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.

The most stupid job with the 2010 Census: Regional Technician

The 2010 Census has been marked by management goals that monitoring production standards. Every job from payroll keying, to hours and miles driven per case, is monitored. But imagine a job though where you are held to no production standard. Your job is simply to make sure other people are doing their jobs. You can stand over, hover and watch to make sure people are doing it, threaten or intimidate but you don’t have to know anything about procedures. You are reimbursed for mileage, travel costs and are paid anywhere from GS-07 to GS-12 per year, well above the salaries of clerks, crew leaders, office supervisors and sometimes even the AMFO and LCOM.

The sad part is actually there is a job like this at the Census and it is the job of the Regional Technician.

Before we begin dissing on Regional Technicians let’s take some comments that I have compiled from posts on MyTwoCensus that come from around the nation about them:

Former AMFO Says:
May 18th, 2010 at 9:53 am

The biggest waste of money spent in the 2010 Census are the Regional Technicians. They are supposed to support the LCO’s and provide whatever guidance and resources necessary to complete the task. They are really clueless on how the operations should be run. Our RT would come in and find the smallest thing wrong and and run right to the Area Manager. She would completely bypass the Local Manager. It didn’t matter that the LCO far exceeded all goals in every operation if one thing was out of line we were a bunch of failures. This person loved to talk down the neighboring offices as well as ours. The Census pays the RT’s for both their time and mileage. Added up the are paid quite handsomely for not knowing much. My RT told me that I was a Manager and wasn’t supposed to think. Try that in the Private sector. Anyone else out there have the same experience ?

Anonymous NE Says:
May 18th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

As for FORMER AMFO….I couldn’t agree more with regard to the RT’s. They actually ship these morons from other states, put them up in high priced apartments and houses and pay them well….and they know ZIP. As you say , they are quick to condemn the staff at the LCO’s, and operate with ZERO accountability.

Ex-IT Says:
May 18th, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Former AMFO’s RT sounds just like ours. Several managers and OOS’s found out the hard way that the RT sort of functioned like a Political Commissar. Everything the Area Manager knew about the LCO was through the RT’s filter. When anyone complained that the RT’s directives were contrary to Census manuals and rules, they were soon demoted or fired.

Anonymous NE Says:
May 18th, 2010 at 10:58 pm

EX-IT… are also correct about the RT’s. Here in NY, the Area Managers do NOTHING..the poor excuse is that they be in all places at all times, so therefore they dispatch the, and I quote…’eyes and ears of the Area Manager” to the LCO’s….the RT’s come with an agenda, and may I say their own “prejudices” to inflame, instigate, undercut etc the LCOM’s. There are RT’s here in the NY area that preach EEO and by the book, yet have been subjects of EEo complaints themselves, and sexual misconduct…..hmmmmm, the eyes and ears????? Interesting

Senseless Says:
May 18th, 2010 at 11:56 pm

RT’s are such a waste of time and money. They come in and try to change things and just make a bigger mess. Some of the RT’s do have experience but most have no clue. We had an RT that started out as a clerk and is now an RT. He was barely making it as a clerk.

The Regional Technician job is not well defined, and this is a major cause of problems. RTs have no supervisory rights but sometimes exercise them. They usually can’t be trusted because they are simply tattle tellers running straight to the area managers and telling them who should be fired. They are usually the ones who are ready to step in an take the helm of the assistant manager but sometimes add to the chaos because they don’t know anything. The Regional Technician is also next in line to succeed the Area Manager in case he/she should be incapacitated. Some regional technicians are career census employees. This makes the entire Census Bureau look bad because if they are like this during the decennial it shows you the incompetency that is running this agency the other eight years.

The regional technician job in summary is another bad decision on the part of the census. For the 2020 Census they should define a better role for the regional technician because frankly paying someone to do nothing and not firing them because they do nothing is simply unacceptable.

If anyone wants to vent please feel free to tell us your “best” Regional Technician (and I say this with all sarcasm) stories along with some names and locations.

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42 Responses to “The most stupid job with the 2010 Census: Regional Technician”

  1. RT Excellence Says:

    OK, here’s another example of outstanding service rendered by an “RT”… this moron takes it upon himself to call “an emergency meeting” of ALL field enumerators — on the final deadline day of an operation, no less — to berate them for their quality of work, even telling the group that “he should fire them all on the spot for their lousy performance”.

    This brilliant tactical move cost the enumerators 2-5 hrs of production time, making the reaching of the deadline IMPOSSIBLE. And to boot, several of the enumerators QUIT before they hit the parking lot, following this ridiculous, unnecesary beat-down. Guess they figured why not make their move, since they were to be released 48 hours later anyway …

    How honored they should have felt to sit before and take a verbal assault from someone that many in attendance had never even heard of … one Salvador Ramirez !

  2. anon Says:

    Fishing expedition alert!

    “Your job is simply to make sure other people are doing their jobs.”

    What a joke. Take any job in the world and I am sure you will find someone who will bitch about someone above them (e.g. supervisor, quality assurance, lead, manager, VP, CEO). That is called human nature.

    And how does SRM plan on validating any comment written by anyone in this thread? Does he plan on getting the RTs side of the story?

    He said, she said.

  3. JAG Says:

    The news stations report that census is returning $1.6 billion to the treasury and this is what you post? You act like reimbursement for miles and travel costs is a perk….doesn’t private industry do the same?

    These appear to be rants about specific people not the position in general.

  4. Tellitlikeitis Says:

    The best RT story has to be when an RT became an Area Manager. Yup! After a couple of months being an RT (who by the way was a sleaze of a bitch) she became an Area Manager and became a bigger sleaze of a bitch!

    The Bklyn NE office was told that the RT were the eyes and ears of the AM. They would report to the offices they were assigned and just literally walk up and down the LCO watching everyone and then report to the AM. There were very few instances when they would inform the LCOM directly ……like if they felt someone should be fired or when the toilet was not functioning.

    This joke of a job does have good benefits: laptops, cellphone, travel reimbursement (car service)and for some RT from another state, room and board.

  5. Stephen Robert Morse Says:

    @tellitkeltis – How many came from other states? Not enough qualified people in America’s largest city? SRM

  6. Says:

    We had an RT come by to sit in on our FV QC training yesterday. She didn’t say anything or do much but the AMFO seemed spooked.

  7. RT Says:

    The Regional Tech title is a generic title, that I will agree upon. In saying so it is also dependant on the character of the person holding the position on how well the duties are carried out. RT’s among other things need to be well versed in the responsibilities of all the members of the LCO or office. This is because if there should be a vacancy the RT needs to step in and perform the duties of the vacant job. This keeps operations moving.

    Many RT’s though have taken the tone that they are more like tattle tales and not advisory roles. A RT with strong character and work ethic should be able to coach and help a LCO or other office staff fix a situation before it becomes a problem.

    A RT who merely strolls through the office looking for someone to screw up like a security guard is not truely doing their job. An RT should have the knowledge and skills to help the office.

    Unfortunately there are more “bad” RT’s than good RT’s which brings the moral down of those RT’s who are working very hard to get things done. The moral issue comes up because many of the RT’s initially were permanant RO employees who can “Do No Harm” no matter what they do or more often NOT do. They still get paid and won’t get in trouble, were as if one non permanant employee made a simple mistake they are more likely to be baraded.

  8. pranita veeria Says:

    @ Tellitlikeitis……you forgot the conference calls that sounded more like street talk then constructive talk…but she meant well LOL

  9. Solong Census Says:

    In the LA Region, the RT’s were (are) used primarily as spies. Some were helpful, some didn’t know anything. One gentleman would tell us he didn’t know anything but, continued on to be an RT in several areas. The most intelligent, helpful, knowledgeable RT was sent back to the Regional Office when it was discovered he was dating the ARCM, Celeste Jimenez. He worked two levels under her in her chain of command.

  10. RT Excellence Says:

    “Solong Census”, as usual, gets it … the RT’s who worked at the Salinas operation were sent by Barcelo as SPIES. Sandra Ireheta came in to take over the AMA position, after the trigger-happy Barcelo fired the original AMA — who could work rings around both of them put together. Then came Salvador Ramirez, the ultimate hatchet-boy, whose judgements and moves have been “celebrated” here for weeks. Even the genial Rachell M. was a suck up to this horribly misplaced AM.

    The only training, support, and positive assistance came from a gentleman named Dale (the only good L.A. based RT ever seen in that office), but that stopped when he was removed and reassigned by Barcelo — likely due to the fact that he understood the role of a REGIONAL TECHNICIAN, and refused to play her games.

  11. Tellitlikeitis Says:

    r. Morse, The Commerce Dept sent two perm employees to work in the Decennila Oprations as RT’s in mBKLYN. One of them was given the position of LCOM. The perks still exists.

    The RT created more confusion and inflatade alot of the things happening at the LCO when they were assigned to cover managers position. They also did not know anything and had to be trained or spent all the time looking for manuals on the portal to read what we were suppose to do, not what they were suppose to do.

    Ms. Pranita, the ghetto conference calls were what some of us needed because it really proved she was on something other then red bull! and what more could we endure then a special session to really believe it was in our hands!!!!!

  12. Tellitlikeitis Says:

    >>>>hey what ever happened to proof read and edit b4 sending.

    Mr. Morse
    Decennial Operations

    sorry readers…I was in that moment…LOL

  13. Tellitlikeitis Says:

    There was an RT in Bklyn who’s background was EEO…they should’ve sent him to the RCC and replace the one they had sitting next to Partnership…he he he

  14. pranita veeria Says:

    @Tellitlikeitis…as if red bull were her only problem….what a waste of $100K. And that RT from Brooklyn who had EEO experience…he was as bad as the rest of them…a complete trouble maker who paraded as some cock-sure Caribbean who thought he was above reproach… MR “e-mail forward” who sat in the LCO’s with his two cell phones LOL

  15. Tellitlikeitis Says:

    Billions of dollars wasted on positions that have no accountability. Why RT if you have Area Managers. Why Quality Assurance if you have CCM, or vis versa.

    RT should already be experience employees of the Census and probably from HQ. They would probably be respected more given that they would be expected to already be knowledgeable and bipartisan to the LCO’s crap.

  16. Tellitlikeitis Says:

    Pranita Veeria…….you amaze me with your insights. Yeez, are you also referring to Area Managers multi-tasking two cellphones and a conference call?

  17. Peg Says:

    My experience is that the management structure of the Census, from the RT and up, is a system designed to micromanage the LCO staff (office and field) based on a belief that they are morons with no work ethic. That requires ‘spies’ – hence the position of RT.
    I have no way of knowing whether that approach has been effective in the past, but I think this census was quite different.
    By at least early 2008 RT’s, RM’s and above were already hired. By mid 2008 LCO AM’s were hired. By the fall of 08 the economy really tanked and many bright, capable and experienced people found themselves out of work. These people had a great work ethic and were no morons. The census started hiring to fill all positions below AM’s. And not only do you end up with a talent pool at the bottom of the ladder that is stronger than the talent pool managing them, you also have a management ‘system’ and belief that thwarts and punishes efficiency in getting the work/operation done accurately and efficiently.
    I have nothing good to say about census management – any of it. From the first the climate in my LCO, dictated by the RT and RM, was consistently demoralized and fearful. My mantra became ‘this is no way to run a business’. Will it change – can it?

  18. That guy Says:

    The RT in our office in my state’s capital was a wealth of knowledge and support. If your office got stuck with one that did not know their job, I am sorry for your luck. We would not have been able to complete most of the operations that we had to get done without his assistance. It is really a shame that all of you on this site had no problem taking your paycheck, but spend as much time belly-aching about your position as you did working for the BOC. McDonald’s is hiring. Maybe selling fries is more your speed….be careful…Ronald is watching.

  19. Tellitlikeitis Says:

    Mr. Morse…it would be interesting to read who would be voted “the Worst Area Manager” in each Region by your contributors.

  20. Tellitlikeitis Says:

    To That guy……you obviously were fortunate. Tell me by any chance did this person come from the DOC? and if not then he/she really did there homework to support the Area Manager or truly earn there pay … NYC was and is in a shamble because of the uselessness and incompetence of most RT. While I will admit there were some who wanted to help with change, but change was not part of the Area Managers agenda. So, those RT
    that found themselves without the support, let all the balls drop……

  21. Al Forteni Says:

    I nominate Araceli Barcelo of the LA Region. Unprofessional,managment by fear, can’t communicate, the little she does communicate she confuses everyone and then denies she said it. Her picture posted on My Two Census Community tells it all with a beer in her hand. Her management experience was working as a receptionist/secretary for a plastic surgeon who she stated was defrauding Medicare.

  22. RT Excellence Says:

    HERE’s a SECOND to the HONORABLE Mr. Forteni’s nomination of the DISHONORABLE, DESPICABLE Araceli Barcelo. I did not suffer the displeasure of working for her, but heard enough first hand stories from a close family member and others to EASILY cast my vote “FOR” her.

    She is a cuttroat who is out for nobody but HERSELF. I hope the investigation makes findings that bury her and her band of hatchet thugs, including Ramirez, Ireheta, and the shadowy character LeBlanc, as well as her “say what?” bosses Enos & Christy.

    And by the way, Christy … thanks for the notice on the “L.A. JOB FAIR”, over four hundred miles from this area. It was put in File 13 seconds after it was opened — yet another waste of taxpayer money by the Census Bureau. If you think it was a good PR move, you are MISTAKEN.

  23. pranita veeria Says:

    @ Tellitlikeitis……To followup on what you said…most times those “conference calls” were held with Area Managers who knows where…I guess the sound of traffic horns, dogs barking, water running etc etc kinda gave it away…then again, when you’re “ghetto” kinda understandable…ooopps, did I say that ??? LOL Nominations? I’m ready….

  24. BrooklynNEEnumerator Says:

    Hey tellitlikeitis:
    I laughed when you said the RTs should already be experience employees of the Census and probably from HQ because your Brooklyn RTs are actually from headquarters.

  25. Mr. Riding High Says:

    I applied for a job as a Admin RT only to be denied for lack of specialized skills, even though I worked in th Admin Department. Recently I was suprised to discover that our RCC had promoted a former supply clerk to an Admin RT. Were is the specialized skills in his application.

  26. Tellitlikeitis Says:

    BrooklynNEEnumerator definetly the one that became LCOM, and there’s one other in Bklyn South/Richmond.

    Pranita Veeria we have and had great people at the Census who rose from the ghetto, but this multi-tasking cellphone/conference call, tongue lashing, whip snapping, feet stomping wicked wish of Bklyn NE, NW, Central, oh and lets not forget 2224 (which by the way she through that AM under the bus) to take control…NEEDS TO GO!~!!!

    C’mon, we should know by now who this incredibly unprofessionally condoned to unethical behaviour by the ARCM is.

  27. pranita veeria Says:

    @ Tellitlikeitis…..Agreed on the ghetto…I’m from the projects in NY so I know all too well…she was known for throwing people under the bus…she was so far up the ARCM’s ass that she was out the other side. She had the nerve to “instruct” others on ethics, behavior, discipline etc…when she had more garbage going on than anyone..and that other Area Manager that was thrown under the bus..he was a jackass too…couldn’t manage a checkbook, let alone an Area

  28. Tom "Tomorrow" McMorrow Says:

    Stephen Robert Morse and Mr. Riding High,

    Not only are there not enough qualified people in America’s large city apparently there aren’t qualified LCO staff to be regional technicians. We all applied but were told we didn’t have the specialized skills.

    I thought you would be happy to know that there are four regional technicians in the Manhattan area. One of them just dozes off. The others are all former partnership specialists. Milagros Vicente, is the sister of media specialist Raul Vicente (the same guy who says that you can flirt with anybody except those in partnership those are his). And Beverly Alston was a partnership specialist who worked with Patricia Valle, the assistant regional census manager in the last decennial.

    I guess the specialized skills include being a deep sleeper and good ass kisser.

  29. NYC Says:

    I know of the RT who sleeps— he slept in FRONT of the entire group in training in AD CAN and kept doing so throughout!! He also had to do manager training a couple of days- these were days of constant dry humor (always putting down the census and pointing out the mistakes in the books) BUT he was probably the biggest “spy” and instigator of them all!! He had NO skills at all for anything- I know this for fact, getting a chance to speak at length with him!! His past experience in any work environment was lacking any professional level! He was VERY GOOD at making trouble for lots of people- talk about telling tales out of school!! Shameful that he was in that position!!

    To Tom: Manhattan started with 2 RT’s (one described above- the other isn’t even worth mentioning cause he was less than human- no intelligence- only games and BS) and the other two added late in the game were position keepers- former Partnership people (incidentally Partnership did NOTHING in NYC!!- TOTAL FAILURE and Farthing covers their backsides!) who must have kissed enough of anyone’s anything that they were “rewarded” with being kept on payroll- walking around making more trouble than they were worth…. If they couldn’t do their original job- one just wonders…..

  30. Stupid Regional Technician Says:

    The other RT is worth mentioning. Totally less than your typical Asian, no intelligence or tech skills. He was awful as a regional technician because he never fixed any computer problems. All the younger women in the office would flirt with him, but he didn’t have any game either.
    Instead he’s a regional technician. They hired him just to fill their EEO quota. He shames his family. If he was a real Asian guy he would actually have a career in technology and finance. Maybe if he actually ate some chicken and broccoli he would gain some brain cells.

  31. DMan Says:

    Looks to me that 90% of the complaints and posts on this thread (plus lots of other threads) are either from Los Angeles or New York.

    So if the Census Bureau hires people from the communities that it serves, it stands to reason that the LA & NY operations (including RTs) are completely FUBAR’ed.

  32. uptown Says:

    @Dman not really we are just bright enough to see a problem and care enough to want a change
    @peG It’s hard to determine if you are considering yourself as one of the great catches of 2009. I don’t know but insubordination comes to mind as not such a moralistic character trait.
    And yes I have had some good and bad encounters with RT’s, but I will say mostly good. At least the 2 that were in my office understood what Thumper meant when he said “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”
    ??? If an organization is so dysfunctional and you continue to stay, what does that say about you??

  33. AMFO Says:

    ONE WORD! Beatrice McKnight. Nashville and Murfreesboro TN LCO’s RT. This woman thinks that she some type of Dictator by trying to intimidate people into quiting their job. I let her know early that I could care less about her little game that she plays. Being retitrd military and former Army Ranger her little game of standing behind someone untill the crack wouldn’t work on me. this lady even asked me to be AMFO at LCO 2848. her amin goal was t5o try to get a permanent job with Vivian Roscoe at the Charolette NC. RCC. This lady actually thought it was funny to emotionally wreck some poor woman.She tries to be a control dictator who gets off on trying to makes people’s life miserable.

  34. seki Says:

    Dale had his own problems…

  35. DMan Says:

    @uptown – Apparently you’ve misconstrued what I wrote. What I was trying to convey is that the majority of the problems discussed here have been centered in NY & CA, with a sprinkling elsewhere in the country. To me it points to the people the US Census Bureau hired to manage those offices and the applicant pool available to them. No big surprise – poor quality applicant pool = poor quality managers. Not to lay it on thicker but I am not very surprised that NY & CA had as many problems as they do with the Census, neither state can run itself very well.

    Living in one of the fly-over states I have to laugh out loud when I read some of these posts – who knew that all those interpersonal skills honed in high school would be useful in the working (and I use that term loosely here) world !

    PS – keep flying over our states, you can have the coasts !

  36. techy Says:

    As a former AMT in Kentucky I can say we had some of the best AND some of the worst RTs. The best RT was made into an AM for another state and helped WHIP it into shape pretty fast. Unfortunatly her replacement was pretty much the stereotypical nightmare spoken about by other posters.

    He was literally nothing more than a spy for the AM for our state, and probably cost the Census more in time, money, effficency, and morale then the former RT helped SAVE during her time here.

  37. LCO-QUACK Says:

    Our RT’s were blatant spies at first, then they actually became somewhat useful. Most of them caused more problems than they had any clue of.

    “Partnership Specialist” wins hands down as the most stupid job, or the biggest waste of money, depends on how you want to look at it.

    2020, I’m thinking partnership or recruiting……

  38. GS-X Says:

    Uhm, it’s only a stereotype that Asians are smart and good at computers.
    They are not any smarter than anybody else.

    As a racist institution, the Census Bureau hired alot of Asian contractors.
    Hope you like your PBOCS with curry or soy sauce.

    Asians of different stripes have asked me for my computer code!

  39. KC Says:

    RE:”Some regional technicians are career census employees. This makes the entire Census Bureau look bad because if they are like this during the decennial it shows you the incompetency that is running this agency the other eight years.”

    As a Career Census Employee for over 25 years, I can say that in our Region the RT job is reserved for Supervisory Field Reps that have sucked up for the 10 years while there is no decennial census ongoing. They “play the game” i.e. treat field reps as unimportant underlings rather than respecting them for doing the majority of the work. I’m sure there are good RTs, but, the ones that I know have admitted to me that they have taken the jobs because they get an increase in hours and pay which in turn increases their annuities. They are not the “cream of the crop” of the Census Bureau. Those persons are rarely promoted. After all, who would do the work?

  40. JustAClerk Says:

    The Rt at my old office was awful. She hovered, harangued, annoyed and kept hitting on our AMFO –a really nice fella. “KC” makes a good point about Rts. Forget cream of the crop, more like chaff.

  41. the truth Says:

    If Praneeta, NYC, Stupid Regional Technician and tellitlikeitis or isn’t were RT’s, this would have never happened. Too bad they did not qualify.

  42. truthwillcomeout Says:

    We had the SAME bad experience with the RT at Palm Springs LCO, which is part of LA Regional. (Not LA again!) First the LCOM was fired, and then the new LCOM and the RT started in on the staff. New LCOM had been the Recruiting Mgr and had an enemies list, and with his RT-ally immediately went after the AMFO (a good guy) and some others. Between the two of them heads started to roll, and pretty quick everyone else was cowed into submission. One of the Crew Leaders (rarely in the office) asked me how come sometimes the tension at LCO could be cut with a knife, and sometimes everybody looked happy. Told him it was because sometimes the RT wasn’t in. She was actually kind of a nice person, but the RT stripes always came through. The new LCOM, however, was a real sh–. German, actually, and even though Germany started two world wars, I don’t want to make any ethnic slurs/comparisons. (Maybe I do, because Hitler always came to mind.) The temporary staff had some VERY smart people who had made it big in the business world before retiring or losing their jobs in the 2008-09 recession, and it was obvious to most of us at LCO that these two career Census losers could not make it very far in the real world. When things started to go south due to LCOM-RT screwups, they began looking around for scapegoats to promote to take the blame. What a guy! (and gal!)