Monday, March 30, 2009


I forgot to tell you that I got a job! It's quite temporary, though. I'm going to be an Enumerator for this year's portion of the 2010 Census. It had been so long since I'd taken the test I'd forgotten about it, and was completely surprised when I received a call about two weeks ago asking if I was still interested. Of course I said yes.

The first job requirement is a week-long training session, which started today. The training location is convenient-only four miles from my house. I left the house at the same time I usually do, but traveled in the opposite direction to get to the training facility. After a bit of confusion finding the correct parking lot, I made it into the building and joined approximately a dozen other trainees.

The Census department takes its responsibilities seriously. Before I was offered a job, I had to take (and pass) a screening test and a background check. Today we were fingerprinted. We had to sign forms agreeing to keep census information confidential, and then stand and take an oath of office stating the same thing. Anyone who does reveal personal information is subject to a jail term, a fine, or both.

The role of an Enumerator is to verify addresses to insure that every housing unit receives a census questionnaire in 2010. Unlike in previous censuses, there's no pencil and paper involved. After the paperwork was all completed and signed, each Enumerator was issued a hand-held computer equipped with GPS to use in our work. We also received a badge and a canvas bag with the Census Bureau's name and logo that will help identify us when we're on the streets.

The real work will start next week, after we're trained, and will last about eight weeks. Until then I have many more hours of training. There's a thick manual to go through, and homework most evenings. There's even a final test to complete before we can be official.


  1. Congrats on the Census position...I tried to get one but they wanted people who spoke Hmong. Can't wait to hear more about it in upcoming posts!

  2. Congrats - carry an umbrella to snap open at dogs that are not nice.

  3. This is not really a comment...but I love the word enumeration.

  4. Jackie, where do people who speak Hmong come from? Your area must have a concentration of them.

    Lover of Life, I'll have to remember that suggestion, and add an umbrella to my case.

    Sydney, you're right. Enumeration is a much cooler word than Lister, which is the alternate name for the job!

  5. That actually sounds pretty cool! Congrats!