Concensus on the Census

Posted on May 18, 2010

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I walked outside behind Hojo with a bowl of cereal in my hand. He said there was someone with the license plate “*****” in the alley. I decided to throw in asterisks instead of the real thing for the person’s protection. ‘Cause I’m thoughtful like that. We both thought it was really weird that someone would park in an alley that several vehicles pass up and down.

A woman walked into view past the fence and asked if we were the residents. I said yes. She said she is a census taker and needed to speak to the head of the household. Hojo passed the friggin’ baton to me and went in the house. Thanks.

D’oh! I forgot to mail it.

Merrily, I ran back in the house and handed her the one I’d filled out. She said she still had to ask the questions, the same ones I’d filled out as part of her job. Bummer! Oh, and before I forget, she said if the questions were not answered, the resident could be fined $100 per question. Really?!

Before she started asking the questions, I said to her, “is that your vehicle in the alley?”

“Yes, it is.” Smiling.

“I really don’t think that it’s legal for you to park in the alley like that, several vehicles pass up and down here all day.”

“Oh well, I honked when I parked.”

:-O What kind of response is that? Anyone who would have seen her parked there trying to get out of the alley would have been royally torked and wouldn’t have cared if she had honked when she’d parked. I politely answered all the questions and she went on her merry way. She actually honked on the way out of the alley.

Hojo was going out to his jeep to, uh, do something that I can’t remember. He stomped his way back in the house and showed me a “notice of visitation” that the census lady had apparently taped to his windshield. There’s 2-sided tape that is on the top and bottom of the back of the notices. “I’m gonna have to take a scraper to it.”

I went out to my car to take a look if there was one on mine too. There was. I raised the paper a little and the 2-sided tape stuck to the windshield, not coming off. I dug my fingernail under the tape and both pieces came off fairly easily for me. Hojo’s was a little less careful with his perhaps.

I saw on the notice that the lady had written her personal cell phone number as a contact and the number for the main office. I called the main office to ask if it was against protocol to put the notices on peoples’ vehicles. The first person I talked to transferred me to someone and that person thanked me for calling in and said that the notices are STRICTLY for doors. She said she’d inform the census taker’s supervisor.

So, I’m kind of wondering why the census taker didn’t bother to try the back door. There’s a fence that surrounds the yard, but neither of the dogs were out and the fence wasn’t locked at the time. She really didn’t have any excuse for not taking the proper steps to see if someone was home.

So, if you happen to get a census notice on your car, it’s not supposed to go there. FYI.

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