i spent 1-1/2 hours this morning just doing the ground work: reading the case notes, writing down the contact info, finding new ones through online searches. i also organized addresses into regions, helped me better visualize where i'd be going. i ate breakfast while i worked (yogurt and granola), and barely finished before it was time to leave at 11am. because of my morning work, it meant i could come home early at 6pm. it'd be a short day.
i started with a bike ride to enumerate two addresses in somerville, before returning home to work the rest of my day on foot. i closed out a few tough cases that'd been on my list for a while, all because i got lucky and either managed to speak with the respondent or got a property manager willing to gave me some info. 2 of my cases were harvard property, which i closed easily after consulting with my supervisor.
today was the start of a new policy where we don't attempt any cases that we can't close. any attempts would simply be logged in the case notes. that made organizing all the addresses a mess as attempted cases would be mixed together with active cases. instead of following the case list on the phone (which i haven't done in a while anyway), i used my checklist instead to track my progress.
the weather was nice today. a little cool in the morning but by the time i returned home from my bike ride, i changed into a pair of shorts because it was getting warmer. temperature was only in the 70's with a strong sea breeze.
i had a weird experience where i went to enumerate a few addresses in a chauncy st apartment. the nice woman who let me into the building turned out to have an encyclopedia knowledge of everyone in her building. a few neighbor nearing census talk came downstairs as well and corroborated all the info. it was like having two proxies fighting to see who can give me the most information. i wish every apartment could be like that.
i returned home around 3:45pm for my break. for the 2nd half of my shift i took the bike again because i only had less than 2 hours to work and i wouldn't be able to cover all the ground on foot. even with the bike, i still had half a dozen cases left before it was close to closing time. i was in harvard square and biked home from there.
my supervisor sent us e-mail in the early evening that he was leaving to enumerate the navajo nation tomorrow, and that we'd be transferred to a new supervisor. later i found out when i personally texted him that he's been to that part of the country before, just not in navajo nation. white people are not usually allowed without invitation, and he'll have an indian chaperone the whole time that he's there.
at this point we're just faceless numbers that get passed around from one supervisor to the next. there's no time to build any relationships, unlike my original supervisor, where he had weekly conference calls and face-to-face meetings to meet the other census workers on the team. the new team i got transferred to, nobody from my original group was on there. are those original enumerators even still working? there's so much i don't know. the way i see it, there's only just 2 more weeks left of census work, since i don't believe we'd be working those last week of september, those final 3 days. not counting today, that's just 9 more days of work.
there are rumors that maybe congress will extend the census deadline, but i hope not. whatever the case may be, it won't affect cambridge, since we're already close to 100% completion. the extension would affect other parts of the US where they're still very much undercounted. i believe the vote will be on thursday.
out of 30 cases today, i closed 16 of them. that's a closure rate of over 50%, and there were still a half dozen cases i didn't get to yet. my supervisor sent me info later in the evening to close another case. i joking said it'd add to my closing average, he said my average is pretty good, the very first time i got some positive feedback about the quality of my work. i don't know what my average is, but ever since we're gone into those closing phase and we work the same addresses day after day, i close about half of them every day, even the repeats. half of that is luck, half is just knowing how to search for info online. property databases and name lookups are your friend. anything can be a clue, from a name on a mailbox (the more unique the name, the better chance to find a working phone number to call the tenant), to a package left on the doorstep (means the person is currently still living there), to knowing how to talk to property managers (always ask for their help, and thank them effusively afterwards, even if the info they gave is paltry).
for dinner i finished the last of my frozen meatballs to make another sub. when i came home i noticed steve's SUV parked outside. fortunately they weren't very noisy tonight, though at one point i heard the rattling of the 2nd floor toilet flushing.