Friday, September 2, 2011

Community Survey.

A census worker just knocked on my door.

I'm not one of those census protesters. On the contrary, last summer when we received the 2010 Census in the mail, I sent it back the next day. But this one is different. It's the American Community Survey, distributed by the Census Bureau.

It's mandatory, and I've ignored the three surveys they've sent me, and just sent away the worker who knocked on my door.

It was naptime, naturally. There are much better things to be doing during naptime than inviting a stranger into my home to answer personal questions.

I'm not a secretive person, nor do I have fear of the government. I don't conscientiously object to things or try to make much of a racket about anything in general. STILL, this survey is really, REALLY invasive.

You see, I filled out the survey months ago, and it took over an hour. I answered every question as faithfully as I could, but then couldn't send it back. It was almost too....degrading? I mean, did the Census Bureau turn into the IRS, along with a health insurance company and resume wrangler rolled all in one? Seriously?

To give you an example of the bizarre and invasive questions, here are some things that I am (apparently) required by law to answer:
What time do you leave for work in the morning? When do you get home? What is your annual income? What did you pay for your house? What do you pay for electric, heating, fuel, phone, etc? Which family members suffer from any one of these medical conditions? Where have you worked, what is your title, and what is the address of the places you've been employed at in the last five years?

Then it goes on to ask more questions about if you (or any listed family members) have difficulty getting to the toilet, and other odd issues.

The strangest thing yet is that it isn't even addressed to me, it's addressed to "Resident," which makes it seem all the more scammy. Trouble is, it's not. When the census worker asked for my name and phone number I had enough sense to politely tell him I wasn't comfortable with that, and he was on his way.

He'll be back though. And I still won't want to give him all of the information he wants. Hum. Perhaps I'll just need to reiterate back to him the function of the Census Bureau as defined by the Constitution and allow our household to be enumerated.

Ho hum. Not sure if I'm up for a fight with Big Brother, but at the very least I can be a bit uncooperative.

1 comment:

Erin said...

You are in trouble now. He will be back, they just don't quit!

During the 2010 Census we were still at our old house. Remember the house across the street from us that was for sale? The census man harassed me constantly about the status of that house! The owner couldn't get it sold, so she rented it out. New renters were moving in June 1st, she moved out end of April and her niece was there in between with her baby. I told the census man that the FIRST time he asked me about it. Multiple times a week he would be over there sniffing around (no one was ever there), and he'd always come and ask me what I knew. All the same questions. Every time. I kept repeating myself, and he'd ask me how old I thought the owner was, I wasn't going to offer any guesses, but that never stopped him from asking all these crazy questions. It was like he didn't believe me. I just kept thinking tax dollars well spent, this guy irritating the heck out of a mom with two small children.

Good luck.