Posts belonging to Category The Census

US Census: What a Difference a Year Makes

In honor of Census Day (*pauses to let people mark their calendars*), I thought I’d revisit learning from the Census, as I was doing last year, with a look at the people in the field now.
Back when I started my Census work, the workforce was made up of listers. Now, as one of my friends [...]

Genre-Bending the United States Census: Undefined-Fighting Census Listers

Last week, I demonstrated genre-twisting even the most unlikely subjects by getting a suspense plot out of the United States Census. This week, the genre-jump is going to be a bit more extreme.
Once, there was a country, not too different from any of the ones we inhabit. Except for [...]

Genre-Bending the United States Census: Suspense

When I began my Lessons Learned from the United States Census series, I had started with the idea of plots based in the ordinary and made more interesting through how they were treated. A post not long before that, though, had treated with the idea of taking a completely [...]

What the United States Census Taught Me About Balancing Goals

There’s a certain paradox inherent in working as a Census lister. On the one hand, you want to work fast—efficiency is both highly prized in listers and a source of bragging rights for said listers. You can get a lot of pride out of a good address-working rate, after [...]

What the United States Census Taught Me About Clear and Defined Goals

Census listers. My game group. I found myself comparing them a lot, particularly on days when I was looking forward to session at the end of the day. It was partly a fact about cohesion, and partly a fact about proactivity; my listing crew beats my game group [...]

What the United States Census Taught Me About Motivation

You have to give credit to the United States Census; just five weeks with them have taught me more about people and how they work than any other job I’ve been in—and none of what I’ve learned is Personally Identifiable Information.
One of the first lessons I learned from the Census was [...]

What the United States Census Taught Me About Making a Task Unique

Even the most mundane of things can form the basis of an exciting story, and the United States Census is no exception. Now, granted, a once-in-ten-years, country-wide government project is unusual in its own right. But new employees on the way in know that on the whole, a lister’s [...]

What the United States Census Taught Me About Party Dynamics

What do you get when you cross a decennial government project, a wide variety of individuals from across the county, various bits of technology, and some oversize and dubiously written training materials, and stir them together for about two weeks? If I’m to judge anything by my training in the [...]