Thursday, April 02, 2009

Census Training - Day Three

The third day is the charm. I do believe the Census training is finally starting to sink into this 67 year old head. Oh, make no mistake about it though. I’m still on overload. My head hurts at the end of the day. During one of the breaks I was talking to another fellow trainee and she told me she was having trouble sorting out the information overload also. Both of our heads are aching at the end of the day.

Our job is address canvassing. We will descend upon assigned neighborhoods (known as “AA” for “Assigned Addresses”) and verify the address and location in our HHC (Hand Held Computer.) We are to delete addresses that are no longer there. We are to add addresses that are not in our HHC but are before us as we walk our assigned block. We are to add streets that are not on our HHC. We are to identify living quarters either as HU (Housing Units) or OLQ (Other Living Quarters.) I won’t go into any more detail on this blog lest I give the reader the same headache that I carry home each day. But, suffice it to say, the job sounds very interesting and one that I will enjoy. I love getting out and tromping around neighborhoods now anyway. I’m also a member in good standing of FAG (Find a Grave) but this time I’m checking on the addresses of living people instead of those departed to the Great Beyond.

You’re probably wondering if the Old Biddy bothered me again yesterday. Yes, she did. All morning she was either fidgeting around with her purse, tapping her pen on the desk, talking under her breath, complaining that she wanted to go home (go home already), or looking to see what I was doing. She did just about anything except pay attention to the instructor. When the instructor would say to turn to a certain page in the handbook, Old Biddy would turn to me and say “What did she say?” Then she would dive in her purse and get another peanut butter cracker (she eats all day) and nibble on it. The instructor at one point told us to turn on our HHC (hand held computers.) Old Biddy says “What did she say?” I repeated the instructor’s remark. Then Old Biddy turns to me and shows me her HHC, which is in the process of turning on and says “Why is the Beach Ball running?” The “Beach Ball” is the new Windows version of the hour glass – to indicate that the computer is running – Old Biddy is very impatient – constantly complained that the HHC was too slow for her. I told her “I don’t know.” She gives me a stricken look like I should know. She asks me again and again I repeat “I don’t know. Ask the instructor.” She’s in semi-shock at my response. Apparently her version of “Meet a Guy at a Training Session” has always worked before. It’s not working this time honey. Back to for a new date missy. So she asks the instructor. Since we’re sitting in the front row, the instructor has been aware of what has been going on with Miss Ants in her Pants. She answered her question but it didn’t take to long before the instructor slapped her down. That happened later on when Old Biddy was talking and fidgeting and squirming again and the instructor turned to her and said “Polly, please!” Finally, Old Biddy settled down. The rest of the day she didn’t bother me. Thank you Jesus.

Today is our first day in the field. Our group is assigned to Lewes. Coincidentally, our assignment will be close to the hotel where work I work in Lewes. I saw the map of our area of responsibility. It includes my neighborhood as well as the area of my friend Big Bob, Harvey and even Wayne. Ironically it was my friend Wayne who clued me in on the availability of this job. How ironic that I will probably be address canvassing his Living Quarters.

My big challenge now, in addition to getting comfortable with the routine of address canvassing, is juggling my Census job with my job at the hotel. Our first day of work for the Census is scheduled for this Saturday. As luck (or unluck – is that word?) would have it I’m also scheduled to work at the Inn. My hours are 7 am to 3 pm. Perhaps I can squeeze three hours of work in after working at the Inn since both locations are in Lewes. The Census Bureau doesn’t want us working after dusk. That’s because it is easier to identify addresses and living quarters during the daylight hours than it is at night. One thing that I can see clearly now, this retiree (whatever happened to my retirement?) is going to be very busy the next two months. Ron’s Great Adventure continues! Without the Old Biddy!


  1. Anonymous9:31 AM

    LOL, you do have a way with words Ron. I can't stand people talking where they aren't suppose to especially if they try to make me a part of it. Meetings, church, movies, etc. It's such a sign of disrespect. "Old Biddy," sounds like she is either very needy or has a serious case of ADD

    You are going to have a lot on your plate especially with it being time for yard work too, but you will be getting lots of exercise anyway.

    Take care & stay safe!


  2. Anonymous8:06 AM

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  3. Valonia,

    Thank you very much for your generous comments on my blog. I enjoy writing it. I'm glad others enjoy it also. I have loved to write since I was a kid (long time ago.) Now I have an outlet for my writing urges. This is the footprint I leave behind. We all contribute something to life. This is my contribution.


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