Monday, March 1, 2010

Lessons Learned while training to be a Census worker

Here are some of my thoughts about the four days I spent last week learning how to be a US Census Enumerator.

1) There are no points for over achievers, in fact, you may get 'called out' for going too far ahead.

2) Quickness of wrist and thumbs is a must. You will be quickly flipping through 10 manuals and map layout for training that is in no particular order.

3) Leave your sense of humor at home.

4) Although Census training is dry and rather boring, do not fall asleep in class.

5) When directions call for a #2 pencil, do not use a #1 pencil.

6) If you thought you knew how to read a map, please dump that knowledge and learn the U.S Governments way.

7) College degree? You may be over qualified for this assignment.

8) There is no room for common sense.

Oh, I don't mean to make it all bad, but it was quite dry and was a significant mind-set switch for me. My day jobs requires me to be innovative, a problem solver and think on my feet. The US Census Bureau has no appreciate for those skills. It was a bit humbling.

I did meet some nice folks and did my best to network and mingle (not always easy as I am quite the introvert at times). The week provided me with some time to myself which in my everyday life is a bit of a luxury. I was disappointed though....I had hoped my hotel room would have a bath tub as it's been ages since I've had a nice quiet, uninterrupted bubble bath...but it was not meant to be. My room had only a standing shower. It was clean though, so I'll take that.

Cheers, Jenni


  1. This was kind of hilarious. I'm not at all surprised. Also, I love the new Census campaign - they're trying to make it seem really fresh and hip!

  2. Yes, the new campaign is trying...operative word 'trying' to be fresh and hip! LOL

  3. Hey Jenni, you have such a great sense of humour, glad you were able to use it to get thru what sounds like a rather dull course.

    (remember that flooring :)

    My parents did the Brit census back in 1970, when they had 4 little kids at home, they needed the extra money but I do remember a mass of work, piles of extensive paper surveys and an agreement it wasn't worth it, all the extra work and very little reward financially.

    Hope your experience is better, regards, T.

    Love the new pieces too :)

    Thanks for the B.Day wishes :)