Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Census calls and visits....WILL THEY STOP??

After much contemplation, I finally did fill out the Census Report and sent it in on time.
Fine, I thought that was it. I think I withheld one thing and, frankly, I can't remember what it was, but most of it was sent in.

I just got my fifth call since my Mother's Day weekend's two visits to my home by two separate census workers. I told the first worker who came to my door "they aren't home" (that felt rather good) and, to the other, I said "You know, it's Mother's Day and I have guests, please come back if you have to, but I DID fill it out and send it in. " He said "OH, they must not have SCANNED it...we need you to do it again." grrr

I put off the first four census worker callers with "No, they're not here, please call back", when asked if they could speak to ...ME. Today, I figured, I am tired of the calls, I'll just answer the girl on the phone's questions. When we first started, I said "I think asking my race is wrong..." She very quickly said "Fine! I'll just report that you're not responding.." But, I told her to go on and I answered, and I thought that was that, I'm finally done with this thing.

Almost an hour later, a man called and asked for Mr. Z. He said he was with the census and that someone from the census had spoken to Mr. Z a few days ago. I told him Mr. Z had passed away in October. He was obviously surprised and said he was sorry. I said "You know, I've had two workers come to the door and I've had five callers, when is this going to STOP?" He very angrily said "If you're going to be like that, fine, I'll just report that you're not willing to respond.' I said "Wait a minute! I DID respond, first when I DID fill the form out and sent it in on TIME, and then, not an hour ago, to a woman on the phone....I told her I'd already filled it out and sent it in but she said all she had was my name (then how'd she call me?) so I went ahead and gave her all the answers! WHY are YOU calling me now?"

He then said "OH, my gosh, I'm sorry.....I'm also sorry about your husband and, you know, I don't like how they're running this thing; everyone's TRADING NAMES WITH EVERYBODY ELSE AND DOING THE SAME WORK MORE THAN ONE TIME. I apologize for that, from me and the GOVERNMENT."

You know, I wonder about the census department just giving as many hours of work as possible to people out of work? Andrew Breitbart reported that he's had undercover people working as census employees saying to the officials "I only worked four hours, I thought you promised eight hours of work today" and the bosses have said, more than once, "Just write down eight hours..nobody cares."

Is that what's happening? Can we do no better than this? And is THIS how we'll handle HEALTH CARE BY THE GOVERNMENT? I sent mine in on time and I get all of this hassle, all of these extra hours of people on the phone and coming to my house? Can't they be computerized and, once you've answered, you're ticked off the list? (instead of JUST TICKED OFF?)

What is GOING ON? Do you have any stories like mine??



LASunsett said...

Well....needless to say, that's another fine example of government incompetence. This is what guys like Ducky think is the answer to our problems. Census taking, the ACORN way.

God only knows how many times you will be counted. By the the time they get done, Los Angeles will be the most populous city on earth with 100 million people.

Government math in action. Left hand knows not what the right is doing. So be prepared, and get your checkbooks out.

Always On Watch said...

Interesting that you're being hassled, Z.

I haven't had any such problem.

I sent in my census (short form) and never heard anything more from the Census Bureau.

And you got an apology from one of the census workers? Quite the apology, in fact.

I do suspect that the government is padding the pockets of census takers.

JINGOIST said...

Amazing. Z, I've spoken to these people FOUR different times. Months agao a census worker came into the neighborhood and asked questions about me and the rest of the immediate neighbors. "who" and "how many" type of questions and he wrote everything down.

Then I got the census form and filled in three of the questions and sent it back in immediately.

I've gotten two subsequent vistits from polite but insistent workers who AREN'T going to get any more answers!

Angel, did you hear how the Census Bureau is churning workers to inflate the employment figures?

Craig and Heather said...

My husband sent in the paper we were given but didn't have enough room to finish the info about one of our children. So he figured we'd get a call about that.

First one came on a sunday. Caller ID indicated Census but no one responded when DH answered. So,he hung up and I got several calls over the next couple weeks as workers kept asking if the one who filled out the paper was available.

I told them when they could catch "the one who filled out the papers" and the worker always politely said (s)he would make a note to call at the time I gave but the next call would be from a different person and in the middle of the day.

I started telling them "You're people have called me x number of times and said they'd call back when I told them to, he isn't home this time of day." They'd apologize. Eventually, one of the operators (the one who had tons of background noise on her end) determined she wanted to talk to I answered her questions. Not sure why the other workers didn't think of this...

We haven't been bothered since.

The disorganization was annoying, but I couldn't quite get angry with the workers.


DaBlade said...

Wow. I can't top that Z. I have a quick story though... I was doing some drywall work at my inlaws when doorbell rang. It was a census worker. I listened to the questions from a ladder in an adjacent room. I heard my mother-in-law tell her they were in Florida over winter until recently and that they never received the form. So the worker started asking the standard "who was living here in April" questions.

I thought it would be funny to mess with the census lady, so I climbed down from the ladder and approaced the front door. I have dark skintone and I was in holy jeans and had drywall dust all over my face and hair. I loudly shouted to my father-in-law(in a horrible accent) "Excuse me senior, my hombres and I are taking a break now in our rooms downstairs." I walked away leaving him to explain this to the worker. I think he has since forgiven me.

Craig and Heather said...

"You're people have called me

actually, I know how to spell "your"


Opus #6 said...

Z, you are stimulating the economy by giving these people work. Bless you. ;-)

Z-man said...

It is because of stories like this that I sent my census form in as early as possible, I think practically the next day or two. The thought of some Peter-Principled bureaucrats coming to my door was just too HORRIFYING.

Brooke said...

I've had several visits.

The waste going on here is egregious, and so too is the invasion of privacy by this gov't.

Anonymous said...

Z, this government is useless nowadays. I cannot imagine why they are so useless suffice to say they do not care nor do they care about what kind of a job they do, do.

And yes, they messed with me. I filled out the census in January. I received three more up to April, two I ripped up and threw away. The third one I wrote on it:

"What in the hell are you doing? Are you trying to defraud this census since this is the fourth one I received? I threw out two and this one is coming back with these two words: "STOP IT!""

I swear they are all sick in the D.C. area. No wonder they call this the "Dirty Beltway." I have a few choice words for them, but I will refrain myself.

I get livid when I read these things. So stupid, just so stupid!!!

xo Layla

FrogBurger said...

I didn't have to deal with it this time as our landlord is supposed to do that for us. But I've heard (haven't checked) that the census goons can ask the landlord to show where we live without notice.

Z said...

LASUNSETT...look down at Layla's're so right in saying "God knows how many times you will be counted" is another excellent point and very scary, of course. Of course, if I were a minority, I'd probably be counted a LOT MORE :-)

Always: I think so, too.

Jingo........imagine having a president who thinks 90% of 'new jobs' being government jobs is a good idea and helping the economy in the long run!? WOW

Heather...No, we can't be angry with the workers (except, mine were quite rude)and the disorganization is appalling.

DaBlade, you CRACK ME UP! Great story!

Opus..Ah, shucks, it's nothin' (smile)

Z-Man...and Brooke...I don't get WHY it's ME they want so badly!

Layla's right...I do believe they're counting people more than once.

FrogBurger...there's an aspect I have never heard; You got a form but your LANDLORD is responsible? ARE YOU SURE??

frogBurger said...

Yes because it's a house extension. so it's the same address.

Craig and Heather said...

I do believe they're counting people more than once.

What would be the purpose of that?


Karen Howes said...

Oh wow, Z.. Yup if this is how competently gubmint handles the census, can you imagine how they'll run nationalized/socialized health care?

Faith said...

Can't we sue the government over this sort of thing, this waste of our tax money, this unnecessary intrusion? Nobody's bugged me about the census but obviously they've been bothering enough people to be seriously out of order.

Z said...

FB..I see, thanks...kind of makes sense! Did you get an individual form, or do you live in a house that belongs to one owner and he reports that way?

Karen, imagine? you see in TV ads they were running, it basically says "Make sure you turn in the form so we can best represent YOU" for instance, here in LA, they had radio ads about how bad the bus system was (which it's not)...implying that if you fill out the census, they'll be fixing that for you, MORE buses, MORE routes ....I'd venture a guess that 70% our buses are frequented by minorities....and, by the way, only about 20% full when I look inside. See what I mean?

Z said...

Faith, I had that exact thought.

Breitbart is again investigating...there's the story about the census worker mole who complained about hours and they told him 'just write in anything you want...we'll pay you'...
if there's enough of that on video, we just might be able to see.
But, I think you can't sue the gov't, can you?

frogBurger said...

Didn't get a form. A form is by address or unit. We don't have a different unit or address.

Faith said...

Well, if we can't sue what can we do? "Redress of grievances" has to mean something.

Craig and Heather said... you see in TV ads they were running, it basically says "Make sure you turn in the form so we can best represent YOU" for instance, here in LA, they had radio ads about how bad the bus system was (which it's not)...implying that if you fill out the census, they'll be fixing that for you, MORE buses, MORE routes ....I'd venture a guess that 70% our buses are frequented by minorities....and, by the way, only about 20% full when I look inside. See what I mean?

Ah. I live under a rock and don't recall hearing any ads but think I understand what you're saying.

That's an option I'd not considered.

My two thoughts were the mega-paranoid "oh, man, they're trying to make us look overpopulated so they can push an 'eco-friendly' population control agenda via socialized health care" and the somewhat more rational "these people seem to have no idea what they are doing"


Anonymous said...

Z, I wouldn't answer anyone over the phone. You can't verify ID of the caller. You don't know who it is and I'd tell them that.

It was reported on Fox, that there are a number of screw ups going on. Counting people more than once, and a whistle blower has said she was fired after working only a few hours, and re-hired.

This seems to be a pattern. Who knows why. To jack up employment numbers? Probably, IMO.

No one has visited us or called.


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I don't "do" the census. Never sent it in. My gate is locked; no one can even get to the door. I screen all my phone calls and, FURTHER, I KNOW who is calling from what number.

They can "report" me all they wish.

And no, no one has called or knocked, that I am aware.

Read the news. The census is ALREADY CORRUPT.


Deborah on the Bayside said...

Mr. B filled out the form completely and put it back in the mail the day it arrived! Six weeks later we got a second form as a "reminder." My mom filled out hers later. But, again, about 6 weeks later a "reminder" card comes in the mail. Wish I could take a poll to see if there is a difference in pushing the count more, less, or about the same in districts whose congressman has a "D" after his name. Just a hunch.

Several years ago the LA County registrar did not get absentee ballots in the mail timely - I mean, weeks off, and too late for the election. But it was spotty. I knew several people got theirs and several who didn't. We kind of fell into two groups - 1) those who did (democrats) and 2) those who didn't (republicans). Of course when we went in person to vote we had to have the trouble of a provisional ballot since we were on the absentee list. I've never voted absentee again.

Food for thought.

Always On Watch said...

I'm amazed that so many are being harassed by the census takers.

But I shouldn't be amazed. This particular administration is so damned incompetent.

Z said...


Deborah's right...I've been getting information that they're rife with problems.
Remember the Bush/Gore election? Plenty of soldiers' ballots didn't get included and we know most of them aren't Democrats.
I remember Gov Rendell wasn't at all in the least worried that his PA soldiers' ballots weren't counted...he used some loathsome line that sounded acceptable but surely was not.

I have to remember to blog in late October NOT TO VOTE ABSENTEE...

Pris, if the questions were only a slight more intrusive I'd never have answered on the it is, I did tell the woman who called just before the man that I had no way of knowing who she really was ...
I mean, one only has to stand on my street for a day and see I'm here, I'm white, and who the heck DOESN"T have a mortgage!?:-)

BZ..super, YOU don't even DO IT and you get no calls or people at your door? $&*(#$&(@# geeeZ

Z said...

My sis today on the phone said "You're being harassed, you should write a letter!"

imagine how effective THAT would be!!!!!!???

Faith said...

I have to vote absentee. I can't stand that long in line.

Z said...

Faith, at least I know you'll VOTE!

Anonymous said...

Z, I have a relative who voted for Giuliani absentee, before he dropped out of course. I wonder how many there were like her.

My reason for disapproval of absentee ballots is, now, they're passed out like candy. It's an invitation for fraud. At one time you had to go to the post office to get one.

I agree with your sis Z. You are being harassed.


Z said...

But, Pris, what to do about that??

Anonymous said...

Hi Z,
About being harassed? I don't know, maybe call the census bureau and report it, telling them you sent in your census form weeks ago, and you're being harassed. Maybe ask should you have your lawyer call them? Or tell them you'll call the police.

If they keep coming back, I think maybe calling the police wouldn't be a bad idea. Let's face it, you don't know who these people are.

It's upsetting and shouldn't be happening.


MK said...

Last i heard, the best thing to do is give them what your constitution asks for and that's it. Snarky Bastard did this and he ain't got any calls from anyone.

MK said...

If all else fails, tell them you're a gay muslim who knows people in the media and they'll run for cover.

Z said...

MK, that's hilarious!!

And, re the CONSTITUTION, it's odd you should say that. The only people who've stopped being harassed have mentioned on various blogs, etc., that they did just that and never heard anything back.
THAT's kind of scary, too. Does the training include that advice "If they mention the (dreaded) for the hills!"?

Anonymous said...

I have received 4 visits by 4 different census workers asking about my neighbor(who never turned his in). I told them as much as I knew about him and they asked for our landlords phone number so they could verify the info. Don't they relay the info to each other? I work nights and I am done being bothered at 10am with questions that don't pertain to me. I called the field office already to report the harrassment. When is this going to stop?

Anonymous said...

Wow! I filled in my form and sent in the next day. Then I started get phone messages to call the census board with my case number. First call gets a line that sounds like a jet engine, so I can get the person on the other side to hear what I am saying. I try again. 2nd call gets more noise and now I can't here what she is saying. So I give up, because the whole thing is looking more and more suspicious.

They keep calling and leaving messages. I eventually get fed up and call in. The guy on the other side checks my name and asks if I stay at address X. I say no. He says, that my information is wrong and that a agent will call me. So I take the next call from a lady. I tell her that I the whole thing seems highly suspicious, especially in an environment where we are constantly warned about scams and phishing threats. But, I say that I will answer questions I feel are OK. She agrees.

She asks, how many people were in your house on census day? I say 3. She asks, were any of them away? I say no 3 were in the house. She asks were any of them in a hotel, or something similar. I say no 3 people were in the house. This line of questioning just keeps on an on. The same question worded in umpteen different ways.

By this time, I am really tempted to get mean with this lady, by asking what part of 'there were 3 people in my house,' don't you understand? But, she was only doing her job..... (sigh).

Two days later, I get another call! Aaaarrrggghhh! "Hello," it says, "We want to make sure that our census is the most accurate ever and we want you to........!" I lost it and said; "I've filled in your forms. I've phoned in. I've had one of your operators validate its accuracy! I've done my duty! Good bye!"

Two days later, AaaaaaaarrrrrgggggHHHHH!!!!!

Last seen jumping off a cliff.






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Anonymous said...

I have been visited by Census workers twice, and received 7 phone calls to date. Each time I repeat that I already gave answers to every single question on the form, but they insist on running through the very same questions. When will this complete waste of tax dollars stop?!!!

Anonymous said...

I had a census person come by about 5 times. The last time she came by tonight. My poor mother who is in the house by herself and doesn't answer the phone was frightened. The census worker pounded, I mean literally beat on the door for about 15 minutes like the police. She then started pounding on the sliding door and the kitchen window. My mother was so scared almost gave her a heart attack. All of the neighbors witnessed this and couldn't believe she was pounding on the windows and sliding doors. She left information that she slid through the door. Who can I contact to complain as this is unnecessary and getting ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

You do realize the only reason that you continually hear from these people is because you continually lie to them and avoid them and that if you would just sit down and answer a few simple questions it would be over and done with?
I work for the Census Bureau and it's unbelievable the brusque and rude attitude that people have about a simple set of 10 questions, that's why you get such attitude back BTW. When you have to listen to people snap at you all day about how they FILLED out the Census and slam the phone down on you it kind of ruins your attitude. But really the situation comes when someone withholds a piece of information, or lies, or fills it out wrong, or the scanner can't read their handwriting and we're missing something. Some little missing piece of information and we have to contact them, always to be met with the most unbelievable wall of outrage and cynicism that we would DARE bother them to take an accurate census. People really need to get over themselves and stop acting like being asked for 10 minutes to verify a census that is taken once every 10 years is so terrible.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if you so-called Census workers would stop violating Article One, Section Two of the U.S. Constitution as well as everyones Fifth Amendment right to PRIVACY, people wouldn't be giving you said attitude.

I understand some people need extra money or need just plain work but the way the Census functions is laughable and equivalent to a third grader supervising kindergarteners on a playground. The only reason they want the NINE VOLUNTARY out of ten questions so bad is so they can keep up with the status quo of power in Congress. There is no other reason for it. This way they do what they have to do to stay in continuous power for thirty years or when they get a representative that they dont like but cant get un-elected, they use the census info to try and shift districts to eliminate them that way or simply use the "lack" of numbers to also eliminate their spot.

You should be COUNTED and nothing more. Again, Article One, Section Two.

tired of this said...

For us it has now been 4 times. I mailed the form in the first day we were allowed to, then a month later someone came to the door. We gave the same answers.Then another person came and another. All they need to know is the count, nothing more. So that's all they get. I personally think they are trying to over count. What a mess. Not a surprise from this government that does not honor or understand the US Constitution. It has now become an invasion of privacy. Good grief! By the way, I never, ever had this kind of trouble with the census in the past, so there is something screwy going on.

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