know they did send it in on addresses that were listed as NRFU houses in the other binder.

  7. jumpygrouch Says:

    Since the number of people enumerated in NRFU is around 30%, and since with the questionnaires already received, the Census is able to statistically determine the rest of the population with reasonable accuracy, I would think that whether or not NY apartments are enumerated perfectly is a small issue.

  8. Just the Facts Says:

    Pranita: You need a new mole. Your info is false. As much fun as it is to spread salacious gossip, before you publish names, you should make sure you have access to the truth.

  9. pranita veeria Says:

    @ Just the Facts…… Before you make statements that my info is false, better do some checking yourself….

  10. Facts only anonymous Says:

    Yes, it’s true, LCOs have suddenly replace managers, supervisors, CLs and CLAs just this past week.

  11. enumerator Says:

    I’m not ready to talk about my area yet. I will give you the facts in the very near future…..

  12. AZNEnumerator Says:

    Hey enumerator if you’re not ready to talk about “your area” yet then you’re a dumbass. Giving us the facts in the very near future when it is done is meaningless. Do you value the count of your community or your temporary $18.75 job?