Thursday, May 20, 2010

Night and the Census

As a semi-professional enumerator in this decennial census, my job is get out and get people counted.  These people tend to be all sorts of places least of which is home.   

In terms of being counted, New York City is a different beast as it is all about walls and buzzers and mistrust and privacy and "if you ain't delivering Chinese or pizza I gonna shoot ya." 

I go by in the day and early evening, but New Yorkers, if they are home tend to be home around 9pm.  This is when to catch this rarest of beasts, the at home New Yorker. Then you have to get them to let you in. 

This is where my seductive buzzer dance and giving good intercom comes in.  I flash my badge and my #2 pencil and soon you tell me if you are Hispanic or not.  You tell me your gender and we've just met.  You tell me if you rent or own - something every New Yorker seems to ask anyway.   And I keep it all private. Your race is just between you and me, buddy.

I have to say people (who answer) are really nice and it is such a joy to get out there and work. 

I want to count all of you!

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