I filled out my 2010 U.S. Census
It has only ten questions, this decade -- one of the shortest eva! -- and most of the questions were pretty straight forward, and boiled down to "Who is staying under your roof, as of April 1, 2010?"
- Don't give us the names of people who usually stay there, but aren't now, due to being in a college dorm, prison, or nursing home -- 'Cause we've already got people counting those places, and we don't want to count them twice.
- But do tell us if you're sheltering people who don't normally stay there -- relatives, that hobo in the basement, neighbors whose house burned down, etc.
And then there were questions about race and ethnicity -- which, it was pointed out -- are not the same thing.
Then, there's question 10: Does Person 1 sometimes stay somewhere else? N/Y [x] Mark all that apply:
(and then, a list of options).
I was about to [x] "no." And then, I got to wondering: "Well, I used to
count the house on the mountain as my second home, before Dad died. And that was since the last
census. So is this question referring to the past, or the present-to-future only?
I checked out the Official Govt. Census Website. And all it told me was why answering this question is important, but didn't answer any ambiguities.
There was a toll-free number to call, however, which I did... and the automatic menu used voice-recognition only, which is totally discriminatory against people with speech impairments, but I didn't feel like Fighting the System to bring that up. As it was, the voice-recognizing computer could not interpret my accent when I said "Yes" (And I don't have a speech impairment), and it finally put me through to a live person.
When the live person got on, she basically repeated the same information as the website, reminding me that it's against the law for her to tell me what I should put down as my answer.
After we went back and forth a few times, I was finally able to explain: "But I'm not asking how to answer, I'm asking whether I should include whether I've stayed somewhere else five years ago, in considering
"Oh," She said. "That is a good question. And I don't know. I'll go find out."
And I was put on hold for about 15 minutes.
Then, I think it was her supervisor who came on, and told me: "No, the question only refers to right now, not the past."
So my initial hunch was right. ...But my mother always did tell me never to assume.
And now, there is an awareness that that question can come across as ambiguous, and there's a recorded accurate interpretation. So I think I did double-duty, citizen-wise, yesterday.
So, now you USians out there reading this know, too.
My "brief Treatment" for my screnzy script is getting unwieldy... because I'm getting bogged down in navel-gazing details based on my own childhood "In the System," and describing therapy sessions, and doctors around the bedside, talking about you in third person when you are right there, looking them in the eye
So I think I'll reboot my efforts, and just write a time-line like thingie, just to make sure I have all the bits of a plot, and hope for the best.
Last shopping trip, I bought some Wasabi Peas. OMG-yum. The spiciness makes my nose tingle, like I'm going
to sneeze. But it ends before the sneeze actually happens. The company that makes this particular batch is "Ann's House of Nuts" -- the name even spelled like mine. If my scanner were working, I'd make a journal icon from the logo. 'Cause, dude