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.

Buy official 2010 Census employee gear on EBay.com

Thanks to the reader who noted this in the comments section of a previous post. I have railed on the Census Bureau for a while now about how easy it is for scammers or other individuals to find 2010 Census paraphernalia because the Census Bureau didn’t use proper identifying information for its employees:

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29 Responses to “Buy official 2010 Census employee gear on EBay.com”

  1. TXlcom Says:

    You can be sure that the people behind this and other items that will be on Ebay, Craigslist, and your neighboehood flea markets are “Partnership” people or members of their family. That was why they were reluctant to supply LCO’s with items to help in recruitment or testing/training site development. It’s a way to supplement their income after the Census is over.

  2. Census Guy Says:

    What are “partnership people” ?

  3. Enumeratrix Says:

    Good grief!

  4. TxEnum Says:

    Who would want one of these? They a piece of carp.

  5. Samantha Jackson Says:

    There was absolutely no system for collecting and tracking census materials following the various operations at our LCO. Especially troubling to me was the non-collection of the census bag which, in the minds of the public, could very well be a means for identifying a person as a census worker. I heard of many cases where CL’s told enumerators to hold on to your stuff in case you get hired for another operation. Never mind the fact that new bags are issued to every enumerator during training of each and every operation. When I was a CL, I collected many bags from enumerators who told me they still had their bag from a previous operation. I even had one enumerator who, upon termination, argued with me saying the bag and manuals belonged to her. Her previous CL had told her so…

    I find it almost amusing that now, in NRFU VDC, the last (or almost last) operation, there is a sudden new tracking system where workers sign for practically every piece of paper in their possession. Too little, too late, I think.

  6. enumouse Says:

    Samantha,

    Absolutely correct. I kept my bag for over a month after NRFU wound down.

    I’m surprised these are still on eBay. This person has 7 with training kits.

    Talk about a loophole for fraud. You could almost imitate a whole crew. Not good!!

  7. decgal Says:

    TXIcom, classic. Those are OPERATIONS bags to which “partnership people” had no access to. Stop tossing all those acronyms around behaving like you know of what you speak. Why dont you ask your BIG boss why you didn’t have access to those items. Bitter much? Now, knowing that those bags come from Operations doesn’t lead me to point fingers at any one group. Does it really matter? Rather than whining about not getting some promo items (I’m sure those chip clips are going to go for BIG bucks <–sarcasm), why not focus on the issues at hand. 1) Someone is unscrupulously taking advantage of their position. 2) There are some tragic flaws in a system that should be much more secure. Its a shame. Its embarassing. And I really hope someone is held accountable.

  8. anonymous Says:

    Well, by golly, I love those “ugly” Census messenger bags and will probably buy one! :)

  9. Bobby J Says:

    A stupid bag and non-photo ID were never decent means of identification anyway. Anyone with a laserjet printer and a laminator could make what they needed. All that money spent and they couldn’t even make an effort to protect the public.

  10. pranita veeria Says:

    I think we should ALL chip in and buy one for SRM…for his hard work !!! LOL

  11. george wilberg Says:

    Certainly shows how well Census 2010 was run doesn’t it? Simply validates the statements that many who are on this blog site have said time after time. Yep poor management! Before people were terminated who even hinted that they let someone see their employees handbook or training information. When I got my illegal termination I made sure that I gave back every bit of paper that I had left, the infamous bag, the crummy Census 2010 hat, and the T-shirt with Census 2010 on it. If I remember correctly they were made in China-correct me if my brainpan is not working properly someone?

  12. Anonymous_in_FL Says:

    These items have either all been sold or have been removed, because they are no longer among this seller’s listings:
    http://shop.ebay.com/ahendi/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=50

    At my LCO, bags and IDs were all returned at the end of NRFU and terminated employees would have their last paycheck withheld for failing to return these. Of course, we still managed to receive a couple bags from enumerators as VDC began. What amazed me, however, was all the supplies shipped to the LCO for VDC. It’s as if we were expected not to reuse anything! All-new bags, a pallet of the big paper for maps, hundreds of new binders, dozens of boxes of forms (D-308s, EQs, Info-Comms, etc…all of which we had more than enough), and a couple dozen boxes of supply kits. We spent one evening emptying the bags (the enumerators left many in a mess!), sorting papers, and separating bags into “reusable” (eg. clean) ones and ones that were disgusting or had names written on them. All the new bags were set aside to be shipped back to whatever supply warehouse they came from.

  13. BeachEnum Says:

    @SRM: Good job getting the screen shot. The auction has been removed. The seller, “ahendi,” doesn’t have any other census-related stuff for sale.

    @TXIcom: Though this was an operational item (as someone else noted) I’m sure you’re right that a lot of other partnership stuff is sitting in their original boxes, to be sold on eBay and at flea markets $5 at a time for the next few years.

    I was surprised that no promotional material trickled out to the CL/CLA/enumerator level in my LCO (2862 Virginia Beach). It would have been nice to have some cheap trinkets to grease the wheels with unhappy respondents.

  14. Embarressed Says:

    Maybe the Census should put the crappy pens and bags on ebay and recoup some of their their losses. Hey, why don’t we have a contest and see which LCO can sell the most! Our LCO is stomping on the bags so they can fit more in a box to ship them to wherever.

  15. lco...meh... Says:

    Hmmmmm….decgal, you sound like a “Partnership” person justifing your position. The BIGGEST flaw in this census was the Partnership operation.

  16. Paul Deesheinberg Says:

    Partnership people are the overpaid fools who did nothing and were the reason we had the bad response rate. They failed miserabky especially in NY.

  17. Census Guy Says:

    Look at the bright side, at least the Acorn people weren’t around to muck things up through “Partnership”.

  18. SoCalledWingnut Says:

    Here’s another one….
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Census-2010-FIELD-BAG-/280535179318?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4151332036

  19. NYWest Chaos Says:

    There is another one up now.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Census-2010-FIELD-BAG-/280535179318?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4151332036#ht_500wt_1154

    I have two bags and two badges– one from recruiting and now one from Field. No one has asked for ANYTHING back…and my field crew leader actually said I could keep the bag and clipboard as a memento. SERIOUSLY?!?!? Why would I want it?!?!?

  20. EveryoneCounts Says:

    Yeah, about that ACORN thing…

    politicsdaily dot com/2010/06/21/acorn-gao-investigation-finds-no-misuse-of-federal-dollars/

  21. Census Guy Says:

    You can search Acorn and Voter Fraud using google and find how many of this organizations employees were indicted or convicted for voter registration fraud. http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-complete-guide-to-acorn-voter-fraud/

    Now what is really notable is that Acorn had this problem in MULTIPLE states at DIFFERENT times. So this is not an isolated incident, but instead a product of corruption. (take a look at how the founder’s brother stole over $800,000 from Acorn itself, and their board of directors decided to let him “pay it back” rather then turning him into the police)

    The bottom line is that an organization with a history of voter registration fraud should not be allowed anywhere near census forms.

  22. Samantha Jackson Says:

    NW Chaos was provided a clipboard for field work? Now I’m really pissed.

  23. PM Says:

    Lots of cracks for bags and everything to fall through; got a minute?

    Spot on, Anon in FL. In ADD_CAN, our bags were signed for and collected; in GQV, the CL diligently sought us out afterwards citing her duty to account for them…

    That was the ELCO

    Once at the LCO, these things just fly around. A clerk grabbed one for his mail and lunch. It was likely heisted by the AMR, from whom he got it, and given him “when a couple of people turned them in”. Bollox: two RA kits were missing theirs in supply, to which everyone presumed some kind of right to trespass anyway. People just rifle crap like crazy. FO has stockpiled anything they can (even denying others in the office use of “their” computers, including locking stations in other units to their staff), including the bags (never mind the stacks of forms they don’t need to hoard or the cabinets they needed for their purses). The portfolios are in piles around the place as a result. Someone just sniped a whole wad of stuff immediately after it was set out- from someone else’s desk (when a bunch of NRFU CLs were in the office). Don’t even bother taking in an interesting mug; it’ll either get swiped or thrown out.

    “If it ain’t yours, don’t take it” must be written in some obscure language, like on the flash card, to some of us…

    The portfolios are funny, semi-useful swag. I saw a few on epay last year. Wrote to RCC. Nothing back. Wrote to bigger fish. Ditto. Wrote to FBI- it would be uncomfy to see a “Census” worker take out a hospital with a bagbomb- equally nothing back. One seller had “10 unissued enumerator badges” in the set. Great, now it’s 10 “workers” with bombs…

    For us, yes, the rule is quarter and trash the bad ones; send the good ones back to NPC. We sent boxes full. Next was a memo- call this guy before sending them. Guess they figured it cost too much? The somebody’s-learning-Excel memo says to “see page 2″ for their disposition. Page 2 of same says f-all about them. They’re sent out fresh with kits, then sent back while OTHERS are sent with new kits. Got a hundred people out? There’s a hundred bags, and that’s a hundred extras after that phase shuts.

    Census doesn’t have an easy job at the start. They do this by operation, and have to guess as to how many. Sadly, left and right brain don’t talk much, so said memo from hot place has things listed AGAIN and AGAIN by operation, instead of just one list with each thing per line and a box for kits it’s in. Some of these are lined through in bold; I guess it’s to make them stand out, but it also makes them useless to read without deciphering. Gee, if they remembered what they sent you (or counted it), they could get away sending only the difference…

    P-ship is funny. They have a tough task too, setting up all that outside stuff. Their D-1252(ef) brings up the whole bag etc idea moreso. This isn’t even on the list for the K105 or wherever it was in qty 500, so if you look at the list from box 1 (think the hardware store, or buying stuff from HP- where they actually bother to tell you what you got so you don’t have to count it), you didn’t get any- it ain’t even on there. Why make a list? And Census says what? Open it all and count it. Right-o! The country that clobbered the well-run bad guys across the world with armies running into who-knows can’t even make a list of what’s in the box? Count all those D-1(E)s, I s’pose…

    “When ships are docked, remove all munitions and count… circle the number if correct, initial and date the list. If any discrepancies, such as one tracer out of a bandolier… note this in the 11-100 or whatever we call it and…

    Ditto with forms…”

    Has anyone tried to decipher the stuff process? On FDCA: “Use this form for ordering stuff”, and “Use THIS form for ordering recruiting stuff”- with about 6 things different from stuff form.

    They haven’t figured ut how to write one page with everything on it, fill in the blanks, and give to AA- the real office everything point- to email and authenticate by their address as legit. Now there’s a new order process (SPR was in the middle). Haven’t seen it; it’s on some link that doesn’t open once it’s on paper, which is how our clerks got it…

    P-ship didn’t get the portfolios here… until they wanted some for press events. Less came back, probably some trophy at home.

    It is opined that someone in P-ship, who has access to the Goodie Zone, relieved the whole office of the teeshirts being saved for the in-house crew, too. No clerks were seen leaving with boxes that day, but P-ship was, with no events to go to…

    FL may agree, it’s in the quality of diligence of oversight and organization. There’s a way to run this well, and not. For some reason, it brings out the bully, thief and idiot in people. When that wad went walkies from the desk, the LCOM- first to hear of it- should have locked down and said “cough” to everyone, then drummed the AHL out the door for theft. But LCOM is pretty nice, and has to see people get along and through this. Guess it’s easier to cave in to stupidity than lose these out-of-work, sterling-character CEOs we got.

    Methinks bottom line to be all-comers staffing with generally blurry mgmt… “Do this now”… “Oh, do it THIS WAY now”…. “Oh, now that it’s a mess, do it this way…”

    So for the bags and any other swag items, it’s almost up for grabs for them what can, while in the next “boat” it’s well-run and mutually respectful. The number of crew helps, but then, one of only 2 bags available went to the clerk, and no one did much…

    It’s pretty variable across board, and I’d guess that this rests with however this was all set up or not: you’ll get good people who care for the whole thing, as well as weasels. We don’t have time to sort them, so we should just get the rules/process straight at first- in every aspect- and save a lot of grief later…

  24. Enumerate this Says:

    @PM: Loved your post.

  25. Former NRFU-RI Says:

    We were told in NRFU-RI training to write our name on the bag, and also told that they would be collected with our badges at the end of RI work. They were. Our CL said we could keep the pens, pencils, and clipboard if we wanted to, but anything marked “US Census” had to be returned.

    And, yes, george wilberg, the bags WERE made in China. I never saw a cap or T-shirt, so I can’t comment on those.

  26. AMFO Says:

    I havent decided if I’m going as a Enumerator, CLA or a Crew Leader to my Holloween party this year. Still got a stack of badges and 4 or 5 Census bags. I will hand out D-1′s to everybody “Title 13 notices”.

  27. fanspeed Says:

    ebay will take down items like the bag and badges.

  28. Shirley Says:

    AMFO-love the Halloween costume idea!!! I still have a stack of NVs and Title 13 notices-I was given wayyy too many of them since a lot of people handed them back to me..

  29. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    PM – Love your post. Sorry I’m writing this so late. Get in touch. You should write something for MyTwoCensus!