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    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Worst Job Ever

    I have had many jobs. The one that goes down in the history book is this one: United States Census Bureau Enumerator. Yuck, even the name sounds bad.

    The job of the enumerator is to collect census info from the losers (you know who you are) that don't return their census forms. You are given a huge book with a million numbers including the addresses of those you need to collect from. You are given about 2 hours of political correctness training in how to correctly complete forms using information you gather from the aforementioned losers.

    I thought this job would be a piece of cake. What was I thinking? Let's just say that there were a few "normal" people that I encountered who had just forgotten to send it in. They were polite and took up very little of my time.

    Then came "the apartments". These buildings appeared to be nice enough. Not perfectly manicured, but ok. There were three floors and about 25 buildings with 12 apartments in each.

    As I knocked on the first apartment door, I was a little nervous as was always the case. You just never knew who was on the other side. As the door opened just a slight crack, I could see a young guy about 22 peeking out at me. I told him who I was and why I was there. He gave me a quizzical look but opened the door wide. He was tall and thin but looked harmless. I usually stood in the hallway and asked the questions but unfortunately this apartment got THE DREADED LONG FORM. This thing was over 32 pages long and took at least 45 minutes to complete. I decided that I was going to have to go in. As I entered, I could see that there was no furniture. Only 2 folding chairs that looked like they had been picked out of the garbage. Smack in the middle of the living room floor was an entire car engine. The 22 year old called out to someone that they had company. I wasn't ready for what I was about to meet. In walked a 6'8" young man who looked like he hadn't had a decent meal in months. As I scanned my way up to his face, my eyes stopped on the front of his shirt. It looked like he had used it for a plate. Everything this guy had eaten had at some time touched his shirt. Peering up to his face, I could see that his mouth was wide open and his bottom lip was hanging down. He had a constant line of his own drool that was making a pool on the shirt below. He stretched his long arm out and shook my hand as he offered me a seat. It was at this moment when I began rethinking the "he looks alright" thought. These guys looked sex starved now. I don't think that either of them had ever had a girl who had consented to their wishes and were thinking that their prayers had been answered. (Cue Duelin' Banjos from Deliverance). I decided to stay standing (I asked that they keep the door open) and tried to get them to answer my 32 pages of questions but realized that they were both mentally retarded and really didn't have a clue as to whether they had indoor plumbing (one of the questions on the long form, can you believe that crap? This is America. Don't we all have indoor plumbing? Sadly I found out that not everyone does). I completed the questions as best I could and went on my way.

    I got up early one Saturday and decided to try my luck. I knocked on a door that I had been to several times but had never caught up with the occupant. It was about 10:00am and I could hear someone moving around inside. I knocked again. More shuffling noises. As I reached to knock one last time, the door swung open. I was face to face with a small man who appeared to be about 60ish. He reeked of alcohol. I introduced myself and showed him my official badge. Out of nowhere came his fist flying toward my head. Luckily I was quick and ducked. He said, "I'm never gonna answer your mother fuckin' questions and you can't make me." He swung again and missed this time ending up on his arse. I called my supervisor and she told me that I had to go back and get the information no matter what. Yeah, right, like I'm going back to where an old man almost knocked my block off. I don't think so. I found out later that if I didn't gather the info, she had to do it. Guess what? She didn't do it either. She was a total BIATCH!

    There were always those elusive subjects. I tried for weeks to talk to someone in 3C to no avail. One day I was on the second floor and heard the door above. I ran to the steps to get up there and heard, "You mother fuckers ain't never gonna catch me!" and he ran down the opposite flight of stairs, out the door and into an awaiting car. I found out later that he was wanted on a murder charge and he thought I was the police.

    I do have to say that the nicest people were the foreigners who spoke little or no English. I would have to find a child to interpret. Even though they all believed that I was from Immigration, they always welcomed me into their homes. Usually a full meal and always a drink was offered. They were gracious and generous to someone that they thought was there to take them back to wherever they came from. It was pretty hard to try to explain (using a 5 year old as an interpreter) why I was there. These homes always had the damn long form.

    Looking back now I can't believe that I did that job. I really can't believe that my husband allowed me to do it. He said that there is no way to stop me once I have my mind set and he's right. I'm like a steam roller that way. Be it right or wrong, if I'm on track to do something, look out 'cause I'll roll you over if you get in my way.

    Moral to the story....if you don't want some crazy white lady showing up at your door in 2010, fill out your census form, loser!


    DZER said...

    oooh ... that does sound like one suck-ass job. I did interview some census folks during the last one, and they told me stories about raving, biting dogs, folks with guns, crazy people, etc.

    that was NOT a good job .... and beats my suckiest one by a mile LOL

    MamaKBear said...


    Beats my worst job too!

    SignGurl said...

    I could write a book about this. Every address was a new adventure.

    There was another time that I went to an apartment and the door was open. A young girl was standing near the door so I asked her where her parents were. She said, "My daddy's right there." as she pointed to the couch. On the couch was a completely naked fat guy. He jumped up off the couch, totally surprised with spit flying all over the place. I decided to wait on filling out the form.

    Needless to say, I won't be working for the federal government in 2010!

    ~Deb said...

    Jenn, this could have been a worse case scenerio. You really could have gotten yourself in a lot of trouble.

    This actually reminds me of a time when I used to deliver pizza for extra cash. I went to this 'hotel' that these guys were in, they were truckers from Texas, and very mangy looking. They said, "Oh come in." Stupid as I was back then, I stepped into a hotel room full of 5 men. 5 long bearded men with dirty flannels on. They said, "Here! Have some Tequila with us!"

    I did the shot. I also gave them their pizza for free----cause I wanted to get the heck outa' there! I did....

    BUT----can you imagine a girl who was about 20 yrs old, walking into a room full of 5 men who have been on the road for days upon days?

    Your story sent chills up my spine. Thank God everything went okay!


    SignGurl said...

    Deb I have decided that angels walk with you. You have been so lucky so many times! Glad you are here to talk about it!