Saturday, November 7, 2009

Relax, I'm just here to take your census. It won't hurt a bit.

Picture it: Washington, DC, the year 2000. A 23 year-old nonprofit professional is singled out by a matronly census lady who asks deep, meaningful questions for hours on end really getting down to who this gal is and what she's all about. It would leave a lasting impression on this gal. It would make her wonder, "Do people actually get paid to do this?"

I called the Census Bureau FOREVER ago looking for a job. They said they would be hiring thousands of people to go door-to-door in their own neighborhoods to collect valuable census data. Regrettably, they would not be hiring for quite some time. They took my number and just yesterday called to tell me that I had been hand-selected to move on to the next level.

Okay, so I've only been asked to take their test. They probably ask everyone to take the test, but it made me feel special for a minute or two. I don't know what topics the test is going to cover, so I can't really study for it. But, here are some questions that I think they will ask. I'm just going to work out my answers as I go:
  1. Do you consider yourself a voyeur, as in someone who consumes large chunks of free time reading posts on facebook and every blog you can get your hands on? Most definitely.
  2. Do you have a strong command of the English language? Yes. I have been speaking it for 30+ years. Note to self: check with Mom to find out age when baby babble turned to actual words.
  3. Can you operate a computer? Yes! I am totally acing this test!
  4. Do you have a vehicle? Yes, I share it with my husband and will be able to use it whenever he doesn't need it for work. (He'll have an awesome job by then. Probably such an awesome job that we'll have several additional cars just for fun including one for our toddler and one for the cat.)
  5. Do you feel comfortable entering a complete stranger's house to probe them for hours on end bringing to surface emotional baggage such as failed marriages, drug abuse and poor family health histories? Uhhh. Hmmm. Come to think of it, after I was polled ten years ago, I proceeded to have a quarterlife crisis. I'm actually amazed I survived it. What if I ask a question that makes someone just lose it? What if I make headline news as the census taker who was fatally shot after probing too deep? But, on the flip side, what if this census taking propels me to stardom, launching my talk show career? I'd land the biggest celebs. I'd ask 'em the tough questions. And I'd probably get paid more than $11 an hour. Guess it's worth a try.

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