Saturday, August 13, 2011

Census with Integrity

Another National Census has come & gone.

No census forms were submitted for the Wayside Tavern. (though 160 persons present overnight)
No census forms were submitted at the previous census five years ago. (100 persons present overnight)

Last time:
The census officer was a recent former employee of the Wayside Tavern. (Anyone who actually believes the govt line that the census taker will be a stranger ain't never been "west of Strathfield.")
Good looking & pleasant, she was nevertheless extremely scatterbrained. She dropped off forms, explained how to fill them in, etc.

We never saw her again. She phoned a couple of times, asking me to take the forms to her mother's workplace. (Anyone who actually believes the govt line about the anonymity of the census taker.....etc)
Would I have taken the forms to her mother's workplace? Moot point, as she never revealed where her mother worked..... She was extremely scatterbrained.

This time:
We didn't see the census taker, or any census forms, before the census. The census taker (at least it was a stranger this time) called in to collect the forms. When I pointed out that we could hardly fill in forms we don't have, she became quite short with me.

She had dropped the forms in, & spoken at length with "one of your staff" instructing on what to do on census night, etc etc.

It transpired that she'd given all the forms & half an hour or more of instruction to whichever barmaid had been nearest the door one day a couple of weeks ago. The barmaid has long since moved on to another town (without forward address) nobody has ever seen a form.

The "census collector" didn't seem to care much that there were no forms to collect. She left, making it plain she wouldn't be back "Oh well, I'm only doing it for the money anyway! What do they expect?" were her last words, spoken over her shoulder as she departed empty handed.

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