Thursday, April 22, 2010

Can I get a CENSUS?

I live in one of the few cities in the United States (and possibly the world) that doesn't have home mail delivery. Everyone in town has to have a mailbox in the post office downtown, and every day everyone in town visits the post office to get their mail. It's strangely old-fashioned, and it means that the downtown area (which=post office, filling station with those old tickety-tickety-sounding manual pumps, and tiny grocery store) is actually a pretty busy place. There's a bulletin board that people actually check, and when something important happens, like someone dies, it usually gets posted on the post office door.

Unfortunately, the Census Bureau can never figure out that they have to include the P.O. Box numbers on addresses or no one gets their census forms. In 2000, they sent a pile of census forms labeled only with street addresses; they had ten years to correct their records, but dammit if they didn't do the exact same thing again this time. So we didn't get any censuses and the government is going to have to send someone around to knock on every door in town and take the census the old-fashioned way. I guess that's appropriate with the town.

This didn't have anything to do with writing, but I just wanted to vent a little. I like filling out the census form and now I have to wait another decade to fill one in.

Also, I'm grouchy because I finished the wonderful book I was reading but I can't tell anyone about it yet because it's not officially released until next week. Maybe I'll just reread it.

15 comments:

LMEighmy said...

I can see how that could be annoying, but it's also pretty cool in a romantic, old fashioned sort of way. :)

K.C. Shaw said...

It is cool, at least to a certain extent. Then it's just aggravating.

esme said...

Hate to break it to you, but that's never going to change. :-) It's not that Census hasn't figured it out, it's that they actually can't mail census forms to P.O. boxes.

http://blogs.census.gov/2010census/2010/04/post-office-boxes-and-households-without-forms.html

(Yes, in case you don't recognize my login, this is your survey nerd cousin...!)

K.C. Shaw said...

Aha, so this is all a CONSPIRACY to keep me from getting to fill out the census. I knew it!

Nice to see you. :)

esme said...

I know, right? I would have been sad if I hadn't gotten to fill one out! :-)

K.C. Shaw said...

I did get to fill one out in 2000, at least, since I was living in Knoxville. I didn't get the long form, though. I really wanted the long form.

Cate Gardner said...

So officially you don't exist. :(

Though that old-fashioned post office and the town turning up their every day sounds deliciously quaint and just a little Stephen King...

K.C. Shaw said...

It's a little too banal and a not enough sinister for it to be Stephen King-ish. At least, not that much Stephen King-ish (although there was a guy several years ago who was shot and killed by a man while on his front porch, and his body stayed on his front porch all day until someone noticed he was dead).

K.C. Shaw said...

Also, that house is up for sale right now. Suppose the porch is haunted?

Jamie Eyberg said...

I used to live in a town like that. We never had anyone shot that I remember, but I only lived there for 2 years. I sense a short story out of the shooting incident now that I think of it.

K.C. Shaw said...

Cool, go for it! That would have to be a verrrry interesting story. :)

Natalie L. Sin said...

Wow. I would hate to get dirty magazines in your town. Everyone leering, as I take my paper-wrapped dirtiness out of my P.O. box ; )

K.C. Shaw said...

I hadn't even thought of that. Although knowing our mailmen, they'd probably just read em first.

Aaron Polson said...

Oooo...haunted porches. My grandparents lived in a town so small we didn't have to put street addresses on the envelope. Crazy, but true.

K.C. Shaw said...

When I was little, if someone forgot their post office box key, they would just go up to the post office window and ask for their mail. The mailmen/women knew who everyone was. They don't let us do that anymore, though, and the town has grown a lot in the last several decades.