How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Census
So I may have been a bit tardy in returning my Census form for a few reasons. First of all, like many San Franciscans, I live in co-op housing which means there is no real head of household, just a few professionals squished into a two-story (three if you count the illegal unit in the basement but let's not talk about that). In a city where a cramped studio in crack central will run you $1200, it's kind of a must. Second of all, I've been busy. Thirdly, I wanted to be morally opposed to the Census because it felt like the right thing to do and hoped I could slip through this year just as I may have accidentally slipped through ten years ago when I was 19.
Being the shit-disturber that I am, I wondered who was obligated to fill out the form. Me because I'm the most politically aware? My landlord because he's the one who collects rent? My transient Danish roommate who was only in the city until her euros ran out?
So the form sat on our kitchen table for weeks. And then the note appeared on the door. I knew it was only a matter of time until a Census worker appeared banging down our door demanding to know how many of us were stashed in my place and somehow also knew that it would likely be me who got cornered as I tend to spend mornings lazily flipping through the news and letting my cat sun herself on the porch.
After avoiding her twice, she finally got me coming home after picking my son up from school and we were forced to go through the list... did I know my roommate's birthday? Well no. We're Facebook friends but I sure as hell wasn't going to run upstairs and look it up. Did I know my other roommate's last name? Maybe but darn, it just wasn't coming to me. And the European? She didn't count so let's not even bring her up.
Turns out my friendly Census worker lives in my neighborhood. Now I see her just about every day, give a friendly "Hey!" and she returns it with a "Hi, Adrienne!" and though it's kind of creepy, I'd much rather a local in my hood be pulling in $22 an hour to gather the info than, say, some degenerate sexual predator or criminal who can't possibly find gainful employment anywhere else. It could be a lot worse and we all know being a Census worker in such a tumultuous time in America's history can't be an easy gig.
So I don't care. The government already knows my birthday. They probably already know my phone number. Hell, they definitely know my e-mail as they've found this website and stop by every now and then (you didn't know the White House IP is tagged? Oh it is) so who cares?
So stop being paranoid and next time a Census worker stops by your house, why not offer them some brownies? This is California, after all.