since i just had 13 cases, i didn't have to start as early, and decided to go to work at 1pm. the city was supposed to start repaving our street yesterday but they never came. but they came this morning though, a convoy of heavy equipment and dump trucks started beeping and rumbling outside starting at 8am. they had this vehicle that looked like a dragon with a long neck, and instead of feet it had 4 tank tracks. it'd tear up the top layer of the road as if it was nothing, then spit out the crushed asphalt from the long chute into waiting dump trucks.
around 8:50am i took the bike to market basket to get some groceries. i came back half an hour later. the stripping was finished, the construction guys were mostly cleaning up now, using a backhoe to scoop up the extra asphalt the dragon machine wasn't able to clear away with its chute. they were done by 10:30am. the weird thing is they didn't strip the entire road, leaving the sides unstripped, where the cars would be parked. i don't think they did this so cars wouldn't have to park on the stripped surface; they did it to save money, since the sides of the street aren't as beat up as the middle of the street. in front of the house though, because it's on a turn, there's more traffic and they ended up stripping everything. i'm assuming they'll be back tomorrow to repave the surface of the road. i look forward to smell hot asphalt the rest of the day.
i went to the porter square star market around 11am because they had another sale on fried chicken. i returned home and ate some chicken, before i went out to the 12pm neighbors meeting in renee's backyard.
the meeting was kind of stupid, i wish i didn't go, but i always get dragged into these things. the topics were invasive weeds and rats. take one look at renee's cluttered backyard and you can see a dozen places were rats could be living. removing a kayak from underneath her porch, she found rat droppings mixed with bird seeds. her trash cans are all chewed up. she blamed it on her tenants but her backyard was always a cluttered mess. i learned nothing from the meeting that i didn't already know, my upstairs neighbors didn't even bother to show up. it did however give me an opportunity to take to renee about the pile of firewood piled next to my house. she said her tenants did that, to make more room in the backyard. her tenant actually came out and agreed to move the wood, but the way he said it made me think he was being sarcastic. especially after renee told me they're finally moving out in some passive aggressive act of defiance because they think renee is being too bossy with them. renee keeps on wanting to gossip about her tenants all within earshot of them, i want nothing to do with that dumpster fire.
i had 15 minutes to relax before finally starting my census shift at 1pm. i wasn't hopeful about my closure rate for today, but of the 13 cases, i ended up closing 10 of them. i would've closed 11 but i didn't realize you could use proxies for reinterviews so missed out on an opportunity to close one more case. now that they have me "off leash" and can use whatever methods at my disposal to close cases, i've gone deep down the rabbit hole tracking down tenants. now instead of just ringing the doorbell or knocking on the door, i find out who lives there and call them, whether its a home number or at work. more often than not i never hear back from property managers when i leave a message, so now i try to find the owners instead (in condos that are independently owned). there are a lot of properties in cambridge where its a second home or a rental unit, and the owners don't realize they're supposed to let the census know if nobody lives there.
for example, i had a case today in an apartment building where the intercom was keyed to names not unit numbers. our cases just have the address, we don't know the names. there was a for sale sign outside with a website, when i looked it up it was only for a single unit. that made me realize that units in the building were independently owned. i pulled up the property record for the building and found the owners of the unit in question. i then found a phone number online but when i called it said it was no longer in service. i thought i hit a dead end but i remember the intercom was keyed to names, so i found the name and dialed up the apartment. it's one of those intercoms where it actually dials a phone number, and i managed to get in touch with the owner. unfortunately the intercom was not very clear, and the call kept getting cut after 30 seconds. i called the owner 4 times before she finally understood i was calling from the intercom and gave me a number so i could call her back on the phone. once i did that i was able to speak with her; she told me they only occasionally live in that unit. i closed the case, marked it as vacant, seasonal usage.
it was in the same apartment building where a woman wouldn't let me in even though she kept saying she understood how difficult my job was. she also brought up the fact that she was black, and if black people aren't allowed into the building, she wouldn't let others people in either. but i did manage to get in anyway when a tenant exited the building. i was enumerating when the woman came back home and saw me and was angry that i somehow defeated her firewall. who appointed her head of security? she ended up standing next to me while i was attempting a proxy, said she would take me to one of the trustees who would know the answer to my question, like somehow she was punishing me, but if there was somebody in the people with knowledge about who lives that particular unit, please by all means take me to her. this woman was very passive agressive, and kept suggesting things i can do to find the person. "checked linkedin. check the white pages. did you try searching online?" i've been enumerating for nearly 2 months, i think i have a pretty good idea how to do my job. the trustee ended up knowing nothing, and because the woman kept talking about privacy and covid, the trustee wouldn't give me her name either. finally i was escorted out of the building, but not before warning them that since the case wasn't closed, the census would keep on sending people to this address.
my final case of the day was all the way on the other side of harvard square. it was an address where the notes already had all the info to close the case. but i decided to walk to the address anyway, just so i could use more time. and aren't i supposed to be closing cases at the actual physical address anyway? it took me 40 minutes of speeding walking to go there, close the case, then walk back home by 6pm. i tried cutting through harvard yard but they have a new policy where it's closed after 5pm, only students with id can go in.
13 cases i ended up working 5-1/2 hours.
back at home i showered then settled in with some fried chicken dinner to watch game 1 of the eastern conference final between the celtics and the heat. i started drinking my pearsecco (6% alcohol) before eating my chicken and by the time i finished i was almost fall down drunk. as for the game, it was a battle, the score was very close, tough to watch. it went into overtime, but boston ended up losing. kemba had another off game, but made his shots when they counted. i blame fatigue, miami only went 5 games in their previous series, while boston played 7 games. but the celtics need hayward to come back, they could really use his fire power.
my census supervisor sent out notice to everyone tonight. i think she's the kind of boss that's always trying to find ways to motivate her workers, and morning and evening greetings seems to be her thing. she told us that 17 enumerators were working the area and we closed 108 cases. that means each enumerator averaged a little over 6 closed cases. but i closed 10 cases today! so i'm definitely head of the class.