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.

Vacant/Delete Operations…

Sorry for the lack of posts the past few days. I was traveling and am now finally back at the computer. Let’s hear your “Vacant/Delete” questions and comments and get some good discussions started.

(It’s HOT out there…any incidents of heat stroke or dehydration on the job?)

Tags: delete, heat, heat stroke, hot, vacant

183 Responses to “Vacant/Delete Operations…”

  1. Rob Says:

    So what’s the deal with the Presidency taking over the census operation in 2009. Is it to gerrymander electoral votes on a national level or what?

  2. Admin clerk Says:

    What are you talking about Rob? The President did not “take over” the Census. The Census Bureau is still under the control of the Department of Commerce, as it has been for many decade.

    We started Vacant/Delete in our LCO last weekend, and from what I am hearing, expect to be done with it in less than two weeks.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Rob – This is the same fear mongering group who brought you such favorites as “census workers can enter your apartment when you are not there” and “you are only obligated to answer one question on the form” and “ACORN is gonna skew the count” and “they are tinkering with the labor statistics by hiring and firing and hiring and firing” and “Whaa! They won’t answer my ridiculous FOIA requests for free”.

    Redistricting is controlled by States and their own, bipartisan process.

  4. Ex-IT Says:

    Rob, pretty much the Bureau is trying to deal with the crap Harris contracts that the previous Administration set up. Also, the Democrats have done nothing to undo the well documented under-counting of minorities from the 2000 Census that, in effect, gave the GOP numerous seats in Congress that it would not have had if the count had been more accurate.

    Now, any questions about the VDC operation?

  5. Johnny Says:

    the census is BS.

  6. RoDist Says:

    Better link (no offense Ex-IT, but wikipedia is about as reliable as using this blog as news)

  7. Cincy Says:

    VDC has been gutted. Somehow, for some reason, the workload is only about half what it should be. Massive PBOCS error? Secret plan to boost manager bonuses? Why did the D-1093 have to be rewritten? Why aren’t we checking everything the way they always said we would?

  8. SAS Says:


    From what I’ve heard, the Vacant side of VDC is only the regular Vacants, not Vacant-UHE HUs. Not sure if this might be responsible for your changes in numbers, but it’s certainly a relief to us here in the West.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    @RoDist – I will take wiki over SRM any day of the week. “I’ve noticed those with the most opinions often have the fewest facts.”

  10. knock knock...hello sir is this......GO AWAY! Says:

    well today i found out i wasnt hired for the vdc operation. my cl and cla werent hired either. which was puzzling because our area had alot of vacants. but it had to come to an end either way. so to all the enumerators reading just stay safe and good luck. i know what its like to be outside in the heat!

  11. Cincy Says:

    SAS, I’ve seen numbers for every office in our region. The UHEs can’t account for a drop in the workload of 40%, 50%, 60%. There are lots and lots of regular vacants around here. Hard times.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Anything statused vacant which was also statused season, recreational was also removed from VDC.

  13. MiddleOfNowhereCL Says:

    The calls went out in our LCO today. Three of the seven CLs were chosen to be VDC CLs, based apparently on who the FOS like best and who complained the least about the insanity of the LCO. I figured that’s how the choices would be made since the LCO has never been able to generate accurate stats or records of productivity. I’m sure they asked the FOSs to rank their people, because they asked the CLs to rank their enumerators as well. FOSs, who had no front line experience, picked the people who made the least administrative noise. My guess is you’ll hear proportionally far fewer complaints from the field about VDC than NRFU because they will have gotten rid of everyone who raised a stink.

  14. anonymous Says:

    MiddleOfNowhere – If you were in charge, how would you have chosen the staff for this smaller operation? Would you have chosen the best employees or had some kind of random draw?

  15. Stephanie Says:

    I’ve been working on NRFU-VDC since this past Saturday. Of the 13 interviews that I’ve been able to obtain, only 3 were vacant on April 1st. The other 10, the occupants stated that they mailed their forms in months ago and have been living in their homes for “years”.
    Not sure what’s going on, seems more like a re-interview’ and less like a “vacant delete check.”

  16. Crew Leader Says:

    Vacant/Delete CHECK is an innacurate term. We are not checking anything. We are completely redoing. It should be VDR. The VD part is fairly accurate because, like VD, it serves only to irritate people. The numbers are f___ed up & will stay that way but, this is as good as anybody could do. Maybe in 2020 it will all be via internet. Although…I’d miss all the women answering the door half dressed.

  17. anonymous Says:

    If there were any complaints of heat stroke or dehydration on the job, could you really find a way to blame the census for that? Everyone working for the census is an adult and should be fully capable of keeping themselves hydrated when out in the sun.

    I’m at my day job now & am a bit hungry because I ate a light lunch. Can I blame my employer for that?!

  18. maiasura Says:

    Today I trained a group of 18 former CL’s,CLA’s and enumerators in VDC as a CL. I was told to select a CLA, so I did. Tonight I got a call that the LCO had added a 4th FOS (from the original eight to two to three) and cut the CLs to 10 from 20. I’m now a CLA on a crew with 36 people in a neighborhood 15 miles from my home. I’m glad to be working and I’m glad to not be an enumerator. And while my salary goes back to $15 from $16.50, at least I’m not going to work 50 hours and be paid for 40.

  19. Current CL Says:

    I was trained yesterday for VDC as a CL after being a CL in NRFU, and something that struck me was how pointless and unorganized the training session was. Our AMFO was missing pages out of her training manual, and the corrected pages for training the enumerators tomorrow that we were given at the beginning of the day was missing half the pages as well. Overall i felt that the training was repetitive and pointless because there is almost absolutely no change between NRFU and NRFU VDC other than there is less cases and they are “supposedly” vacant or delete units. We’ll see how training of my enumerators goes tomorrow and i’ll let you know.

  20. Cincy Says:

    Director Groves blogged last week that VDC was a 15-million case operation. Today he told the press conference hat it was an 8-million case operation. Now, I’m sure that whoever he gets his information from knew all about Vacant-Seasonal and UHE’s and Undeliverables before this week. Something else has to account for the Amazing Shrinking Workload.

  21. Jax Enumerator Says:

    My crew was given an AA binder with 500 cases of late adds. We’re splitting it up among the crew. Has anyone else had this happen?

  22. Current CL Says:


    I was given a binder with 214 late add’s a couple weeks ago but thankfully i had already gotten a head start on it because i had discovered it and already started the enumeration process. It was a pain in the butt.

  23. SC Census taker Says:

    This evening at 5 pm , I was told that VDC in our area was ending tomorrow 3 days earlier than expected. I do not believe the work is completed – I believe they just want to wrap it up and look like they completed early

  24. Ena Umerator Says:

    This phase isn’t to count VDC’s… it’s to pump up the numbers for the managers and get them quick, hefty bonuses. Out of 10 EQ’s assigned to me today, 8 of them had previously been enumerated. Of those eight, five were able to describe or identify the previous enumerator, whose name was on the original binder. I had 1 delete, it was obviously a barn and 1 vacant. There is something very wrong with what is going on. It’s consistent through our entire district. Oddly enough, we are being given assignments that someone else in our crew had previously enumerated. Our CLAs kept great records and can identify who had what binder with 100% certainty.

  25. Anonymous Says:

    VDC not only looks at vacants and deletes, but there are supplimental addresses that have not been enumerated in any other operatioin (usually houses that were under construction during address canvassing) and this operation also includes addresses the in fact did mail in their questionnaire, but either did not fill it out or it was not readable by the processing scanners. If these people want to be counted they will have to be a part of VDC.

  26. Ena Umerator Says:

    @Anonymous: Maybe I should have been more specific. ALL five of the ones who described the previous enumerator had sent theirs in as well. The other three who didn’t give a description all said someone had visited them in May and they had ALSO sent in their questionnaires. NONE of them were new homes or adds.

  27. Jo Says:

    I had about 30 cases, mostly Vacant/Deletes, though a few were not Vacants or Deletes. Everybody that I have talked to has told me that a prior enumerator had contacted them about the vacant/deleted unit. Not all of the Vacant/Deletes are being reeunmerated.. not sure how they picked which ones would be enumerated and which would not. I tell the respondents that I realize they had been contacted, but we are not attempting to verify information to make sure that we count everybody. Many of the respondents accept that response.

    It looks as though this operation will be finished within two weeks, perhaps one week to ten days.

  28. Enumerate This Says:

    We had our half day of VDC “training” yesterday (Wednesday morning). Our crew leader wisely jammed through the book so we could get on the road, even as she stumbled through the Elbonian errata sheet (“Page 3-2 saud to delete paragraghs two through five in suptopic 4 of chapter 2.”) That God we all drew Xes through the paragraphs that told us some forms have four blanks for visits while others have six.

    Thirty minutes after we were dismissed, we all got panicked calls to drop everything and return immediately to the training site — VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION had been added to the training and this knowledge must be imparted without delay.

    Upon our return to the training site, we learn that the LCO drone with the VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION hasn’t arrived yet, so we should go to lunch and come back in 40 minutes. Never mind that many enumerators interrupted their lunch to return to the training site.

    After lunch, the CL reads the additional VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION, which sounded supiciously identical to the errata sheet she read in the morning. With this urgent matter out of the way, off we went.

    The work is being parceled out in very small increments — most books have 3-6 EQs in them to be completed. There’s no way this is lasting 2.5 weeks.

  29. anonymous Says:

    VDC Operation in our LCO has numerous mistakes leftover from NRFU … a big MESS!

  30. Shirley Says:

    Our crew finished NRFU operations 3 weeks ago. I was given an extension of my assignment by mail, but no guarantee of employment for VDC. As per the usual census way, I was called on the July 5th at 6pm and offered a job. Training to be on Wednesday, July 7th. I have another job so scrambled to get a substitute. I was surprised to be sent to a completely different area from where I worked before-42mile round trip from home to training. During training we were told that we could absolutely not conduct an interview at an address we had enumerated before-if we do it is grounds for immediate dismissal. We have mostly vacant/deletes to enumerate-plus some “new” addresses that for some reason were not enumerated before.
    This whole job has been interesting-though I have seen a lot of waste I’ve also worked with some great people!

  31. Naive Census Says:

    The joke is on the people that believe the RCC and LCO’s are doing their job. My personal experience is that the LCO’s sent out people that would falsify info to get them numbers. When told by the CL’s and FOS’s that people were pencil whipping every thing to get the hours and miles the LCOM turned a blind eye and would not even terminate a proven thief. Promoted and kept people that had low numbers, but were in the group and got rid of anyone that believed in the (Constitutional concept) of why the census is needed and the information important. It is a sad state of affairs, but people are not as stupid as they believe. “Dumber than a box of rocks”, comes to mind!

  32. Land of Oz Says:

    Topeka KS 2622 – Vacant/Delete Crew Meeting lasted 3 hours today because CL, CLA, and enumerators were telling jokes! Only 2 completed EQs turned in from a large crew. Former CL and some of his former enumerators were wearing “gang” style, “in the hood” clothing! Some of the laziest, unproductive idiots were hired back on. What the hell!

  33. Naive Census Says:

    I had a crew leader that bragged about how ()enumerators were begging for work because when they came to a HU that was doing drugs, they just joined on in. Got the info and high at the same time. They were advanced to the VDC project and were done in two days! That is what the current LCO’s prefer.

  34. Naive Census Says:

    I say DRUG test ALL census employees from Groves on down!

  35. Donald Poe Says:

    Not all VDC ops are alike. I’d love it if Mr. Morse could prompt some Bureau press official to acknowledge the unique challenges of the current record holder.

  36. Shirley Says:

    Am I the only one who worked with good CLs and CLAs? My crew leader was awesome. Sure, she acknowledged that some of the rules and guidelines don’t make a lot of sense, but hey, we’re getting paid to enumerate and do our best. . I never heard any talk of “work faster, get more done” ever. Our crew was one of the top producers, and we turned in good work. My CL had a great sense of humour and never looked upon the job as a way to harrass her workers-she was encouraging and positive, and held us to high standards.

  37. Sunshine CL Says:

    In NRFU, CL’s were told to get things done ASAP. In a community where at least 30% of residents are seasonal, “by the book” would have meant at least 3 personal visits before engaging a proxy, yet some CL’s produced 100-200 “completed” EQ’s on Day 2 of NRFU! Much of this is now our NRFU VDC workload.

    In NRFU VDC, FOS’s selected their buddies as CL’s regardless of skill or productivity during NRFU. Now, economies like bundling 308′s and EQ’s to deliver to the LOC have been abandoned in favor of requiring every CL to make the trip to maximize mileage payments. You’re laughed at if you suggest ways to cut costs – the accent is on milking the system as much as possible.

    Oh, wait – their are some cost cutting measures carried over from NRFU – CL’s are still “donating” hours, and enums are still getting fired for going over 40 hours.

  38. VD Enumerator Says:

    Sunshine CL has it right. No one came to today’s crew meeting!

  39. CW Enumertor Says:

    I just resigned as an enumerator for the Vacant Delete Checks. They said we can have to go on property that have no trespassing signs, private road, and keep out signs. I am sorry, but I have been chased off one too many properties to find this acceptable. They also will not let us have dog spray or pepper spray. Some of these areas are rough. There are a lot of people that did not want to give any information other than the number of people that lived there – why can’t the gov’t stay out of their other business???? I don’t need this job so bad that I would get a fine and a 6 months jail term for no trespassing. The law is the law, and I need to abide by it also.

  40. CW Enumertor Says:

    One other thing that I don’t get is why does the Census Bureau hire in this order 1. Veterans, 2. Ex. gov’t employees, 3. civilians??? There were a few veterans and ex gov’t employees that I thought were just shot… they saw a little too much war time. Just saying that just because your are vets and ex gov’t doesn’t mean that you are any smarter that the average civilian…. i’m just sayin…

  41. Census Guy Says:

    In my section of the Northeast we have not begun vacant/delete yet. In all the NRFU-RI cases I worked. I was appalled to find that in approximately 10% of the cases I was enumerating people who insisted they had sent in their census form. Or had been repeatedly visited by census workers before I showed up. I had one guy who asked me, “How could all of the five different census people who visited me before be genuine?” I told him while talking him into providing information, that it appears that there are a small number of houses which the computer system fixates upon and keeps sending us to.

    This is a guess but I’m wondering if 1) the National census office is losing a whole bunch of its census forms or they are getting destroyed by the scanners.

    2) Enumerator a) screws up the form, b) team leader comes in for followup, and then c) quality control feels compelled to send multiple people out. I simply can’t explain why we are visiting some locations so many times.

    Finally in quality control, the rule set down by national is that they tell us NRFU-RI enumerators NOTHING about what happened when the original NRFU enumerator visited the property. This means wasted effort, and in cases of alleged fraud, we don’t really know what we are looking for. In any other investigative process I know of, the person sees the file beforehand, but it looks like they are so afraid the NRFU-RI people will also “make things up” that they are running us as a double blind experiment.

  42. Census Guy Says:

    In my Office in the Northeast, sorry for that error!

  43. Dave Says:

    re: “it appears that there are a small number of houses which the computer system fixates upon”

    My next door neighbor received four mail-in forms; each time she promptly filled it out and mailed it back. Then she got a visit from a NRFU enumerator.

  44. Census Guy Says:

    A man who rents from a family member got two write in forms, sent them in, and then got a phone call from our local office. Yup he got enumorated again.

  45. Census Guy Says:

    mail in forms, sorry its late.

  46. Shirley Says:

    During NRFU, I also encountered a lot of respondents who told me they sent their form in, some within a few days of receiving it. I had to tell them that I didn’t know why that happened and persuade them to let me emumerate their home anyway. Some were concerned that they would be “double counted”. At least no one I spoke to said that they had been visited before.
    Before 2020, I certainly hope there is a better system in place.

    One major frustration was when several enumerators were sent to an apartment complex or mobile home court. Instead of putting these areas in several AA binders, why not combine them, or at least try not to send more than two enumerators in. Some of the managers who acted as proxies were upset at the repeated visits from enumerators.

    I can only anticipate their joy at yet another visit during the NRFU VDC operation!!

  47. another anonymous Says:

    CW Enum, you are spot on.

  48. Census Guy Says:

    Shirley, you are correct. At least for apartment complexes which can easily be marked, it is more efficient for one person to handle them, and then go to the property manager once or twice and ask them to be a proxy.

    I have a suspicion why the census bureau does not do this. They are so afraid of their enumerators lying at by randomly sending multiple people to the same complexes they may think that they are minimizing the risk of fraud, or of malfeasance if a particular enumerator does not perform. However the downside is that we have no idea what other employees are doing. I’ve had conversations in which someone was previously used as a proxy, and now I’m back to enumorate a different unit and they get upset that I’m “back again.” What a waste.

  49. Census Guy Says:

    I should also correct one point I made earlier. The one time that I am informed that something happened at the NRFU level (I’m NRFU-RI) is when I’m going to a location where the person was very hostile or potentially dangerous to the original enumerator. That’s happened 2 or 3 times.

  50. glenn Says:

    First day of NRFU VDC. Enumerated 16 houses where the AA Binder clearly showed they had mailed in their form. I knew who would answer my knock because their name was in my binder as having mailed in the completed form. Out of 24 houses I visited only three had been turned in as vacant. I quit! I have lost ALL faith in the ability of the census bureau to conduct even clost to an accurate count.

  51. Censusgalinthedesert Says:

    I am working NRFUVDC out here in 100 degree temps, on nasty dirt roads to vacant/delete homestead shacks that have been done twice before and are so obviously uninhabitable, I can’t believe it! An every body I find to proxy (really hard our here in booney-ville) says “someone was here about that already, 2 weeks ago.” What is this all about? Hey, I am glad for the work but it all seems like a waste. And every 2 minutes some rule or direction is changed. I really can’t wait ’til this is done and over.

  52. vacdel enum Says:

    My LCO us to visit each vacant/delete unit 6 times in order to stretch out work and to ensure that everyone has a job! Wasting taxpayer money! People are tired of us and not answering doors or directly telling us that they answered these questions before!

  53. john Says:

    I’ve been working in a rural area in the heat! It’s hell! Almost all of the addresses I’m going to have changed since the last census, no map spots, NO HOUSES TO FIND! I’m on a never ending wild goose chase to find places that don’t exist. And as we all know, nobody wants to deal with the census anymore. And don’t even get me started on the LCO…

  54. john Says:

    Oh and I forgot the worst part of VDC. Everyone in our crew was told that they would have a week or two off between NRFU and VDC and that VDC would last 5 weeks like NRFU. Well, only about 20% of us got our jobs back. And we waited 5 weeks to learn that our work would only last 2. WTF? I couldn’t picked up a real job if I would’ve known this was only going to make me some chump change!

  55. enumerator Says:

    john is right – only 10% of our NRFU Enumerators got VDC jobs. We were told 4 weeks @ 40 hours/week. Not happening. Wrap up in less than 2 weeks @ less than 25 hours/week. We are being micro-managed by LCO, CL, CLA, and former CL who now are enumerators. Very confusing, instructions change day-by-day, hour-by-hour. Enumerators have stopped going to daily crew meetings!

  56. EnumeratorInTheSouthernHeat Says:

    After having been a CL in NRFU, and closing out early and helping two other districts close out, then helping the LCO with “questionable” EQ’s in a different area, I was called in for CL training for VDC. THEN, I received a call telling me that the work load was cut back and that I was invited to enumerator training. Turns out, all the NRFU CL’s,other than those that were handpicked by the two remaining FOS’s and that were CL’s under those two FOS’s in NRFU, also got the same “cutting back” call.

    Okay, I go to enumerator training and then my CL, who used to be a FOS, tells me his CLA was picked by his FOS for him. He said he’d had some problems as a FOS and needed to play the political game and keep his FOS happy. Okay, no problem. But, after training I only saw my CL once. He was sitting there reading a book while the CLA was assigning and passing out binders,binders with only one EQ in them. After that, I never saw my CL again except in the parking lot of the LCO a week ago. Not once did my CL show up to collect work from the enumerators, keep in contact with the enumerators, etc. The CLA was doing it all!! Since when did a CL’s job change from NRFU to VDC? I complained to my new FOS about it last night and also spoke to my CL. My CL was furious and demanded I meet him the next afternoon. Gee, he never had time to meet with his enumerators for the past week. Why now? So, I went into work this afternoon and when I went to meet with my new CL he promptly fired me. What happened to the No FEAR Act? Was that just training we had in order to say we had it but it doesn’t mean diddly squat? Why bother spending all this money training people if the training was only meant to be “lip service”?

    I don’t know what is going on with the 2010 Census management, but it sure wasn’t this messed up 10 years ago. Such a huge waste of money, time and valuable resources.

  57. Jax Enumerator Says:

    I thought that the FOS had to fire you, not the CL.

  58. EnumeratorInTheSouthernHeat Says:

    It was the CL and not the FOS that fired me. I haven’t talked to the FOS since this happened. But I will file a NO FEAR Act complaint agains the CL. I worked too long and too hard and I loved my job too much to let this slide.
    At least I was working. Where was the CL?????

  59. Jax Enumerator Says:

    You should probably call your FOS. If you really are fired, contact the EEO office because they can’t retaliate against you like that.

  60. Hatta Rayga Says:

    You need to call your AMFO. You have a right to know why you were fired.

  61. Midwest Enumerator Says:

    NRFU VDC here has been a complete joke/nightmare… they made it sound like this was going to be a pretty easy operation, just going out and checking addresses that NRFU enumerators reported as vacant or deletes… we should have known what we were in for when on the first day we were fixing the binders that the office screwed up. Then we find out that so many binders have AC/DC papers in them, which means that we have to drive through every address in the binder and see if there are any addresses on the road that weren’t included in the binder. One of my AC/DC binders has over 20 pages/500 addresses in it!! Then in the middle of the first day, they tell us that unless the house at the address is demolished, we have to make three separate visits before seeking a proxy, even if it is blatantly vacant… then to make matters worse, they told us to ignore the listings in the front of the binder, the original NRFU listings, and just look at the ones in the new back section… after about the fifth non-vacant address with people angrily telling me that they have lived there for 2-18 years and either sent back their census forms in the mail or had been visited by 2-5 enumerators already and answered all the questions, I started looking at the original sections of the binders, and here, EVERYBODY so far that has told me that they have lived at their house for a long time and did their census are marked in the front section as having completed their census!! Upon further investigation of the original sections of the binders, they are only sending us to about half of the places that were marked as vacant/delete, and the other half in the binder that they are sending us to were marked as having completed their census already. They made this sound like a bed of roses, but it has been a total nightmare… if I had any other job offers or anything that looked promising, I would be taking these binders down to the office myself and tell them what to do with them. Heck, I may do it anyways… I hate that I am being lied to, I don’t know what we are really doing or why we are doing it. I am sick of getting cussed out and harrassed. On one hand, it is easy to understand the public’s frustration, but when they are mean to us, they aren’t getting back at the government or the census, it is only innocent people trying to make a living that are getting hurt… On the other hand, I hate harassing these people when it is unnecessary… they have done their “civic duty” now they should be left alone. It is just funny though… now that the enumerators are getting mad, our CL is nowhere to be found. Instead, we have to meet our CLA at one location, and she picks up all of our payroll sheets and completed binders (we can’t turn in any individual EQ’s, we can only turn them in when the whole binder is complete!! This is just asking for confusion, when most of us have 12-14 binders dumped onto us all at once, and one street is in 3 different binders in my case.) and takes them to another location to give them to the CL. It is like the CL is avoiding us for some reason… CL only has messages to us that get relayed through the CLA via text messaging, usually some kind of “keep up the good work” message.

  62. Midwest Enumerator Says:

    Oh, and one last thing I forgot to add… I have also been lucky enough to start getting grief from the police now too. Some anonymous person called the police on me, the cars were swarming me, and although nobody stopped me, they did call my parents to see if they could verify the car I was driving and what I was doing, apparently, their answers and the census sign in my window satisfied them. Then yesterday a policeman stopped me in the parking lot of a closed BUSINESS that was on my VDC address list, he did everything, ran the plates, ran my license number, looking for a reason to arrest me lol that was freaky I’ve never been stopped by the police before and had my driver’s license ran. I felt like a criminal or something.

  63. Naive Census Says:

    If you are from the Detroit RCC then you can forget about actual CENSUS duties being counted and fair. They are only for the numbers and the distribution of funds. As SRM has stated, falsifiers are being sent to areas that are trying to be accurate, and are behind, to close out the areas by pencil whipping the paperwork. Makes them look good, but hurts the local communities. Now at the end of VDC we can only hope that the locals hold their politicians to task. I don’t have much hope for the Midwest:( Mid E, just know that it is a lot higher than the CL’s and CLA’s. It is at the LCOM, AMFO, Regional Tech, and AM level that are hurting everyone!!!!!

  64. Shirley Says:

    I went out yesterday to visit my addresses. Out of the five EQs I completed, one that had been marked as a delete turned out to have five residents. The others were vacant as marked in the binder. So some of the info in the AA binders was completed wrong. If that is one of the intentions of this operation, I guess it is working. I do feel sorry for the people I have spoken to who are being visited for the 3rd, 4th, or 5th time however. Fortunately no one has been too irate yet-but I’ve just started!!

  65. EnumeratorInTheSouthernHeat Says:

    I see Midwest Enumerator has an “invisible” CL, also. What’s up with that? Never would I have dumped my responsibilities on to one of my CLA’s! They were there to assist me, not do my job. I also had a listing that I hit on Sunday that was shown originally as a Delete, when in fact it shouldn’t have been. So, there is a reason for the VDC operation. I just don’t understand why so many of the EQ’s that I have done in VDC were actually Occupied and the people had mailed the form in AND enumerators had shown up to enumerator the HU over and over again. Yes, I was met with hostility several times, but I just put on a smile and understood how they felt and got through it the best that I could. If all I could get was POP, then fine. I’m not going to threaten or torture someone into submission. After all, I can tell by their responses they did indeed mail it in or had at least been enumerated at some point in time just by their demeanor.

    Good luck to all of you out there. Even though it is a short-term op, it is probably one of the most difficult of all the ops the Census has implemented…and one of the most confusing, as the rules were never clear and were changing on a daily basis. (Gee, that’s nothing new. Hasn’t that been SOP for the Census Bureau’s 2010 operations so far?)

  66. Midwest Enumerator Says:

    Yep, I am in Detroit’s district.

    And yes, I can understand why the VDC operation would be important in theory, but we aren’t even doing it right… we are only going to roughly half of the addresses in each binder that were originally marked as vacant or deletes, so we aren’t even checking all of the vacant/deletes. I mean, it sounded good at first, and if it was being done properly, it would be fine. I mean, I can understand not wanting to miss anybody and to make sure that the original enumerator didn’t make a mistake or falsify information… and of course, there is always a chance that perhaps a proxy wasn’t giving accurate info, or maybe wasn’t 100% sure of vacancy status when they were asked the first time… but this is just getting crazy…

  67. VDC enumerator Says:

    LCO confiscated all binders this afternoon and fired all CL and CLA. We are standby and will have new CL and CLA, new binders this later this afternoon. !!!

  68. Sunshine CL Says:

    Shirley, I’m surprised you only saw one out of five. In my CLD, we have quite a few that were marked “vacant” that actually are occupied. Not surprising – NRFU enums were under the gun to turn in at least one EQ per hour from day one. Quite a trick when you were expected to make at least 3 personal visits before engaging a proxy. My guess is that at least 60% of everything “vacant” turned in during the first week of NRFU is questionable and back in VDC.

  69. story Says:

    VDC is the worst thing ever!

    After they let go of us enumerators, I then get picked up to do VDC and I’m all excited, yay, work! Um, no… VDC is a nightmare, no joke. First, we have to switch areas since we can’t visit the same address twice, yea, I understand that. I know my hometown so not a big deal, but where I got reassigned to is the area I would never willingly drive through, let alone park my car, walk down the street and knock on people’s doors.

    Firstly no one want to answer their door for me, I look really out of place. Then if they do they are just really angry with me since they’ve been enumerated before, several times! I barely get out that I’m with the census and I barely get a confirmation that it was vacant before they start shutting the door on me, forget a name or number, so I’m constantly putting they refused it because if I knocked again they’d tear my head off!

    Everyone in my group thinks I’m over exaggerating when I say I’m REALLY uncomfortable in my area, but I really am. The other day I was talking with someone through a fence when they asked me “Are you scared yet?” WTF? Then today I’m parked on the side getting stuff out of my car and this car thats driving by stops, rolls down his window, checks me out and says/does obscene gestures and drives off! I’m just in jeans and a t-shirt!

    This sucks, it really does. What is the point of VDC? Just to annoy and anger people? I understand their frustration, I really do. I would be upset too! I’m really dreading going out tomorrow, I’m really debating whether it’s really worth it…

  70. Yvonne Says:

    We have been told in our LCO area that we are limited to 24% proxy cases in this operation. Can someone please explain to me how that is possible, since the majority of our cases are vacants and deletes and the only way to determine status is through a proxy? Also, our LCO is really pushing for us to be done by the end of this week, which means that we have had less that 2 weeks to complete VDC. It has taken 1 week to get to 35%. I myself have almost 1500 cases in my CLD, which is close to what I had in NRFU and it took us 5 weeks to complete that. Also, my enumerators are reporting that this operation is much more difficult in that it is more wide spread (we are in a rural area) and the citizens are sick and tired of seeing us coming. We also have hardly no map spots this time.

  71. VDC Enumerator Says:

    All right: we have new CL and CLA from other counties. We are also working other counties with extra mileage. At least we have jobs, some VDC Enumerators quit immediately. We were assigned several binders each with weeks of work and mileage to rack up. ???!!!

  72. Yvonne Says:

    It also seems that we are really being rushed to finish vdc practically before we got started good. It has taken my crew, all working 40 hours each, 7 days to do 530 cases, and the lco is pushing and expecting us to be at 100% by Friday. I have almost 1000 cases left. There is no way we will be finished. Don’t know what the big rush is, since this operation was given 3 weeks to complete. I suspect that there is a bonus of some kind for the lco managers. That is the only reason I can think of someone working their selves out of a job. As far as falsifying time sheets and mileage and such, I have seen absolutely none of that in my area and certainly we have not been directed to falsify anything, be it time, mileage or info. I also have to say that I think the census has some of the best, most overqualified people working this time around, at least in the field (not the office mgt) Probably because of the economy and so many people being out of work. The work ethic is extremely high in my area. Great, great people, willing to go the extra mile. I just wish they were appreciated some from the management end. Also, I think every office manager should have to either work in the field or at least ride along with an enumerator for a day. They don’t have a clue what these hard working enumerators, crew leaders, and even fos’s go through out in the field.

  73. Midwest Enumerator Says:

    Well, just got our new set of rules, again handed down from the CL to the CLA to us… now we are required to work a minimum of 20 hours a week with at least 20 completed EQ’s, which really isn’t a problem, except for the fact that completing EQ’s in a timely manner is a challenge considering that we have to visit these vacant places 3 times before using a proxy. The other rule is that we should start packing our lunches and eating in our cars, because as always, we can’t work for more than 5 hours in a row without taking 1/2 hour for lunch, but now the census will not pay for us to travel anywhere (including home) for lunch. This includes time and mileage.

  74. Shirley Says:

    Sunshine CL, today I found two more that were marked vacant but actually were occupied. I am working in an area with a lot of vacation homes. Our CL told us during training that all the seasonal homes were not supposed to be in this phase-but several I visited today are obviously seasonal homes.
    Also found several empty, for sale homes.
    I need to verify with my CL about how many times I need to visit some of these homes-especially the empty ones!
    Today I encountered a man who was very upset about being visited once again by a census worker. He did tell me that his home was occupied and by one person but absolutely refused anything else. After what he told me, I don’t blame him. (He filled out at least two forms, including the long one and was visited twice more)

  75. andrew Says:

    Shirley, not to be a sceptic, but there was no long form for the 2010 census, so it is impossible for the resident to have filled one out. He probably has been visited twice because he keeps refusing to comply and answer the questioneer. Whether this is intentional on his part or he is simply confused we will never know, however there definately was no long form.

  76. RitzyEnum Says:

    Great website, first off.

    Worked with NRFU as an enum, same now with VDC. Has anyone encountered some EQs (like NRFU) that are now with VDC because they stated to be guesthouses/temporary housing facilities on private land?

    I have a binder for a small number of EQs on a plot of land, owned by an LLC in another state (which is run by one of the 20 law firms at the LLC’s address). Apparently the property manager says the leftover EQs are guesthouses – and I am not allowed to enter the property to verify this (even though some homes there sent back their forms).

    NRFU, VDC.. whatever it’s called, I love these migraine headaches!

    So anyway, for the really-hard-to-locate ones, how have you worked around the system to get the information? Apparently, the owners think they’re too rich to care about the census or federal funding.. and my CL won’t accept the property manager’s word for it (as it’s a proxy for the first visit). Thanks!

  77. en_worker Says:

    After working VDC for a week now, I am convinced that we are actually doing quality control. Not checking vacants and deletes. There are many vacant and deletes that we are not doing. I have been to HU that are occupied, and marked as that in the D-103.1, there are HU’s that weren’t even in NRFU. Its just so varried that it has to be quality control, they just dont want to tell us that and is probably the reason we cant rework the same EQs from the last phase… What ever it is, I will take it. Its work and pretty good money.

  78. anonymous Says:

    The inaccuracies and undercounts are of “Titanic” proportion.

  79. OkieEnum Says:

    VDC began Jul 10. Today Jul 13 we had no EQ’s at CL Mtg! Were told enums cut in half today! From 150 to 75. VDC complete this week…what gives??

  80. anonymous Says:

    Midwest Enumerator, how true. Heat index today was 109 degrees and rising – I brought an small ice chest with ice, bottled water, lunch. The ice melted within 2 hours! Same rules prevail.

  81. anonymous Says:

    OkieEnum, same for us.

  82. john Says:


  83. Don't call me for the next operation! Says:

    Worked as an enum in NRFU, not chosen for VD, even though CL said he recommended me. Am I separated from employment or what? Soooooo unprofessional this whole census. After all the hoops I jumped through to get this job (exam, background check, fingerprinting) you’d think someone would at the very least let me know that I’m out of a job! The 2010 census is a disorganized mess!

  84. Q Says:

    The computer is not printing a valid list for the EQs, this is a nation wide problem. We are getting only maybe 30% of the vacants from NRFU. Now imagine what happens when the few vacants from NRFU that you do have are turning out to be occupied. I have found 42 of 80 NRFU listed as vacant to be occupied. So what if the remainder of NRFU vacants are never to be checked in VDC? The result is that that particular state will get royally screwed because they will never get that federal money they are entitled to.

  85. BunnyJo Says:

    I worked through NRFU and got an extension of appointment through August. However, this does not mean, apparently, that there is any more work coming my way. Calls to my former CL and to the LCO were not returned. I feel for the VDC and NRFU – RI people… many residents have been visited multiple times and are no longer in the mood to co-operate. I had water thrown at me from a balcony, and that was in May!
    Does anyone know what termination form former Census employees will receive? Has anyone received one or do we just fade into the sunset?

  86. Shirley Says:

    Andrew,regarding the long form, I have talked to several people who got this-some were friends, not just people I enumerated. My understanding is that the long forms were randomly sent out-does anyone else have more information about this? Unfortunately were not informed of the existence of the long form in NRFU training, so I was surprised when I heard of it.

  87. Shirley Says:

    BunnyJo, in my crew we were all “drawn down”, but some of us were asked if we were interested in working this phase. My understanding is that not all of us were invited. We were told that there was no guarantee of employment-that we would have to wait for a call. I don’t know if everyone on my crew got the extension of appointment or just some of us.
    I do know that there are many less workers on this phase.

  88. Kristen Says:

    I am the CLA for our VDC crew, and was a CL in NRFU. So far, approximately 70% of our workload that was previously marked as vacant is actually occupied. One enumerator today counted 32 people in 9 HUs that were all entered as vacant units in NRFU.

    At the same time, these enumerators are having work taken from them and given to other enumerators from outside our FOS who have finished their VDC cases already. It stinks of the Brooklyn scandal – undercounting and fraud have both been uncovered here in Nashville in the last week.

    Instead of taking a few more days to properly count this district (Bellevue in Nashville), which has grown exponentially in the past 10 years, the LCO is pressing for faster and faster deadlines.

    The work cannot be done both well and extremely fast. They’ve ordered us to complete 900 VDC cases in 48 hours with 10 enumerators. IMPOSSIBLE! The LCO is clearly not interested in the directive of the census providing accurate information and are more interested in meeting deadlines and making bonuses for the higher ups.


  89. ALincoln Says:

    Before the 2010 census, I would have said that an actual count was absolutely necessary and that the calls for use of sampling were merely a ploy to inflate the numbers certain interests want inflated. Now that I see what an actual count consists of, I think this methodology is completely unacceptable. The leadership is political and often incompetent, if not downright criminal (cf. Joseph Aramanda testifying under immunity). Rules are unclear, always changing, and inconsistently applied. The work force includes great people but a lot of goofs and goldbricks too. This has to be done much differently. Someone said the Post Office used to do this work. That would make a lot of sense because the letter carriers already know who lives where, they are already federal workers and have had background checks, they are not about to jeopardize their jobs and pensions but falsifying results, and the PO sure needs the money. My operating premise until proven otherwise is that the 2010 census is an exercise in pork barrel jobs for Democratic constituencies. This fiasco can not be repeated.

  90. ALincoln Says:

    “BY falsifying results…”

  91. glenn Says:

    Andrew can say there was no long form but I have been given three (at least 20 pages) by houses I was sent to for enumeration. I do think they are a seperate entity then what we are doing….perhaps statistical research….but the long form most certainly exists and were being sent out at the same time as the regular form. One respondent had received his in the mail two days before my arrival at his door…it was still in the envelope he received it in. Those who received the long form were not that thrilled to learn they also had to participate with the short form…some folks are evidently also part of an ongoing census phone survey.

  92. Census Guy Says:

    There is an American Communities Survey which goes out to 3 million people a year. Is it possible that this long form is this survey? It has 49 questions on it.

  93. enumouse Says:

    “Does anyone know what termination form former Census employees will receive? Has anyone received one or do we just fade into the sunset?”

    BunnyJo, You should get an SF-50 separation notice. I got an extension until end of July, but I haven’t worked since mid-June when NRFU ended in my CLD. I still haven’t received my separation notice, but regardless, filed for unemployment.

  94. The Senseless Counting Game Says:

    Bumbling male idiot hired back as crew leader over competent CL since beginning of year! Will not take a stand has to have a woman back him up to actually get things done. If it were not up to said CLA woman’s moxie crew would have none of the almost 100 binders she and another crew member went to the LCO and got not asked. Oh yea while he was out on planned vacation getting married and she had to take over without his extra $60 a week! Known before he took the job! He has to have 3 CLAs on a 14 member crew! Won’t take a stand so the only official CLA is respected by the half of team that was from his original area. Had her hire her half of the team for him! Won’t shut down the unofficial CLA for being a male chauvinist pig!

  95. The Senseless Counting Game Says:

    Ladies how do I deal with this I got so upset today I was trembling and started to tear up. I confronted the other CLA as I am the offical one. However, my CL is on all kinds of meds. etc. and really does not want to corrent anyone or stand up for anything really. Some disability also from miliary service. He is just a lily livered well useless sponge. He takes no stand and won’t apply the force needed to correct problems just bows down. Should I mess with an official complaint at this time ? Other CLA mad because I had to take over as CL from Thursday till Monday and found math mistakes on his teams 308s then his work had to be fixed 2 plus hours and he refused to understand he was not just out there to do a pop. count until it came out of the mouth of the CL even if the entire team was not doing it that way and I told him what the FOS said. He also may very well be falsfying stuff because two of his phone numbers on the stuff he just took a pop. count on were non working ! Oh yea then half of his teams 308s had to be redone because he got the brilliant idea to use whiteout. Told CL ha he does nothing ! Losing all confidence in bureau. CL was new to NRFU with a veterns preference I guess. I’ve been a CL since January, not to mention working since 07!

  96. atsenseless Says:

    Make an official complaint regarding the discrimination. If you’re the official CLA, then the unofficial ones have to do what you say. I doubt your FOS or LCOM would disagree with that. Most importantly, take some time off for yourself during the day. It sounds like a high anxiety situation.

  97. No Sense Census Says:

    TSCG: Lots of idiots out there, both male and female, that have been shown favoritism from the LCO and FOS level. (Male chauvinist), (vet preference), (Bumbling male idiot). Sounds like you have a railroad tie on your shoulder, not just a chip. NRFU CL’s had 2 CLA’s, VDC only one, never saw where 3 were allowed. And why are you checking the CLA’s proxy numbers? Are you taking time on your 308 to do the QA or IR departments work?

  98. The Senseless Counting Game Says:

    No CLA done the work wrong I was only trying to fix it. He said he had been taught that way even with me telling him and verifying that none of the other class was doing it that way and getting it from the FOS. Would not listen to reason. In addition to that I was acting CL. I could simply fix it by calling and getting their info that he was supposed to collect instead of just a pop. count over the phone so that was how I discovered this. Yes as official CLA I feel that this situation is insane and I was appointed by the office because my understanding was former CLs would be CLAs and FOSs would go into CL positions not that that has happened a lot of good people were overlooked. We started the 6th does anyone have any idea of a bonus date for the bosses I’ve heard something thrown out of the 28th, but I think this thing was not supposed to start until the 24th ? Anybody have any idea how long this can last ? CL will not get more work for the people I’ve had to take care of that I don’t know if more is coming. I’m gonna try and pull more I’ve told them to make sure quality is the new thing until we hear there might be more work. No CL just won’t step up or dare ripple the pool.

  99. The Senseless Counting Game Says:

    Anybody have any idea how to get on CCM as far as who to talk to in Charlotte ? Name & # ?

  100. GS-X Says:

    Either the “long form” is the American Community Survey from the Census Bureau some private market research questionnaire.There is no “long form” in the 2010 Census.

    In its inability to master even basic computer technology, the Census Bureau mailed many US residents both the 2010 Census “short” form and the American Community Survey “long form” back in March.
    Yes, the short form questions are on the long form too, requiring people to answer the same questions twice.
    You gotta love the US Census Bureau!

  101. GS-X Says:

    Here is the link to the American Community Survey form.
    I see 48 questions. Does any see 49?

  102. anonymous Says:

    Yes, heat index above 110 degrees for past week!

  103. anonymous Says:

    Don’t call me for the next operation, if you want to work for NRFU VDC or FV operations, then call your LCO and let them know. Good luck.

  104. The Senseless Counting Game Says:

    CCM is the program that is scheduled to run until December that hires from a special pool of people and does not run out of the LCOs that will be closing in September.

    Anybody have any idea how to get on CCM as far as who to talk to in Charlotte ? Name & # ?

  105. FOS me Says:

    @ The Senseless Counting Game: For CCM try talking to your regional technician for the Charlotte area or ask for a recommendation from your LCOM. In my area the LCOM, AMQA and AMFO provided lists to RTs who then forwarded requests to the RCC. The best enumerators and CLs were selected.

    @BunnyJo call your LCO to find out if you are still eligible and let them know you want to work. VDC enumerators are dropping out due to the difficulty with the project and summer weather and we are cycling through enumerators quickly at my LCO. People that are persistent and call to ask for work certainly get my attention and the hours.

  106. Dave Says:

    We started VDC Monday. So far, most of the homes previously marked vacant are still vacant, so we can get a proxy on first visit, making for fast going. With a large crew and a small workload, we should knock it out in a week or two.

  107. anonymous Says:

    What is CCM? Is it “Partnership”? How do you apply for CCM at the regional level? Thank you.

  108. JoJo Says:

    Thx to all for letting me know I was getting a large bonus for doing my job!!!!Would like to know how you know but I don’t?

  109. Census Guy Says:

    Then I was one off on the questions, big deal.

  110. Dairyland CL Says:

    I am with anonymous. I have never heard of CCM. What is it?

  111. No Sense Census Says:

    Anyone know how NRFU morphed into NRFU-RI, into ACDC, into VDC when vacants and deletes were being found occupied through out? With many residents saying no one showed up or showed up too many times and they still were marked vacant.

  112. Sunshine CL Says:

    EnumeratorInTheSouthernHeat, your experience sounds exactly like mine. The whole NRFU/NRFU VDC has been disorganized, wasteful, and totally based on the buddy system and favoritism. VDC is a chaotic mess, with a room full of CLs, CLAs, and enums – many from distant counties – sitting around most of the day with little to do. There were outstanding enums that were never brought back, while FOFs (Friends of the FOS) with no skills are still on the payroll. The CLs are so set on milking the system to the bitter end that they delegate nothing, so the CLAs are battling among themselves for work. Worst of all, the work is no better, and a lot of errors are being made.

    No Sense Census, the answer to your question is simple: everyone was under the gun all along to just get it done as fast as possible. Many, many enums were poorly trained and quite a few were unable or unwilling to produce quality work. No surprise there – no one was ever rewarded for quality. You were only rewarded based on favoritism.





  114. No Sense Census Says:

    Sunshine CL: That is what I am seeing too! I hope some body in the OIG or Justice Department is seeing this too.

  115. Sunshine CL Says:

    Periodically, I like to check The Director’s Blog to get the Census Director’s take on how things are going. A few items stand out:

    1) “We (had) fewer “deadwood” listings”. This is open to question. Even now, in VDC, about 10 percent of our addresses are obviously bad and have to be deleted;
    (2) “…the miles driven per interview is less than in 2000; we are under budget on the nonresponse followup stage”. Again, for VDC, we have people driving 60 miles daily just to arrive at the assignment area, because they were hand-picked by the FOS while top-flight local enums were overlooked;
    (3) “We had to get counts of residents using informed neighbors and building managers relatively more frequently (currently about 5 percentage points more such reporting in 2010 versus 2000).” That’s what happens when artificial deadlines are imposed, enums are poorly trained, and the accent is on quantity, rather than quality;
    (4) “We found many more vacant units when we went out for Nonresponse Followup than was true in 2000 (about 14.3 million vs. 9.9 million in 2000); that makes sense, given the widely publicized foreclosure rates.” Foreclosures are only part of the story. The census form is poorly designed for those areas in Arizona, Florida, and other states where people tend to own investment properties or occupy homes only part of the year. By the time NRFU took place, many of those people had gone back to their “permanent” homes, sometimes leaving neighborhoods so empty even a proxy could not be found. I predict that figures in these areas will be WAY off.

  116. Census Guy Says:

    One solution for vacation homes is to go to the town hall and check to see if the tax bills are being sent to a separate location, say in another state. I’ve previously tried to bill 411 calls to locate such seasonal owners and the Census Bureau will not reimburse despite the savings in travel time and milege.

  117. FOS me Says:

    CCM = Census Coverage Measurement. See

    It’s a statistical process to measure coverage errors requiring a small group of enumerators, crew leaders and CLAs, and FOSes to reinterview HUs.

    It does not appear to be done in every community and is not a part of LCO structure.

  118. Shirley Says:

    Is anyone having this experience? As I look over the EQs, I am checking back at the original status noted in the AA binder. Some of the addresses I am checking were marked as XXX, of course meaning that a form was mailed in from the household. WHY WHY WHY are we enumerating these addresses? This is supposed to be vacant delete check!!! I visited one address tonight and the respondent told me that he sent in his form and would not do more than tell me the number of people living at the address on census day. (At least he would tell me that much).

  119. BeachEnum Says:

    @Sunshine CL: You’re right that most of those remaining are working the hardest to milk the system. In my LCO (Virginia Beach 2862) VDC work is only being distributed one or two EQs at a time. We have a crew of 15 enumerators who each have maybe five EQs to complete. If you hit your locations in the morning and again at night, you’ve got maybe 2-3 hours of work. Yet I saw another enumerator turn in a time sheet for 9.75 hours yesterday. Everyone is padding their time cards to the maximum amount possible for as long as they can.

  120. GS-X Says:

    No Sense Census,

    NRFU, NRFU RI and VDC have been scheduled 2010 Census operations for years.
    Not sure what you mean by ACDC.
    Seems strange the operations are not distinct to LCO staff and enumerators.
    Sounds as if some of you were told you were hired for VDC but are actually working NRFU RI.

  121. No Sense Census Says:

    GS-X: I don’t doubt that the ACDC project was a CYA for the incompetant address canvassing and therefore bad recruiting. Don’t know either if it is being done in all LCO’s. I do know that it uncovered numerous falsifications and a bunch of lost binders due to them being sent back to the field without tracking documentation. Could have been a ploy by the LCO to put the blame on the cl’s for binders lost in the LCO.


    Calling in VDC binders in county that hosted the US Open twice in NC limiting people to 3 and using writeup tactics to get them back. Same bumbling CL can’t even read a checkout sheet or maintain it so same old thing. He’ll be occupied this weekend with inventory too bad he banished his best and official CLA back into the field or she might help him, but too late now. Hope he sinks !

  123. Out of Binders Says:

    We have no more binders. CL told us to stand by. We may have more work next week.

  124. Double Check Blunders Says:

    Apparently my area has several boxes of binders left and around 1/5 of enums left from NRFU. But, like others have said, it looks like this is lazy quality control or double-checking that a vacant is really a vacant and you have a really good reason why it’s vacant.

    Sometimes it’s just moronic.. but the 50 cents a mile is fine with me!

  125. Shirley Says:

    In the VDC area I am working, our CL passed out all of the binders he was given. At one time I had 14!! Of course most have only 2-7 addresses in them, so hopefully won’t take too long to clear up.
    Dave, you said that you can get a proxy the first visit-we are asked to have three visits before we proxy. Our CL said go once, leave an NV, go again and if the NV is still there mark that NC and then find a proxy. Thus, three visits.
    The area I am working in has a lot of vacation rentals and weekend homes, so lots were marked vacant.

  126. Dave Says:

    Shirley, If a house is currently vacant we can immediately look for a proxy. It makes no sense to return to a place where nobody lives. The CLs who are insisting on three visits even if it’s vacant are just padding the payroll, imo.

    re: “Some of the addresses I am checking were marked as XXX, of course meaning that a form was mailed in from the household.”
    Not necessarily. Sometimes addresses appeared in multiple binders, with XXXs in all but one. However if there are XXXs *and* a name in the right hand column, they did mail it in but there may have been a problem with it so they want it re-done.

  127. Shirley Says:

    Thanks, Dave for the info about XXX’s. I forgot that addresses can be in multiple binders. As far as proxy info, my CL is telling us that this info came from the regional office. I believe that the CL is honest and not trying to “pad his payroll”. I’m sure that’s not the case for all workers, however!

  128. GS-X Says:

    No Sense Census,

    I understand that you may not have been given the complete wording for the acronym ACDC.
    Please explain if you know what ACDC spells out.
    Cuz at all I find is “Accurate Coordinate Datasets Collection (ACDC)”.

    Do you think the falsification comes from Address Canvassing or from NRFU or some other field operation?

  129. Dave Says:

    Shirley – Are you allowed to delete an empty lot on the first visit, or do you have to go back and try again? :)

  130. Ugh Says:

    Dave, nice point about the padding payroll. I had the same thing with a clearly vacant lot in NRFU and felt like an idiot being forced to ask someone if that was vacant on April 1st. Can’t we take a picture? lol.

    Has anyone been saying they were “quality control” for the Census when VDC is checking properties that were already marked vacant on the prior sheets? I just want to verify it and leave, not spend another 5 hours of my life on one damn house.

  131. anonymous Says:

    Thank you Dave and Shirley regarding the “XXX” EQs. I had a few of those, too.

    Dave July 17, you can use a Proxy person on the 3rd visit to the empty lot.

  132. anonymous Says:

    Ugh July 17, yes you can take a picture of the empty lot with your camera phone, etc. Still, try to find a Proxy person for the 3rd visit and submit the photo.

  133. anonymous Says:

    What is ACDC?

  134. No Sense Census Says:

    add delete check cover your lco’s @ss Scam

  135. anonymous Says:

    Get real nsc! How could it be a scam? Sound like a disgruntled enumerator;-(

  136. No Sense Census Says:

    Anon: Found HU’s that were there for 2-3 years and during address canvassing were not in the ACDC binders, but were under construction on google and the last census. Someone didn’t do their job and when brought to the LCOM’s attention hit a wall of excuses, but no action. And I was not doing anything, but my job as a CL.

  137. gladdich Says:

    I’m a CL (and have been for several previous operations) and on VDC we are being told not to get a proxy on anything that isn’t “visibly vacant” until the 3rd contact at the labeled address, and then the proxy goes in the 4th contact area. LCO/RCC wants *very* detailed notes about what is “visibly vacant” about it. I truly believe there is some padding going on and it will continue until right up until the week before the 8/25 deadline.

  138. Dave Says:

    anonoymous – What? You have make three visits and then get a proxy for EQs with a 98 Delete in question C? For cryin’ out loud. You’ve been printed, vetted by the FBI, and chosen for VDC (ostensibly because you proved yourself in NRFU). If you say it’s not a housing unit they should take your word for it, not have you waste time finding some stranger to vouch for you for you. On the positive side, that inefficiency lets you make a lot more money per EQ than I did. :)

  139. AMFO Says:

    After my managers meeting with the RCC in Charolette NC that I was to instruct my field staff that they were allowed a 4th visit before contacting a proxy! The RCC is concerned that they above the national percentage of 32.82% for proxy cases. And they have authorized 8 hours overtime for ALL field staff. Aparently we have had a lot of vacants that were actually occupied. Somebody screw up in previous operations I have also had a high number of hard fails from the AMQA. A hard fail is when an enumerator has been busted for falsely filled out an EQ several times. They are checked in MARCS a data base that allows QA to determine if an enumerator is lying about his or her work. If determined that they are guilty then they are flagged a hard fail and can never work for the census again. Its a little to late now when NRFU has been over for an entire month!!

  140. Shirley Says:

    Today when I was out on VDC I encountered my first really angry person. I am working in an area that has a high percentage of seasonal and vacation homes. Lots of them have no address markings so sometimes you have to guess, leave an NV and hope for the best. I was attempting to locate two addresses on the same short gravel road, with only one house marked with an address. I noticed a man in his yard and went to ask if his was one of the addresses I was looking for. I raised my hand in greeting, said hello (I always try to be friendly) He asked loudly, “Are you from the census?” I said, “Yes.” His next words were,”Get the F.. off my property!!!” I backed up slowly as he spoke a tirade of complaints about the number of notices left on his property, how he had filled out his census form and how this was the most inept operation he had ever heard of. I told him that I was very sorry and prepared to leave. He kept talking so I asked him if he could just tell me his address so I could verify I had been to the right house. He said,”I don’t know, I’ll have to look.” He went in the house, came out and tole me the number and added, “And this is a second home,too. I only come here on weekends!”
    Of course I didn’t ask any more questions, and went to my car.
    I was shaken by the encounter, but afterwards realized that he unwittingly? gave me enough information to fill out the EQ. I noted in the notes section that this was a “very angry respondent”.
    He is the first one I haven’t been able to (or even tried to) calm down when they start bitching about the numerous contacts by the census bureau. Most of the time I just apologize, say something like, ” I just here to verify that the information was correct”, and people usually will talk to me.

  141. Shirley Says:

    Oops! Please excuse the spelling errors in my last post!!

  142. Rob H. Says:

    This is my 3rd operation this census. I’ve done ETL, NRFU and now NRFU VDC. Why is it that some of the address I have for NRFU VDC were xxxxx on status line? These people mailed in info when they got it in the mail. It seems like a waist of time since they’re refusing, then I have to find a proxy, then 1st address is pissed at neighbors for talking to me. If you have an answer, I’d like to hear it since CLA, CL and FOS don’t have one. Thanks.

  143. VCDNRFU-Bar Says:


    Not sure what your area is but our RCC is Charlotte as well.
    Anyway, There seems to be a real disconnect at the LCO to the field. The big problem I am seeing is an extremely large percentage of address errors on the labels. These are usually a variation of the correct address and either was deleted or marked as duplicates in NRFU. If they were marked as duplicates and deleted, why are they even back again?

    Our LCO wants us to treat these as brand new “one of” EQ,s. Meaning, we enumerate on a blank form, do an add and delete the wrong address label. This in turn will just generate another duplicate that we are told will be eliminated “by the system” later. I have very little faith in this answer since the “system” obviously didn’t eliminate the first one.

    The other big problem is the RI that is obviously been rolled into this operation. There is no other reasonable explanation as to why over 50% of our current workload was hand enumerated in NRFU and marked as occupied. I’m not even counting the “xxxx”‘d out since we really can’t be sure of what they represent in the field.

    Rules have been in a constant state of flux since day one and the latest is an actual printed version handed out by the FOS. Since it does not have any name attached to it, I can only assume that the AMFO wants deny-ability of him issuing it.

    Basically it says a minimum of 3 visits with all of them being an NV on vacants. Minimum of 3 personal vists before proxy is sought on occupied.
    All visits are “preferred” to have a 24 hour window between them.

    No matter what or how plain the notes are in the EQ, an infocom is required for anything submitted that deviates from these parameters. Not adhering to these guidelines will result in termination.

    No postal employees are to be used as proxies.

    If the aim is to stretch the work as long as possible, they have succeeded.

  144. anonymous Says:

    Rob H – July 18 – Even with the “XXX” entries, you have to get all the info again from the respondent.

  145. anonymous Says:

    I had to ask the U.S. Postal Carrier to be a proxy. It was in a very rural area with no neighbors. My 3rd attempt to visit! The house was almost condemned. Squirrels, mourning doves, and other animals were living inside and outside of the house.

  146. GS-X Says:

    I get the idea ACDC= Address Canvassing Delete Check.
    Sorry, I don’t know about it. Was it also done last year during the Address Canvassing?
    I’m believing it is some kind of 2010 CYA improvisation.
    Please tell me if I’ve got it wrong.

  147. Sunshine CL Says:

    @VCDNRFU-Bar: re: “…over 50% of our current workload was hand enumerated in NRFU and marked as occupied.” This is a new NRFU-VDC procedure. In our LCO, certain “vacants” are marked “occupied – population count unknown” with the rationale that the population count cannot be absolutely determined. Strange…

  148. Ugh Says:

    Dave – 17 July – i agree. waste of time, especially when you need to visit 3 times at an empty lot before they believe you? come on..

    And to Shirley – 18 July – i just got forced by my CLA to re-interview a house because, even though they sent in the forms according to NRFU’s XXXX status, the VDC addresses are slightly mismarked. and instead of getting them to realise it is a duplicate, they want me to re-do the house again and bother an elderly household with a sick husband.

    Seriously.. WTF does the government have to be so uncaring or unwavering with this lazy-style quality control? Just to get “accurate” numbers that will end up being screwed up anyway?

  149. Jimbo Says:

    I have learned to dread the ones with xxx in the status box. I presume we are going to most of them because, even though they mailed in the form, they did not complete the form. Perhaps this is what they call NRFU RI. I go to the door and they either ask me to leave or tell me they will tell me just what they put on the mailed in form…two people live here and the rest is not the governments buisness. Sort of wish they had warned me about these…..but oh well. I guess they all pay the same. I finish tomorrow or the next day…my last binder. Overall it has not been too bad….some seems a waste of time and money but I know the census is pretty complicated. I hope, in the end, they get pretty close to the right number. Now I am going to go stimulate the economy with some of this federal money……

  150. CMac Says:

    I have 8 left in my last binder and I am throwing in the towel tomorrow. Condo building locked down tighter than Fort Knox, residents I can get on the little speaker phone at the door inform me they took a vote and will not allow Census workers in the buidling. One guy told me that if I buzzed him again he was calling the police; come to find out from some internet research, he has a few restraining orders out against him. The building intercom dials their phone and the resident buzzes you in and the directory is by name, not unit. I had to do a lot of research just to get some names to see if I was buzing the right unit. No cooperation, no chance of a proxy, no entrance. Tacked up the letter on their bulletin board that says they have to let the Census in. Next day still on bulletin board, but torn into 4 pieces. So, before I get arrested for “stalking” I am tossing in the towel. Leaving behind excellent notes for the next poor soul they will unload this mess on. Not in the original binder, no map spots,you know the drill. Not worth the extra $75 or so to keep banging my head against this wall. Never quit on any job before in my life, but I get no help or support from up the food chain, just told to keep going back. Nope; you go next time.

  151. Shirley Says:

    CMac, can’t blame you a bit. Fortunately I have only had one person who has been threatening-but if there were more like him I would probably quit too. It’s not worth the frustration!
    Good luck in your future employment-I hope you find a job you love.

  152. Jimmie Ray bob Says:

    After reading the post above I don’t feel so alone.
    I have been working in the field for the census since Jan as a CL. I have done ETL, GQAV, GCE, NRFU and NRFUVDC.
    NRFU and NRFU VDC have been some of the poorest run operations I have seen in the Census work. NRFU had two weeks before any accountability was done for the binders unless the other CL did like I ddi and started with INFO COMM’s signing for and the turnin of binders, and EQ’s. Then in TN we had severe flooding on 1 May. This caused several area’s that my crew had to be abandoned. After the first week we were unable to find any of the occupants. Took the LCO 6 weeks to accept that the area’s were destroyed and only after providing pictures and video tape. Then we were allowed to submitt occupied with 99 code. Also in NRFU I was called a lyier to my face by an operative from Charlotte that there were not any duplicates in my binders. The next day I took in 34 EQ’s from two different binders that the only differance was the AA numbers. The MAN from Charlotte then told me that they were not duplicates but office mistakes.
    Needless to say we have the same problem with NRFUVDC. Sorry to say that the crew that had to enumerate my destried area had the same EQ’s to do in NRFUVDC. When they went there they sent 4 different enumerators with 4 different binders to the same office. All were told to leave and not come back forcefully.
    When we went to training we were told that we would have two weeks and that we would be fed the binders a little at a time.
    The next week we were training for two days and the CL’s not training would pick up all the binders for the other CL that was training. We were to sign for the binders and EQ’s and be accountable for them. We were given 15 min to sign and load the binders. I would not do that and examined every EQ and binder. I found that three binders were not on the listing, EQ’s were not on the listing and lables were miss printed and it took 5 hrs to sign for the binders.The FOS and AMFO were both telling me to just sign for it and fix it in the field. I showed them the problems I found and that my name was on the paperwork and I would deliver a quality product to the CL I was taking this to.
    Then We are told we had two days to complete the work. I was called on the carpet and told that work would be taken away from my crew if I could not deliver. I stood my ground and finshed the work on my schedule with no problems in the quality of the work.
    Then the FOS does not communicate with us except to yell at manditory meetings for 25 mins that we have to work harder and to keep her in the loop. Kind of hard to do when she does not return text messages or answer the phone calls for 2 to 4 hours after the call from you.
    Sorry to be so long winded but NRFUVDC should be called FUBAR

  153. CMac Says:


    Thanks for the well wishes! I just feel bad for all the poor NRFU VDC workers that are running up against this mess. Best of luck to you as well.

  154. MJ23 Says:

    Just finished up my final binders for VDC. I had a total of about 120 separate cases. Many were screw ups from NRFU. Many were seasonals marked vacant others, probably 50%. We received our cases on Wednesday and were told to have them done by Friday (2 days later.) Then it was extended to Monday. And absolutely no working over 40 hrs. I was getting 140 miles per day at 8 hours. Did not seem logistically possible to finish by Monday. If we couldn’t find a proxy, we were told to make 6 personal visits and turn it into a CLA.

  155. Susan Says:

    I don’t believe there was a separate phase called ACDC because I worked in what was called ACQC: Address Canvassing Quality Control and part of our duties was rechecking duplicates and deletes.

  156. Shirley Says:

    Tomorrow there is a FOS meeting where they want all emumerators, CLs and CLAs to attend. I work a different job so can’t be there. Can’t wait to hear what they expect of us now-there’s been talk of finishing by this weekend. Since we are in an area of many seasonal homes, I don’t think it’s gonna happen!! I’ve been to all my addresses twice but haven’t been able to catch those who have vacation homes yet.
    Many of them are far apart from each other also so good luck finding a proxy!
    One thing I’ve learned-it pays to have a sense of humour in this job!! :)

  157. finished Says:

    LCO collected all unfinished binders and work this morning. We are done.

  158. Non-believer Says:

    Cincy, you are on to something fishy. Four days ago, LCO told us we were 33% complete. Yesterday, they told us we are 98% complete. Today, we have finished NRFU VDC. No one believes these statistics.

  159. anonymous Says:


  160. Anonymous Says:

    Are other people in NY City being given a skimpy number of cases at a time? Despite my excellent and accurate performance in NRFU, my new CL for VDC continually assigns me binders containing 3 or even just 2 cases to work on at a time. The only (comparatively decent) binder I was given (the first one) had 12 cases, which I finished in 2 days. I specifically asked for more work today and was given a binder with 2 cases. I don’t have another job and was counting on making decent hours from VDC, but with the strict new quotas I am making literally less than I would on unemployment. Furthermore, I have reason to believe that my CL is now stonewalling and intentionally holding back work from me because I had to file complaints against both her and my FOS after my CL tried to deny me pay for time spent waiting to meet with her because I left for 5 minutes to buy and bring back something to drink in the 95 degree heat. Is anyone else having similar issues?

  161. Cincy Says:

    Detroit region had its VDC workload chopped in half, from a million to half a million. It shouldn’t have happened. We’re going to miss people, a lot of people. A lot of snowbirds. A hundred thousand occupied households aren’t going to get counted here. Really? Yes. 20 percent of everything we revisit always turns out to be occupied. Check the reports from 1990 and 2000. 20 percent of undeliverables. 20 percent of NRFU vacants. It’s weirdly consistent.

  162. Sunshine CL Says:

    Shirley: I am in the same type of area as you and we were done yesterday. Everything was collected – incomplete EQ’s included. Just a dead stop.

  163. BeachEnum Says:

    @Anonymous: I think the same thing happened everywhere, judging by my experience and others here. I got many VDC books with just one, two or three forms. This is in Virginia Beach LCO 2862.

    Like you — and like most enumerators still in the game at this point — I think I was well-regarded so I don’t think I was being fed shitty books. My sense at crew meetings was that everyone was getting the same tiny workload. Forms and books were being parceled out very judiciously. (Example: I might have five EQs combined still outstanding, but my CL gives a book to another person who only has one EQ left.)

    It made for crummy workdays of 1-2 hours including the mandatory crew meeting. (Though I saw a number of timesheets for 8-9 hours a day. Riiiight.)

    We turned in remaining EQs, badges and tote bags Monday afternoon. No word since then. I think the party’s over.

  164. Dave Says:

    BeachEnum – re: “many VDC books with just one, two or three forms … made for crummy workdays”

    Same here for our crew (northern CA). I think they over hired in order to speed the process.

  165. en_worker Says:

    we just heard that all our hu’s that were occupied but a proxy was used were being returned and we have to get the info from a household member

  166. Dave Says:

    en_worker – Sounds like easy money. How many times a day are you allowed to try to catch someone at home? Can you stake the place out until someone shows? :)

  167. IMA LIBRARIAN Says:

    Here in the Pacific Northwest we have been given binders with tiny numbers, but lots of them. We are working hard and have been granted 40 hrs a week, but the long distances in this rural county and the requirement that each address be visited at least once before a proxy is found are making the going pretty slow. Rumors that another crew is being hired to help finish are making us mad- we could use the hours but no overtime of course. I am also going out on “dangerous” mapspots- today had one that swore to shoot the next census worker he saw. Hmmm, no mace, really?!?

  168. Midwest Enumerator Says:

    Has anybody heard about another operation to follow up VDC? I finished all of my EQ’s (thank goodness!!) but they still haven’t taken my bag or ID badge because they heard about some operation following up VDC. What could it possibly be? I certainly can’t imagine that there are more houses that we have to go to… I am sorry, but if I get any more EQ’s I may have to resign. I just can’t imagine going to another house again, not as horrible as this operation has gone. These people are sick of talking to us… in my VDC, some of the people even told me that a NRFU enumerator had already talked to them over a month ago, and I knew that had to be telling me the truth because they even told me her name, and it matched the name of the person in the binder from the original NRFU section!

  169. HC Texas Says:

    I started working on the ETL then NRFU and now VD check and more than likely quitting tomorrow. Our LCO is so fouled up, impossible to communicate with, slow with answers and changing the rules on a whim that I don’t think any of the trainings or manuals matter.

    What really gets me is I know the LCO is deliberately sending us back out to dangerous locations they were made aware of in NRFU. I know this because I have been sent to a couple of them and by what I saw and was told, they knew about these. The other thing going on is I am basically being told to falsify my work which I will not do. I have done a great job and realize none of it matters. If the local office can’t even keep up with the paperwork, much less pay attention to all those Info-coms, then neither can Dallas and forget Washington.

  170. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    Keep the info coming! Big news to publish tomorrow, but I will definitely ask for vacant/delete updates on Friday. SRM

  171. Shirley Says:

    The latest news from FOS-we are done as of Tuesday morning. That gives us this weekend to track down proxies for all those seasonal addresses and uninhabitable homes-not to mention those who just don’t want to respond to my NVs!!! I printed up a sheet to attach to the NV explaining what info I need and asking for a phone call. I hope it will work!! One problem is that some of these homes are not even in sight of each other-making getting a proxy a real challenge if not impossible.

  172. Dave Says:

    re: “Has anybody heard about another operation to follow up VDC?”

    There’s something called Field Verification, which is described as: “A census operation where census workers verify the existence of units that had been geocoded to a census block, but did not match an address in the Master Address File.”

    Sounds like a very small number of units. I doubt there will be much, if any, work for us lowly enumerators.

  173. GS-X Says:

    Here’s what the Census Bureau planned for VDC back in Feb. From a file named hilda.ppt on

    Eligible vacant and delete cases from NRFU.

    Questionnaires that failed data capture because they were blank or incomplete.

    New cases from New Construction, Count Review, Update/Leave Adds that were not returned, and late Adds from the US Postal Service.

  174. Midwest Enumerator Says:

    Thanks for the info… that doesn’t sound too bad, hopefully there shouldn’t be any door to door stuff in that operation… but of course, I didn’t think that VDC would be as horrible as what it was…

  175. southern cali girl enumerator Says:

    I can confirm the existence of field verification the final operation of the census! And that’s only cause I just got called for the job! In southern california los angeles

  176. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Field Verification: Your comments please Says:

    [...] a reader noted to me, the Vacant/Delete thread is morphing into the Field Verification thread. Let’s start a new thread here to specifically [...]

  177. Says:

    Finished up the big part of Vacant/Delete check today in my area of Los Angeles. We might get kickbacks over the weekend, so we’ll see if I’ll be back at all next week.

  178. NRFU VDC RI RI RI RI RI Says:

    From what I’ve been reading, there appears to be a VDC RI. I’m doing VDC and the public is already fed up with us. I feel sorry for any VDC reinterviewers out there.

  179. Census Guy Says:

    VDC-RI does exist and involves calling the numbers provided on the various VDC forms to confirm the interview took place. To understate the obvious, yes it does annoy.

  180. Censless Gal Says:

    I am in the Northwest. I have been a CL for AdCan, GQV, GQAV, SBE, TNSOL, GQE, ETL, NRFU, and Now NRFU VDC. I am disgusted at the way VDC has been run. All the other operations I have worked on had their fair share of glitches and changes but this has been ridiculous.
    I just got a stack of EQ’s from the LCO that were reprinted and sent back to the field to be reworked. All of these EQ’s were worked, completed as occupied, (By very good enums) and certified by me during this operation. I will not be sending my people back to them again. Any others out there with the same thing happening? How did you handle it?

  181. anonymous Says:

    Censless Gal, yes, this is happening in my LCO, too. Very frustrating.

  182. 2514 Says:

    Censless Gal: Yes, this is happening in Chicago as well. VDC finished, then the LCO sent out about 50 newly labeled EQ’s that were supposed to be for HU’s found as occupied during VDC (that’s what the AMFO said). They turned out to be EQ’s for vacants, deletes and occupieds that enumerators had been to only days before. The rule for these ‘special’ EQ’s was 5 contact attempts before a proxy could be used. Needless to say, people are annoyed and angry and no amount of ‘just making sure we get an accurate count’ spin can help. Tasks like this make the Census Bureau appear to be inept and unorganized, at least in the eye of the public.

  183. DiONNA Says:

    In VDC if you can clearly tell from the NRFU papers in the binder that the address you are visiting have been completed in NRFU, we were told to duplicate it and not bother interviewing that HU