A bit of a rant

judsoncarroll4
judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,458 admin

Lets keep this non-political, but I do need to express my frustration... the Census Bureau is driving me crazy!!! First the form came in the mail; I filled it out an sent it in. Then a guy came to the door.... I told him I'd already sent it in. He asks me questions anyway.. I had to get back to work and asked him to leave. He argues with me, sat in the driveway and made a 20 minute phone call, obviously reporting me for non-compliance. Then, they send me a letter telling me I have to fill out the long form, under penalty of law. So, I start and after nearly an hour and well over 100 really personal questions, I just didn't have time to do it or even all the answers. So, I canceled that out... had to call in and ask them to reset the online form and send me a paper form. It was a BOOK! I spent most of a day filling it out and mailed it in 3 weeks ago. I got a letter today saying because they have not received my form, they are scheduling another census taker to come speak to me in person. Well, what if I'm not in? What if I'm the phone with a client? These letters are like IRS level threatening and I'm actually getting very angry.... I do have an Irish temper when pushed. How much is a person supposed to take? Honestly, I just want to be left alone.

«1

Comments

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭

    Oh my gosh. I would be legit angry too. That's crazy.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    Wow. That's crazy. 😬

    Its understandable that you are angry after all of that.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,458 admin

    I'm just trying to stay calm and patient. I know they are just "doing their job"... but this is nuts!!!!!!! They had like 12 questions about my heritage, asking from what nation my ancestors originated. How can I do that? I finally Xed it out and wrote "mixed European, British and Celtic, etc." I mean, predominately, I'm 1/3rd each English, Irish and French.... but there is everything mixed in from North African to Polish to Jewish, Spanish and Native American... my family has been here 400 years! Then, they want to know how many days I worked last year, how many days I took off, why I took off each day, how much money I made each day I worked.... I'm self employed, so I don't get a regular paycheck... I may make no money at all for a month, then $5,000 in one day! They want to know when the house was built... I have no idea! I tried total them I'm just house-sitting for a couple of months to help with a relative and don't even live here... no matter. Etc, etc, etc, hundreds of questions, at least 1/3rd for which I have no answer... but there is no "I don't know" option, but a demand that I answer everything truthfully under penalty of law!

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,458 admin
    edited January 2021

    ... do you recall a movie in the 80s, set in the 1800s, about a Canadian trapper who was falsely accused, then hounded to death by the Mounties? Seems like Charles Bronson was in it. I know it is an over reaction, but wow... I know how he felt at least a little bit!

    Edit... it was Death Hunt, a remake of The Mad Trapper, set in 1941. Wow, I must have seen that film when I was 10? It was really disturbing. The trapper goes to town, stops a dog fight and buys the dog that is almost dead. They go back to his remote cabin to live a peaceful life. Meanwhile the dog's former owner has a grudge and accuses him of murder. When the officials show up to question him, he hides and they blow up his cabin with dynamite!! He runs off... they track him for years on a manhunt, finally he is killed by a sniper/long distance shot.... wanting nothing but to be left alone, live in peace in the woods. Much like The Outlaw Josey Wales here in the States - GREAT movie... my all time favorite, but not as sad because Josie lives!

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,518 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 Its not a movie I remember seeing. Certainly not a nice one either by the sounds of it.

    Hopefully this will be over soon for you. I can't imagine that hassle.

    Years ago we had to fill out a paper long form census questionnaire. Invasive...yes, fun to fill out, no. There were a lot of unhappy people.

    It's been a while since a census was done here. I wonder what extra they will want to know the next time around. I hope that we would be fortunate enough to just get a short form...if that will even be a thing anymore.

  • SuperC
    SuperC Posts: 951 ✭✭✭✭

    Sounds like some weird audit with many personal invading questions. Hope you enjoy this day.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,458 admin

    Turns out it was based on a true story,  Albert Johnson, the “Mad Trapper of Rat River,”  Apparently, he was quite a legend in the Yukon.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I turned mine in online so It would not :get lost" Imagine my total happiness when I was randomly selected to fill out a more invasive census form. I think it was 40 pages and took half a day to fill out. I did not want to and put it off for a month but they were getting nasty so I filled it out and on the back page let them know what I thought.

    This one wanted to know how many bathrooms you had in your house. None of their business. I was also asked about my heritage and I put down heinz 57. They have not shown up on my door to ask for more info.

    Enjoy the rest of your week and week end

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,458 admin

    Yeah, that is the one... someone said that by law you are only required to tell them how many people live in your house and if you are a resident of the state you live in. Maybe some who can afford a bunch of lawyers can test that. I used to have a good friend, who was a top Constitutional atty... argued several cases before the Supreme Court. He would literally represent me in any matter for $1.... and when I asked him any legal question, he would say, "Remember that dollar you gave me a few years ago.... I'm now giving you advice as your attorney." Gosh, he was a great man and a good friend! He died and is missed by many... old fashioned southern character.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,635 admin

    Wow! That sounds a lot more invasive than the Canadian long form. I have received similar harassment in the past, though, for not submitting the forms even though they had been mailed on time. But they didn't threaten me "under the penalty of law".

    I think the movie did make more of a folk hero out of Albert Johnson than it should have. A bit like Claude Dallas.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,458 admin

    Yeah... I'm related to the Dallases, but in NC they usually go by Dowless. As @LaurieLovesLearning has mentioned, I seem to be related to everyone... and yes, there are a whole lot of nuts in the family tree! On nicer note, here is a clip of The Outlaw Josie Wales.... such a great movie!


  • SherryA
    SherryA Posts: 314 ✭✭✭

    Really? I think I filled out a thing online & I never heard any more from them. It wasn't very detailed.

  • Lisa K
    Lisa K Posts: 1,917 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2021

    That is exactly why we always take copies of forms we send in so we can hand them copies if needed. My dad had a similar issue with the Federal court.

    Also @judsoncarroll4 I always enjoy your rants!

  • water2world
    water2world Posts: 1,156 ✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 Rant on-- You are entitled!!

    Demanding that you answer everything truthfully under penalty of law----- unknown is a answer!

    Good luck!

  • Acequiamadre
    Acequiamadre Posts: 269 ✭✭✭

    The one we filled out was short and to the point. Are you sure that guy was for real? Asking how much you make and how your house was built sends off alarms. Ask them for ID. Then how many rooms their house has, what kind of car they drive, and their favorite comic book...

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭

    I don't understand that. You mean the regular census that comes out every decade? Or something else. I filled out ours online and I feel like it was 20 basic questions. Why were they so different?

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭
  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,458 admin

    They have the short form, which 95% of people get. I filled that out, no problem. Then, they have the long form which is basically like, "take the day off work, spend hours answering personal and invasive questions or be prosecuted... and no, we don't care about your time or inconvenience."

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,635 admin

    Similar in Canada. We have the short form that most people get. Mostly just counting heads. But there are a percentage of people (not sure how many) that get a long form. I've had to do them in the past and they ask a lot of questions that I think are a bit invasive, including asking questions about your living accommodations and your income.

  • nicksamanda11
    nicksamanda11 Posts: 741 ✭✭✭✭

    That sounds like a bit much to me.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2021

    That sounds really irritating. I hope it resolves quickly!

  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭
    edited January 2021

    I don't blame you for being irritated! I got some sort of form like that a while back - I don't think it was even the official census - where the questions were extremely personal, and I felt they violated my right of privacy. I wish I remembered what some of the questions were since they were crazy! Things that had nothing to do with a simple count of who lived there. I was in an apartment and not likely to stay there long so I just didn't send the form in. Someone would come with a clipboard and knock on my door, and I would just not answer it...they tried for a while and eventually gave up. 🤷‍♀️

  • vickeym
    vickeym Posts: 2,111 ✭✭✭✭✭

    WOW, that is crazy. The questions range from none of their business to Get to ______ off my property. I can only imagine they are going to get even more personal and argumentative if not worse over the next several years.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 968 ✭✭✭✭

    I recently just got something in the mail about our household was to be used for some type of census about unemployment. I'm worried it's going to be like what you were talking about. I don't understand the need for all these censuses anyway. You can Google almost anyone and find all that stuff out already. It just seems like an invasion of privacy.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,537 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I also had top fill out the long form. Since I filled out the short form I called to verify. I was told it was ligit, I was selected for a longer form and by filling it out I would help my local area get more funding in areas they needed it in.

    I told them I was not happy, I was told I had to fill it out of be fined, possible jail time and that I was unamerican to have this attitude. I did fill it out but on the back page there was room to write and my comments were not nice.

    I do not remeber all the questions they asked but most were not their business and when there was room I left a rude comment. I believe in the census but not this form or the way they did it.

    I also worked for the census one year.

  • DurwardPless
    DurwardPless Posts: 162 ✭✭✭

    Things like this are sent to me to learn patience. That is something I don't pray for any more.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Years ago I was researching the old state militia system for a book--that was the forerunner of the modern National Guard. Back in the early 1800's, when the U.S. had only the barest skeleton of a professional army, the state militias were the primary reliance for national defense. Every year the state adjutant generals were supposed to submit a long, very detailed census of their state militias' numbers, organization, arms , equipment, supplies, animals, etc.

    1832 was a difficult year. South Carolina had nullified a federal law and was openly threatening secession from the U.S. The SC adjutant general submitted his state militia census to the federal government right on schedule, But he answered every single question--page after page of questions--with a single reply: 1776. How many regiments? 1776.... How many cannon? 1776....How many cavalry horses? 1776....etc. etc.

    Apparently he got away with it, but then that was 1832. We didn't have much of a bureaucracy in those days, even less enforcement, and anyway, there was a whole lot going on at the moment. But his returns are still on file as the official SC militia census for 1832...

    You probably couldn't get away with his "1776" answer these days.....

  • dottile46
    dottile46 Posts: 437 ✭✭✭

    Many of the old federal census pages I have looked at have one or two lines a page that trigger more questions if your name lands on that line. As a child I remember the census taker coming to the house. I was beside myself with some of their questions. I would guess I would have been 5 years old. They asked all kinds of things like how many electric lights, bathrooms, and bedrooms, do you have an automatic washing machine, telephone, or radio. I can still see the look on the census takers face when Mom said "None" to bathrooms. The ladies jaw dropped before she sputtered "Well where do you do your, you know, business?!"

    @judsoncarroll4 you could always contact your congressman and ask their office for assistance. In the end, you probably will have to fill it out, and give out way more information then you want to.

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    What happens if you don't comply? I've never filled one out and I'm in my 50's. Here I just pretend I don't understand the language lol. They gave me a sticker to put on my door that has something like "tourist" or "expat" on it so no one would come bug me again. That was on their third visit. I don't see why total strangers should have access to my personal information. For population statistics, I'm ok with it but really??? The number of bathrooms? That's no one's business!