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.

Posts Tagged ‘exams’

Uncle Sam Says: I Want You for the U.S. Census Bureau…errr…but not really…

Thursday, April 9th, 2009


In mid-February, I went undercover and sat for the exams to become a U.S. Census field worker and supervisor. I studied hard and passed both exams with flying colors. However, despite my perfect test scores, exemplary educational background, and advanced foreign language skills, I never received a call from the Bureau to even interview for any position. This was shocking, because some 6,000 people in the San Francisco area were hired to work for the Census Bureau. Without sounding cocky, were there really 6,000 people out there with perfect test scores and other qualifications equal to mine? Apparently so, even though the local Census Bureau employees I’ve dealt with have been sub-par, as one employee told me to lie about my address and the other employee couldn’t speak English!

But yesterday, I received a postcard in the mail from the Census Bureau’s regional headquarters in Seattle. The headline was, “New Management & Supervisor Jobs Are Opening Soon At The Census!” The body of the letter reads, “Our records indicate that you have passed the test for management and supervisory positions with the 2010 Census…” It then goes on to give me the name of the web site where I can search for job openings.

When I went to this site, there were only two positions open in the Bay Area. One was for an Office Manager position and the other was to be a Partnership Specialist. Now you may ask, “What the heck is a partnership specialist?” In this case, it is someone who has “the ability to develop relationships and productive partnership agreements with leaders in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender community.” Well, this is San Francisco, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find someone qualified…I know I’m surely capable.

But the problem I have with these jobs is that unlike other federal jobs which can easily be applied to online at USAJOBS.GOV, the Census Bureau requires applicants to mail a bulky application packet to Seattle, making the process of applying all-the-more difficult and tedious. This, my friends, is bureaucracy at work. More on this story coming soon!