As a Production Enumerator I located housing units and conducted interviews with respondents to explain the purpose of the census and to record data.
Pros: The salary was nice: $18 per hour and there was some flexibility regarding the work schedule.
Cons: Respondents who were recalcitrant made the job difficult.
My role as a Production Enumerator for the U.S. Census Bureau from April through June 2010 was eye opening, challenging, and ultimately rewarding.
As noted above my responsibilities called for tracking down the residences of individuals who had failed to respond to the bureau's questionnaire and conveniently my area of assignment was within six blocks of my condo in East Rogers Park.
Given the diverse socio-economic structure of the community a number of the respondents lived in single family homes. However, most resided in large multi-unit buildings which required some creativity to determine if the respondent was still living on the premises. I learned to do this by speaking, for example, with neighbors, landlords, and mail carriers. Eventually, I was able to locate most residents who responded verbally to the questionnaire, or I obtained the required information by speaking to a legal third party either in person or by phone.
My team leader was a wonderful mentor, savvy, flexible, and patient.
Aside from the first several training sessions I didn't have much interaction with the other enumerators. However, those I got to know were friendly and knowledgeable as a number had participated in the census conducted in 2000.
The most enjoyable part of the job involved locating the respondent which enabled me to obtain and record the required information.