like yesterday, i rearranged all the addresses according to streets. i went to go print it out but my network printer has been acting up for a while and i wasn't able to print. i spent some time debugging the problem, finally got it to work, but by then i'd already squandered precious morning time.
i biked down to the cafe to drop off my 2nd uncle's shoes that i accidentally had sent to my house when my mother asked me to help order them on amazon. i wasn't sure, but i think i actually saw him this morning, walking down my street. my parents said i could grab some gatorade, to help replenish my electrolytes on these hot days.
i had about an hour left when i got back home before i'd start my census shift at 12:30pm. after a shower, i started making some chicken sausage oatmeal for lunch. i had the AC turned on while i ate hot porridge in the living room.
i started with some cases on my street. a few of them i used myself as a proxy, the ones that wrongly identified the house as single family when in fact they were multi-unit condos. ever since i found out about the work bonus on saturday, i've been thinking about it. i think it affects the way i work. maybe i take preferences over addresses that i think will get me interviews over those i know will turn out to be dead ends. maybe it also affects how i leave notes, maybe i don't share as much info since another enumerator would get the create if they closed those cases. it's also more stressful now, realizing i have to make a completion quota if i want to get the bonus. where i get an interview or not with a respondent is mostly based on luck: the respondent has to be home and willing to answer the questionnaire. not every case is like that, and most of the cases aren't. most of the time people aren't home (or just don't want to answer the door). when they are home, more often than not they don't want to answer. bear in mind that the reason why we're visiting these addresses is because the people living there didn't fill out their census to begin with.
today was hotter than yesterday because of the humidity. i wore a hat initially before i just took it off. if you give yourself up to the heat, it's not so bad. don't fight it, accept it, and let it embrace you in the high dew point. it was okay when i was walking (all foot today, no bike), the worst is inside those cramped apartment entrances. i've learned that if i can wedge the outside door open somehow that a good way to make it less stuffy, and also probably more coronavirus safe. i also learned to stay in the shade as much as possible, nature's dim air conditioning. these are all strategies that people who live in hot climate know by heart, but something i have to figure out for myself.
highlight today included running into another enumerator. it was one of the guys i saw at the saturday outdoor meeting, i even remembered his name. we were both going into the same large apartment building. i only had one case there, he said he was 20. i remember back at the meeting he said he really enjoyed census work. he's a bit older than me, that kind of earnestness is rare, usually people become more cynical as they grow older. i found out one reason why he thought it was so interesting was he just recently moved to cambridge, so this was a great way to explore the neighborhood. he had a really good attitude, a born census enumerator. i also started doing an interview with an old lady when i discovered i had the wrong address. before i left, i commented on her jade plants, and she said those were the ones she pruned off and were going to throw away, and ended up giving me a stalk, wrapped in wet paper towels and put inside a plastic newspaper sleeve.
i got 5 full interviews today when i needed 6 to make the cut. i even got an interview on one of the last few cases i was working, the respondent didn't seem like the kind of person who would answer the census but he surprised me by being very compliant. hopefully i can make up for it in the coming week. or just not think about the bonus. if i resign myself to the fact that i'm not going to get it, it makes working a lot easier, a lot less pressure.
i closed 24 cases today (including full interviews and wrong address verification via proxy), and had 29 cases left out of 100, so i went through 71 addresses. maybe the census has upped my daily case numbers because they think i can handle the workload.
the final hour of work is the hardest. i'm counting the minutes until 8pm, yet all the while very conscious that every day it's getting darker earlier. with a few minutes to spare, i decided to call it quits and go home. i tried to slow walk so i could get home at exactly 8pm.
i stripped out of my sweat-soaked clothes when i got home, stepped on the bathroom scale to see how much water weight i managed to lose, showered, then made dinner. i reheated some leftover spaghetti meat sauce and boiled some pasta. while waiting for the food to cook, i finally discovered the source of the mystery moths: in my countertop cabinet. i had a few bags of brown rice and corn meal, and the pantry moths managed to feed on them even though they were in bags. i ended up tossing out all of it, they were expired anyway.