Tuesday, May 18, 2010

All's Fair In Love And War

I only have a handful of housing units in my Census areas that I need to complete a questionnaire on.  I've made several visits to the houses, on different days and times, with no luck.  In training we learned that we could make personal visits and phone calls to gather information.  The problem was coming up with a phone number to call, so I took to the Internet for a bit of cyber-sleuthing, using publicly available information to gather basic details.

The only information I have available is the house address, but sometimes that's enough.  I started at the County Department of Revenue. Their Website lists the owner of all the properties in the county.  My next stop was a reverse telephone number lookup search directory. Anyone who has a phone number associated with an address is listed.  I was able to get information for half the houses.  (Since cell phone numbers aren't listed, I assume the others had dropped their land line.) I called each of the numbers and left messages asking them to call me.  I followed up with another phone call the next day, and was able to complete some of the forms.

The ones I couldn't contact by phone?  I'll keep trying.  The Census bureau wants everyone counted!


  1. You're such a detective! You could camp out on their front porch until they come home! :)

  2. Wow, you are persistent! We've filled ours out online. I don't understand why others don't want to be "counted" anyway. I seriously don't get why people get furious over a census. Anyway, good work to you! I have used that reverse phone number look up MANY times! Now I have some other tricks to try if I am trying to stalk/ oops I mean FIND someone! ;)

  3. Mandy's Life After 30--doing the census online wasn't even an option here. I hope that ten years from now it is, although it will mean less work for enumerators :-) If I need any more ideas, I'll know who to go to...

  4. You are building good skills for your next career, either detective or mystery writer.