I just spent 40 minutes completing the US Census Bureau’s “American Community Survey.” Those are 40 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.
Through my answers to the survey, They (whoever They are) should be able to ascertain that I am a stay-at-home mom. A stay-at-home mom. Yes, a stay-at-home mom! No, I haven’t been paid for doing the job in the last 12 months, unless you count slobbery kisses and elbows in the eye. Yes, my husband (who is not a widower and who has been married once, yes, once) is paid for his job. No, he doesn’t work in the house. But can They believe it takes him 0 minutes to commute to work once he steps out of the house?
They will never understand that we don’t rent OR own our house, nor do we live here for free because we are on some sort of government subsidy program.
It sure makes you reconsider how many kids you want to have when you realize you have to fill out a series of questions for every single human being living in your house. No, Baby Marsi has not had any formal education. No, she didn’t work at a paying job last year. Yes, she is insured. Yes, she is of Norwegian, Swedish, German, English, Scottish, etc. ancestry — just like the rest of us living here. No, she is not deaf. No, she is not blind. No, she does not suffer from any sort of disability that prevents her from going to the grocery store.
I wonder… who has the time to sit around thinking up these surveys? Are they the same people who take the time to complete a survey about the service at McDonald’s and thus qualify themselves to win a free Big Mac?
Yes, I suppose I like to come across some interesting statistic in an article as much as anyone does. But I wonder…
What would’ve happened if I’d completely ignored their persistent reminders to complete the survey? Would’ve a black SUV roared into our yard? Would’ve a group of agents wearing suits and dark sunglasses hopped out and taken me to federal prison? And if so: would They cook for me at said prison? Would They let me sleep through the night? Would I have lots of quiet time alone in said prison to think and to read? Would I be allowed to watch television channels other than Disney? Would I have the chance to pursue a college degree while incarcerated? Would my family be allowed to visit, even occasionally?
I should send Them a survey to find out the answers to my questions.
© Tami Blake