When the Address Update operation was over, we were done. There were other operations that were going on, but I was not involved in them, and neither was my supervisor.
I stayed in touch with Frank, just to keep up with him and his family. He told me there were people up top who were watching out for him, and that we would be getting back to work soon.
I received a phone call just before Christmas (do you want to work? are you available? will you be available for training at (specified) time? When I replied in the affirmative, I was offered a position as a Recruiting Assistant. I called Frank to tell him. He was ticked!! He hadn’t been called! (His time was coming.)
I went for training and learned nothing about recruiting. Training was completed in two days on the 28th and 29th of December. During that time I learned about the census, how to fill out an I-9 (citizenship), and how to fill out the proper paperwork to become an employee of the US Census Bureau.
We were given a few boxes of materials and sent home without ever opening those boxes.
The trainer said we were to begin recruiting people immediately when we got home. I asked if we were expected work the New Year’s Eve weekend.
“That was always the best time for recruiting for me,” he said. He had been a military recruiter in the past. As it turned out, that was his sole qualification to train me as a recruiter for the Census–his past military experience. My supervisor didn’t have a clue about life outside the military.
That fact caught up with him. I was not able to reach him with questions nor updates the following week, because he had been terminated. The manager of the regional office discovered what had passed for training, and let him go.
A Recruiting Assistant who had been on the job for a few months was offered the position, and she became my supervisor. It was a good fit. Now we could make some progress.
My job was to spread the word that the Census Bureau was hiring more than 1,000 people in our area. All they had to do was fill out an application and pass the test.
In these harsh economic times, one would think people would jump at the chance to make $11.50/hr plus $.55/mile from and to their house for a day’s work.
Many thought the money was great, but, “You mean I have to show up and do something to get it?”
I had heard of this type of person, but had never really met one face-to-face until this time. There is a whole tribe of them out there!!
I also had to secure testing sites and administer the test.
I thoroughly enjoyed my job, even though it meant walking down the icy sidewalks of the various towns talking with people who were in a hurry to get to a warm place. I did my own share of that, too, going into friendly looking places where I thought they might be willing to have our brochures on display.
Whenever I could talk to a crowd of people–bingo parlors, bars, senior citizen centers, civic clubs–there would be some good questions asked. But, there would always be at least one person who had applied (months or years ago), but never got called; so the whole thing was “obviously a scam.”
I tried to explain that getting called included a variety of factors–passing the test, work load, where one lived, etc. I would tell them to call the regional office to see if their name was still on file, which–if they had indeed applied and passed–would still be there.
With all the challenges that were before me, I managed to reach my quota early and was offered a new position for the upcoming census.
I was being promoted, and set up for an eye-opening ride.