Dear US Census Bureau,
I know you guys have to do your job and it’s important to know who the “American people” are and where our money should go, but please do me a favor: digitize your questions and make it an online survey.
You sent me this huge packet with an important survey, the American Community Survey, and I spent literally 2 hours filling it out with all these personal information about my family. I then get inundated with belligerent calls from a Census worker confirming all my marks and asking me a ton of more questions.
It’s ironic because the time I was filling the form out and talking with the Census worker, I had lost wages that I couldn’t report on the form. I can see why the NY Times thinks you’re going to end soon.
In small print, you wrote: “The Census Bureau estimates that, for the average household, this form will take 38 minutes to complete, including the time for reviewing the instructions and answers.” Someone lied to you, because it definitely does not take 38 minutes.
You should also include in small fine print somewhere that you’ll be calling me on my cell phone non-stop at my work hours, at night during dinner time, on Saturdays early in the morning to ask me more questions because your form wasn’t long enough already. Literally spent 25 minutes on the phone with a complete stranger. I don’t even think I talk 25 minutes an entire week with my best friend! You think I have 25 minutes to talk to someone random?!
Why digitize and make it an online survey? It’ll cost you and me a lot less in the long run.
1. It’s cheaper. Have you heard? The US Postal Service is going bankrupt, defaulting on their payments last month. Your huge packet meant you had to have a service worker carry extra weight both ways. Then you send extra copies of the huge packet just in case I didn’t get the first one. I don’t think paying the US Postal Service your US Census money makes sense. I don’t know about you, but taking money from my left pocket and pulling it in my right pocket doesn’t pay the cashier for my groceries.
2. It’s faster. 2 hours. TWO HOURS! I wasn’t even paid to do it. I LOST money doing it. Put it online so I can just click all the check boxes and type everything out faster. My Auto-Form filler on Google Chrome could have answered half those questions alone! Not to mention you don’t have to have someone call me because my 6 looks like a 0. Wouldn’t be a problem with online typing! I’m sure you have to enter all the results on a computer anyways, just skip the middle man who has to type it all up and save money!
3. It’s cheaper, still! That’s not even counting the Census worker who kept blowing up my phone. I talked to her for 25 minutes and the answer to almost every question was “No.” And it was a Saturday! How much are you paying this lady to stalk me on my phone and ask me private questions? I know she needs a job, but I’d rather you just email me a form and I’ll fill it out when I have time, you know, when I’m not working, or eating, or SLEEPING. I feel bad for her because at minute 2 of the conversation, you can tell she was tired of asking these questions and having people being annoyed at her. At minute 10, I really needed to go pee and I just wanted off the phone. At minute 15, I had decided she wasn’t going off the phone so I went to the bathroom with her. By the end of the 25 minute conversation, we had shared an intimate, private moment of me relieving myself as she learned about my family’s finances.
This was just a suggestion. Please don’t hunt after and torture me with more questions. I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but I just don’t have the time nor energy to keep doing this with you. I have a feeling it’s happened before with other people, and it’s going to happen again if you don’t change your ways.
With kind regards,
The phone is ringing again. I think it’s her… oh no, not again…