the problem was i was placed in zone 5 when i should be in zone 4. the zone 4 census field supervisor i was assigned to is actually the zone 5 supervisor. because of that mix-up, i was sent to the zone 5 orientation in newton. not that it mattered, since the census enumerator orientation are all the same regardless where you attend. but that might explain why during the subsequent conference call later that afternoon, my name wasn't on the roster. my supervisor told me that when i didn't show up at the zone 4 orientation, they marked me as a no-show, therefore didn't assign any training to my census account.
to fix the problem requires transferring my info from the zone 5 manager to the zone 4 manager who in turn will contact the respective zone 4 field supervisor who will then call me to let me know i can finally start training. my zone 5 supervisor told me they'd call before 5pm once everything was straightened out. i just had to be patient.
these past few days of having to deal with the census makes me wonder if this isn't actually a secret test. evaluating my capacity to problem solve, my patience, my tenacity, my ability to follow the rules, or maybe think outside the box. am i being mister miyagi'ed? daniel-san, paint fence!
at one point i contacted my supervisor and asked her if there was any way i can remain in district 5, as i prefer to work locally instead of having to travel as far south as fall rivers for district 4 field work. she replied with a strange answer, said i would be assigned to district 4 but still work in cambridge.
getting close to 5pm i started getting nervous. would they really call me? would this problem actually get fixed before the weekend? with an eye on the clock and nearly 30 minutes before closing time, i grew frustrated enough to finally call the main census office in waltham. the people there are always nice, i've never had a problem calling the main office before. i explained my issue with the woman i spoke to (that i was in the wrong zone), who transferred me to another guy who could fix my problem. unfortunately he wasn't in at the time so i left a long message. i was surprised when he called me back. he understood my problem, said he wasn't the guy who could fix it but he knew the guy who could. he said he'd call me back. he sensed my hesitancy and told me not to worry, that they work until 6pm at the main office, as well as saturdays.
true to his word, he called back shortly afterwards, said the problem was fixed, that i'd be able to begin online training in about an hour. i asked him if i could do the training over the weekend or at night, since i know the census has different hour rates for those times. he said it was perfectly okay, that training hours has just one rate. he told who my new supervisor was, but i didn't have her number. "she will definitely call you," he told me. before i hung up, i told him i should've called him days ago, to resolve the problem, instead of waiting for my then supervisor to slowly find a fix.
minutes later my new supervisor called me. i knew she didn't do it out of her own volition because she called me on my personal phone, not my census phone, which is the only number my previous supervisor had to reach me. we introduced ourselves and she gave me the introduction i should've gotten days ago. like me, she also lived in cambridge. by that point i'd already figured something out: zone designations do not correspond to state congressional districts. it was entirely by pure coincidence that cambridge is in district 5 while newton in district 4, which i thought corresponded to zones 4 and 5. i confirmed this with my new supervisor. i also learned that the zone 4 orientation took place in the concord high school gym. she described what they did, using color coordination and separating people into groups of 5 so they can talk one-on-one with the various supervisors, it seemed a lot more organized than what took place in newton city hall. zone 4 is definitely the zone for me! afterwards i texted my new supervisor from my census phone so she could get that number.
about an hour later, when i rechecked the census employee portal, i saw that online training was now available. i contacted my old supervisor to let her know everything was working now. she wished me luck.
so it took me personally calling the main census office to finally get this problem resolved. honestly, i should've done this on wednesday, instead of waiting for my previous supervisor to resolve the issue, even though that's the prescribed method. i'm just glad it's finally fixed.
because i was awaiting word from my supervisor regarding my training status, i didn't dare go far today. at least i knew she wouldn't call me in the morning, so biked down to the fresh pond petsmart to get a new container of fish flakes ($4.49 1 oz.). i also checked out the fishes, but i'm trying to shut down my tank (or convert it back to an all vegetation tank), so i wasn't serious about buying any. i returned home by riding across danehy park. this would've been a great place to check out comet NEOWISE, if i wasn't worried about being here by myself in the evening.
for lunch i ate half a tub of the pasta salad i got from aldi's yesterday. it was good, but i think the one i make is even better.
for dinner i finished the rest of the pasta salad. the great thing about pasta salad is i feel full afterwards, i'm not tempted to snack. but it's not something i could eat everyday, especially if i want to lose weight. it is pasta after all.
i ended up doing an 1-1/2 worth of training, learned about the history of the census and the importance of data privacy and confidentiality through narrated slideshows. afterwards it gave me a quiz to test if i learned everything. i got a few questions wrong but i still passed. my new supervisor told me that because i was only now starting my online training, my capstone conference call wouldn't be until friday, while everyone else had theirs scheduled for tuesday. she said if i somehow completed all the training before then, i would be able to join "the rest of the class," but it's a rolling process, since more people get trained weekly, so whether i do it tuesday or friday, it's only a few days difference. regardless, i could work on the training over the weekend as long as i don't go over 8 hours per day.