uglyfish wrote: ↑May 22nd, 2011 3:40 pmHi I'm just posting to provide a portrait of what the enumerator position is like as I've been on the job for a bit now in one of the Eastern provinces.
I just want to make a note that everyone from Stats Canada is really nice but my mine gripe is with the nature of the enumerator job itself and since no
one has posted what the actual job is like i thought i should given that i know there is a lot of confusion prior to starting.
My area is pretty working-class minority area and I've met a lot of very nice folks however, the response rate is historically low. I've been told we must work a minimum of 20 hours a week and can go up to whatever we like as long as we are "productive". My issue is that "productivity" is measured solely in terms of how many forms are collected that we have helped a fill out for a resident. A lot of the time people:
A. look out the window and purposely ignore you
B. Say they already filled it out
C. They'll do it themselves later
D. Refuse to talk to you because you do not speak their mother tongue
So sometimes I find myself walking door-to-door for 3 hours straight being unable to collect any forms and I feel guilty because it looks to my Crew Leader that I am being "unproductive" (my CL never actually said anything but you can tell). "Productivity" does not take into account the people that I have visited who do end up filling out their census forms later. I'm sure at least for 3/4, they would not have filled out the forms were it not for the fact that I visited them.
Essentially, being "unproductive" (not being able to collect any forms) kind of puts its on cap on how many hours you can work because if you're working 4 hours without getting a form you may feel inhibited to clock in any more hours at risk of looking like a total slob who isn't doing any work (unless you're not self-concious).
It's not because I'm not "ambitious" or hardworking....the moment people open the door they decide whether they want to talk you or not and will make up any excuse not to complete the form ("oh I'm about to go out/ eating/ blah blah) despite the fact it literally takes 30 seconds to enumerate a single person.
I wish the CL's would know how hard it is to get a response as many of them have never enumerated before. It's a struggle to clock in 20 hours and to be "productive". Again, it might depend on what type of area you live in but this is my experience and I've never felt as much anxiety to begin a job each day having to balance being "productive" while trying to meet 20 hours a week (with a 2nd job).
As for safety, it's not as dangerous as I thought (again depends on the area) but the only thing that has happened to me really is an old lady constantly harassing me to stay away from her area and threatening to call the cops for trespassing (I can't be prosecuted because I have to right to collect infor under the Statistics Act :p).
Also even if you have a landline, you have to block your number (unless you want people calling you back) which IRONICALLY discourages people from picking up the phone forcing you to go door to door after 3 failed call attempts. And for most of my assignments, no number is provided anyways.
Final note, beware of dogs, paranoid old people, wear sunscreen, bring water/ snacks and prepared to go home empty-handed after a few hours and worry about looking unproductive despite the fact that you went door-to door in the sun/ rain trying your hardest and only clocking in a couple hours each day, while trying to reach 20 hours for the week.
This is my own opinion/ experience in my own area. As I've said my CL and the people I've met on the job are super nice but its mostly the nature and inherent contradictions within the enumerator job itself that is frustrating and makes it a form of precarious labor (similar to taxi-driving). The pay is by the honor system essentially and I'm very honest and I do not want to look unproductive so I limit my hours if I can't get any forms.
And for those thinking about falsifying a respondent's form, do not risk it because that household may end up mailing it in eventually and they'll see that the household did it twice with two completely different sets of info and they'll catch on to you LOL (people always ask me why i don't do that).
LOL.. Thanks for the heads-up/info.
If you don't mind me asking, which part of Toronto are you enumerating...? Or is it a completely different province/region?