Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Walking Down Your Street

When I signed up to be a census enumerator, I was told the job would be over by May 15th. However, the area I've been working in was completely finished this morning. Everyone assigned to Crew Leader Tom was offered the chance to move to another area and continue working. I took them up on the offer, and today I was transferred to another Crew Leader in Jefferson County, a 45-minute drive to the south of me.

The work was the same, but different. I've been working in suburban subdivisions, with only a few houses on large acreage to visit. Jefferson County is predominantly rural, (although the area adjacent to Interstate 55 has the normal compliment of strip malls). There are a few arterial roads spreading out from the interstate, and a few small towns are tucked along those. That probably has something to do with the need for additional census workers there. My first assignment was close to the city of De Soto. I have NO knowledge of the area, except the large state roads that run through it. I relied on GPS and a bit of luck to get where I needed to go.

Tony had an open schedule today and asked if I wanted company. After checking with my supervisor to see if it was ok if he rode along he packed a pile of reading material in the car to amuse himself while I was busy. It was great having him with me. Some of the houses were miles apart, on fairly major roads with high-speed traffic. He drove me from residence to residence, where I got out and did my work, then got back in the car to be chauffeured to the next stop. Even when I was working in subdivisions that had houses on smaller lots, it was nice not to have to double back to get my car parked at the other end of the street; Tony drove ahead and was patiently waiting for me to arrive.

In the late afternoon, I had to attend a meeting at the library, which was located in downtown De Soto. The town has a compact shopping district spread up and down one side of Main Street (there were train tracks on the other side). Unfortunately there wasn't time to browse. After the meeting, I went back to do a bit more work before my stomach decided it was time for dinner. We stopped for burgers in the city of Festus. I drank water with dinner. A lot. The warm sunny weather really dried me out!

Tomorrow and Friday I get to do the whole thing again, but by myself. Should be interesting

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