Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fools St. Stoopid Census Day

April Fools' Day is also United States Census Day, which sounds like a bad joke on someone's part. Where you are living on this particular date is supposed to be the address that you send to the United States government via snail mail.

My lowly clerk office job at the San Francisco East Census headquarters has certainly been instructive, principally teaching that a government office position is not ever going to be a sensible option for me. There's way too much stupidity mixed with rigidity, not to mention bureaucratic politics which are almost as grotesque to witness as the insane waste of paper documenting every possible contingency.

This week has been devoted to counting the economically wretched of San Francisco, at soup kitchens during the afternoon and homeless sleeping areas at night, all during three days of intermittent cold spring rain.

Many of the workers out in the field have been heroic, but I've been watching a cramped office becoming more Kafkaesque daily with each new mountain of paperwork. Happy St. Stoopid's Day.


AphotoAday said...

What you have described sounds similar to how the U.S. Army operates. I got drafted in '69, but they sent me to Germany so I could jockey a typewriter. Talk about "stupidity mixed with rigidity" -- oh man...

janinsanfran said...

I saw teams of your Census folks out in Golden Gate Park, searching for the homeless and much out of their element.


Greg said...

I had a Census job in college in 1990 (!), which consisted of me driving around rural parts of San Mateo County and places like Woodside, verifying homes listed as "empty" really were. Only once did I have some right wing nutbag threaten to shoot me, and 90% of the time I would just drive to real estate offices and find out they were empty, get a signature or something, and move on. It was a great summer job!

Unknown said...

Mike, the next time you sign up for one of these involved American civic activities, I want to come with you!