those 20 cases from last night continued into this morning, and then the field manager manually assigned me 4 more cases for a total of 24 cases. i actually started working at 8:20am, doing my preliminary research. i stopped at 10:30am to take a shower, get dressed, and make my lunch. i had an english muffin sandwich with egg, ham, brie, and pesto.
i headed out by 11am. since i already worked 2 hours, that meant with the mandatory 30 minute break, i could be home as early as 5:30pm.
the first half of work was simply magic, as i managed to close every single case i touched. it started becoming ridiculous, as each subsequent case i'd think, "okay, no way am i going to close this one," and each time i managed to close. whether it's because i managed to find a proxy, or somebody i called this morning called me back, or have a maintenance manager or neighbor already in mind, or simply lucky by being at the right place at the right time. the most amazing coincidence was going to an address where i'd already called the owners multiple times with no answers, and i was trying to figure out what to do next, when a woman came out of the building. i asked her if she knew anything about that particular apartment. she said yes, it was her apartment. turns out she was the person i've been calling all these times! she was there to pick up her backlog of mails, couldn't have been nicer, told me nobody lived at her apartment on april 1st. but just the sheer coincidence of bumping into her was like winning the enumerating lottery.
another case was at this old abandoned looking house. i asked a woman walking her dog if she knew anything about the house. she said she's never seen anyone going in and out, but couldn't say for sure if it was abandoned. while we stood on the sidewalk trying to decide the status, somebody came out of the house. it was the owner, who managed to be my proxy for the tenant who had lived there on april 1st. the tenant was actually a famous astrophysicist, and the owner and i chatted for a while, talking about how cambridge has gentrified. he reminded me of a less crazy norm macdonald.
since i was close to my parents' cafe, i took my break there. afterwards i walked down to harvard square to enumerate the handful of addresses i had there. these were cases i'd never worked before but had heard horror stories of how difficult they were to get in. but i was just lucky as i managed to get inside and managed to close 2 cases.
i walked back in the early evening and managed to get home by 5:45pm. out of 24 cases, i managed to close 11 of them. 4 i couldn't close, and 9 addresses i didn't have time to get to them. i wonder if the census cares at this point that it could take me as long as 45 minutes to close a case. i think they're just happy to see closures.
i noticed my hot water had been unusually hot, which also happened to coincide with my upstairs neighbors being back for a few days. so i went down into the basement to check the hot water heater, and sure enough, it was set to B when i normally have it lower than A. but my attention was on something else: there was a bucket propped up against the side of the wall catching a leak that was coming from one of my pipes! there was also a pool of water on the floor. this was something either paul or steve did but they didn't bother to tell me about it. the bucket was already full, who knows how long it's been going on, i nearly broke my back carrying it out in the backyard to dump. at the rate it was leaking, it would probably fill up again in a few hours.
so i shut off the water supply to the leak pipe. originally i thought it was for the hot water but turns out it was the cold water for the shower and the toilet. it's not a big deal, because i normally don't even turn on the cold water when i shower, since i have the hot water adjusted just right. the only annoyance is the toilet doesn't work now, but i can still flush using a bucket. dripping from my bathtub must've dripped down onto the copper pipe and corroded it. when i took the pipe, i could see a fine mist of water coming out, i'm just glad it didn't completely burst. the pipe itself seems easy enough to fix with some DIY plumbing, but i feel like i want to get a professional involved, to fix a few other plumbing issues, like a leaking shower/tub diverter, low hot water pressure on my sinks, and replace a few shutoff valves. and while that's happening, might as well replace my hot water tank, since it's already at the end of its service life (12+ years old) and makes scary sounds in the basement that i can hear from upstairs.
i already knew that a significant part of my census salary would be going to a plumbing repair. i'm estimating something like $2000 to get everything fixed, including all the material and labor cost. i told my father about the leak, he said he'd try to contact their HVAC guy tomorrow to see if he's available (he actually did my original replacement 12 years ago). even though, he'd only do the hot water tank replacement, i still need to get a plumber to do the other stuff.
so a pretty good census day was slightly spoiled by the news of my plumbing issues. i finally settled down to eat some dinner my father had dropped off on my doorstep earlier when i wasn't home. i ate while watching game 2 between the celtics and heat. boston ended up losing again, even though at one point they had a big lead. there seems to be a size issue - miami is just a lot bigger - and celtics continues to have shooting woes, or maybe the heat can shoot just as well as the celtics can. game 3 is going to pivotal. if celtics lose 0-3 the series is pretty much over. i can't believe a team that could beat the raptors in 7 games can't win at least one game against the heat.
my supervisor sent out another evening text tonight. yesterday we had 16 enumerators and close 125 cases. this morning we were 98.78% complete with only 945 cases remaining. today there were just 13 enumerators in the field and we close 92 cases. that averages out to 7 closed cases per enumerator, but i had 11, so i'm still ahead of the curve. but these cases are getting harder and harder. a few i still might be able to work, but some are just total dead ends, if the owners don't respond, and we can't find viable proxies, there's no way we can enumerate them. hopefully most of them are vacant units anyway, and won't affect the accuracy of the population count. my supervisor also singled me out along with 3 other enumerators, letting us know we could work overtime if we wanted for friday and saturday, we just have to let her know. it's hard enough working 8 hours, i couldn't handle anymore work.