Thursday, March 26, 2009

Enumerating. . .

It’s been a quiet writing month but The Ancient One has been busy. This week, for example, he began work for the U.S. Bureau of the Census as an “Enumerator” or should I say and “enumerator in training.” The 4 days of classroom work ended today and tomorrow is field training. If all goes well, the real enumerating begins on Monday.

At this point in the year before the decennial census, the enumerators count and confirm listings of housing units. To assist us in this process, we have been training on HHCs, which in English means Hand-Held Computers. They are marvelous little machines using cellular technology (I think) and they include GPS capabilities. We’ve been running exercises on them for 4 days and now we get to show that we know what we learned. Assignments for the blocks where I am responsible for “address canvassing” will be downloaded mysteriously to my HHC and off I will go. At least all enumerators are assigned to “crews” in the area where they live and don’t have to travel far and wide across the land.

The Ancient One has learned a lot this week. But he is very tired. It is the first time he has worked a full-time week since he retired in 2006. Yeah, there have been a couple of 12-14 hour days on TV shoots but they never add up to a week of full-time, detailed work. This may be the most tiring week because once the real job begins, it won’t be full-time and it will last only for about 12 weeks. By then, it is hoped that the nationwide army of enumerators will have every possible housing unit listed on computer-based maps to be used by the “people counters” during the actual census next year.

So, “Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it’s off to enumerating I go.” That’s just one reason there have been so few posts this month! The Ancient One will offer up additional comments on this new working experience in the weeks to come. Yawnnnnnnnn. . . And now to get some sleep.

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