The Census Bureau Is Stalking Us

I know everyone received a form from the U.S. Census Bureau this year. All American households, that is. But there are a couple of other projects that the Census Bureau (the bureau) is involved in, that we have been “randomly” selected for.

The first happened in 2009, when we began receiving literature in the mail from the bureau indicating that we had been “randomly” selected for the American Community Survey. We had never heard of this before and when we looked it up online, it was billed as a precursor to the census. Like any good procrastinator and mis-truster of governmental intrusion, I ignored all of the paperwork. Even the ridiculous letters that seemed to indicated that our non-participation was illegal. Then they started sending someone to our house. Except our neighborhood is gated. Ha Ha! And she couldn’t get in. But one bad day, she either talked her way in the gate or someone else in our neighborhood was “randomly” selected and they stupidly let her in. So she knocked on our door and we were home. I’m not hard core enough in my governmental distrust to slam the door in someone’s face. And let’s face it, she was just doing her job.

So this very nice lady showed us her credentials, and then sat on our couch, asked us very invasive questions, and recorded all in her computer. What is invasive you say?
Monthly income?
Mortgage payment?
Monthly bills?
How many rooms in your house?
How many people live in your house?
Any disabilities?
Education level?
And on and on it went. We of course, answered each question. Even though it felt very intrusive. We asked tons of friends if they had ever been picked for this. Not a one. Never even heard of it.

Earlier this year, we (I) dutifully filled out our census card. And now, just this week, they are after us again! The husband received a letter from the bureau, requesting his help with the 2010 National Survey of College Graduates. Once again, they claim that he was “randomly” selected. So far, there is no claim that it would be illegal not to participate. But they do claim that they cannot select someone else in his place because it would compromise the study. Unbelievable! A scientific guilt trip!

Has anyone else had these kinds of interactions with the Census Bureau? Because these people are making me paranoid. Okay, so it’s not that difficult to make me paranoid. 😉 But the randomness of their selection process is definitely questionable in my mind.

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7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Andrea on October 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Sounds like you are on their radar!! I have a very hard time with answering any questions for any study…they should pay us for that info!

    Reply

  2. Posted by lou on October 10, 2010 at 7:12 pm

    Sorry, I have never heard of any of these surveys! Be wary.

    Reply

  3. The only thing I’ve heard of is the Census & they definitely seem to be stalkers. When I didn’t fill out our census form quick enough they were sending another one in the mail. I was planning to send them both in & really mess up their numbers but the hubby derailed me with the “it’s probably illegal” thing!

    Reply

  4. Okay, you are probably being stalked by the government. It’s possible you need to quit your jobs and go off the grid.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Billy on November 12, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I recevied their letter and they have called me 1000 times and called may parents too and asked for my phone number. I finally called them back and they said that my file was locked and asked me to call them back in 30 minutes.

    Reply

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