Friday, May 07, 2010

Carsonist, Super Census Worker

I am just about the ideal census worker. It's supposed to take roughly an hour of labour per person interviewed*, and I've done ~35 residences in ~25 hours. This is a pretty big time savings**.

There's a (justified) concern at the Census bureau about keeping information private. PII, (Personally Identifiable Information, or something like that) is of enormous concern, and there's a 250.000$ fine and 5 years in jail for a Census worker that releases confidential information. I'm perfect at this because I don't care. Once I'm done writing down the information from one question, my brain is too busy asking the next question to remember anything about the previous one. If someone approached me after an interview and wanted to know what the respondents were like, I'd have to check the paper.

In fact, the only person I particularly remember at the moment was someone I was trying to interview about a neighboring domicile who gave me sass. I don't have any PII about that person to release, even if I wanted to.

My forgetfulness about the people I interview is helped by modern residential design, which is to make all houses look exactly the same. If someone was to show me a photo of a house I'd been to, I'd be completely unable to say whether I had been there. I'd jokingly ask if this place had a grill, because they all have a grill. I don't know what's up with that.

*This includes travel time, multiple attempts at contacts, etc. in addition to the interview itself, which averages to about ten minutes or so.
** I'm not payed on commission, so this is actually a bad work strategy for me. People have pointed out that there's no incentive to work fast, but my drive to get work done is purely instinctive.

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