this morning i figured out the pattern of my life for the next few weeks: 8 hours of work, 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of free time. that's probably the normal pattern for a lot of people, expect if they have to commute, it could be 10+ hours of work and just 6 hours of free time. it's hard to appreciate your free time until life starts encroaching on it. i woke up at 9am this morning just so i had 4 hours of free time before i had to start my census work at 1pm.

i didn't do much, taking comfort in not doing anything since there'd be much to do once work began. i did bike down to the porter square star market to get some fried chicken and ice cream, both on sale. for lunch i ate a chicken salad bagel sandwich and made myself a smoothie to use up the overripe bananas i had to put in the fridge to protect them from fruit flies.

i took a shower, got dressed, then headed out by 1pm. i went via bicycle today, for the first half at least. a few of my early cases took me around union square, and walking that distance would waste too much time. i wore the same grey hiking pants from yesterday, but wore a navy polo shirt instead of the white one. it was still hot though, and i debated whether to put on the sunblock, but thick clouds were rolling, and spotted thunderstorms were in the forecast, so i figured the clouds would give me some cover.

enumerating for the census gives me the opportunity to visit nearby neighborhoods i wouldn't normally visit. i've seen some really beautiful houses, and seen some really dumpy ones as well.

a good night sleep got rid of most of my back and feet pains. there was a cool breeze last night, perfect sleep conditions. i think my body just needed time to adjust, it didn't hurt as much today, just maybe my shoulder, because of the bag strap.

checking a few cases near market basket, i took a quick stop instead to get a bottle of cold ginger ale, as my water supply had ran out. i was tired at that point, but i powered through and worked another hour before returning home briefly at 4:10pm for my 30 minute break. used the bathroom, took a shower, replenished my fluids, then i was out by 4:40pm.

for the second half of my census work, i decided to walk as all the cases were closer. there was a bug in the census app and it wouldn't accept a case where the respondents were in-movers (that's census jargon for somebody who moved into a house after april 1st) but didn't know whether or not the house they moved in was previously vacant or occupied. i contacted my supervisor, we tried to troubleshoot the problem with the training app, which was doing the exact same thing. finally we decided to skip it.

i spent a long time trying to enumerate a house that had partial vacancies but was also on a street corner with it's own private street so it had 3 different addresses depending on which direct you were facing. it was a real headache trying to figure out if people were home, broken doorbells, and trying to find proxies to vouch for apartment vacancies. i hope i don't get reassigned those cases.

i also managed to get into another apartment building that was supposed to be locked but the front door was partially open. it had a really weird configuration, narrow shared carpeted stairwells that were not at all air conditioned and i was sweating like crazy working a few cases.

if the respondent is chinese i can usually talk them into responding. being of the same ethnicity really greases the wheel. a few of them own dogs, and for some strange reason it's always a shiba inu. not so much today, but more yesterday, more than one respondent (general respondent) asked if they could also add their pets on the census. i told them it was a good idea, maybe in the future.

in census training they taught us about making a connection with the respondent by noticing something about them and making a comment. yesterday, somebody was watching big bang and i could hear the interstitial loop music and i told him i also watch that show. today, some guy wore a tardis t-shirt and we chatted briefly about the new emperor dalek. of course if they have a garden, i could talk garden all day. i surprised one respondent by correctly identifying the cardinal climber seedling he had growing; he said i could have some cherry tomatoes if i wanted (are census enumerators allowed to accept gifts?).

towards the end of the day into evening i figured most respondents would be annoyed with a census visit, but i had some good luck, a lot of my good cases happened around that time. one in particular stood out: i had to get a proxy to validate that there was no such address for a particular location. i rang a few doors, no response, until i got to one hidden house that looked like it was out of a horror movie. there wasn't even a door, just a cloth screen. i rang the doorbell, afraid of what i might find, and this very friendly guy came out, couldn't have been nicer. you can't just a person by the scary house they live in.

i didn't even realize it was so close to 8pm when i stopped working. i was on a roll, knocking out cases one after another, but it was getting dark, and i didn't want a repeat of yesterday where i was still walking around after sunset.

i walked back home by 8:15pm. tired yes, but not as exhausted like yesterday. there was also a beautiful yet sinister sunset, a perfect way to end day two of enumerator. after a shower, i dove into my bucket of fried chicken. by that point they were all soggy, but i was so hungry i didn't mind. they had no flavor, just some saltiness, which made me worried that i might've contracted the coronavirus since i started working, but the virus doesn't work that fast.

i'm going to try and get to bed early, not to sleep, but to rest and read in bed. still waiting for the census to contact me regarding my cases for tomorrow. where will they send me this time? i'm also thinking about a quick chinatown run in the morning if they start me working late again like today (1pm).