Monday, May 18, 2009

Make Work Project?

Today my doorbell rang.

I answered it.

A man at the door identified himself as working for the U.S. Census Bureau. He said he was driving around and when he saw a house he would write down the address. He was to ring the doorbell and see if anyone indeed lived in the house and the person has to say what the address of the house is. I guess that is as an oral verfication of what he saw on the mailbox for the house number and the street name as seen on the street sign.

I asked if he was going to ask me questions about who lived there and so forth.

He said no. That all his job was, was to see a house and write down the address and say the address exists, and to knock on the door and see if he could get a verification from the homeowner that the house is that address to verify it does exist.

He said later, I'd receive the 2010 census questionairre.

He handed me a paper with information to encourage me to fill out the forms when the arrive, and said goodbye.

The whole thing seemed like a waste of time to me. There must be some logic to this. Or perhaps this is a make work project with federal tax dollars to help stimulate the economy? Is President Obama behind this? I have never had anyone do this to the homes I've lived in before.

One issue is that he was working in the daytime on a weekday when many people in my town are away from home, working at their jobs. I wonder what he is to do if he knocks on a door and no one answers? What happens if he sees a house but no one is home, does that address exist or not?

Why in the world would he have to get an oral verification of the address anyway?

The whole thing seemed odd to me.

I wonder if this is being done all across America? If so I wonder what it costs to pay these employees?


My Boys' Teacher said...

That sounds kinda fishy to a scam to see if people are home before they rob their houses. Maybe the police should be told?

My Boys' Teacher said...

This was on snopes...not quite the same but food for thought:

My Boys' Teacher said...'s worse than's ACORN!

christinemm said...

I feel this was legitimate.


What was done is called "address canvassing" and is a legitimate job for the 2010 census on the offical website for the 2010 census.

The field worker had an ID tag on his person.

The field worker's care had a big ID tag on the car's dashboard.

The paperwork given to me has the official logo of the 2010 Census and looks official.

Here is a link to a FAQ page on the Census site.**&p_li=&p_topview=1

christinemm said...

I also just found the date timeline of when address canvassing is being done and it correlates to the visit to my door.

It is here.

christinemm said...

Schedule of door to door vists with smaller URL is here.

Sunder said...

They did this in my neighborhood (and I've had it done before, but I think they only do it every so many years), but, they did not need to do a verbal verification, nor have I ever had them do that maybe that part is new? I live in Nevada and who knows, it could be different here, but it sounds dumb to do a verbal verification - are you extremly rural?

Crimson Wife said...

There was a flyer at my local library back last fall advertising this type of job. IIRC it paid more than double the CA minimum wage. I remember thinking at the time that with all the people out of work that the government could've paid a much lower wage and still filled those positions.

Rebecca Martin said...

Someone stopped at my house and basically did the same thing. The person had identification and a sign hanging on his window saying 2010 Census or something of that sort. He gave me an official census paper, which just talked about the census.