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?
How many rooms in your house?
How many people live in your house?
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.