There has to be a better way to count people. Grant it, we didn't trek to Bethlehem on a donkey, but couldn't we use satellite imaging or something? I was confused by the whole process of counting students, but we must have done well, because we received a certificate for our good work, (See photo below.) Our good work involved hanging posters in the dorms and letting census workers sit in the Coates Center lobby. I think I should get a certificate for working with Louise (above, left) every month.
Louise works for the census bureau and her job is to do a monthly count of residents in a specific dorm and interview ten of them. This month it is Susanna Hall. She deserves a certificate too. She doesn't just sit at a table and I doubt there is a better census taker in the nation. Let me lay out the evidence.
Louise is a rule follower. Despite the fact that she has met me monthly for about two years, she never strays from her script: "Hello, I'm Louise and I am taking a census of Susanna Hall." Yes, Louise, I know you. Then she shows me the card that lists six options for the type of facility we are discussing and I identify that it is, in fact, a college residence hall, just as it was 16 months ago. Louise takes no shortcuts as she hands me the census brochure that I immediately recycle. I then complete and sign the confidentiality agreement that is required annually but makes her feel better to have monthly, because she is a rule follower. (I don't know if the agreement covers blogging.) This is followed by her explanation that her supervisor may contact me to evaluate her performance. I wish he would. Louise would get an A+.
Louise holds people accountable. She described to me, in great detail, her experience with the census worker who came to Louise's door. That woman never had a chance. She was not a rule follower and Louise made her re-do the interview following the script. I am more of a spirit of the law than a letter of the law person, despite being in charge of student conduct. I would have failed as a census worker.
Louise is my third census worker. Shedrick and Diana were my first two. Shedrick resurfaces once in awhile. I was his first client and he was nervous, so I tried to be really nice and helpful and just kind of got attached to him. As time passed he became uber-confident and started showing up wearing bling and alligator-skin cowboy boots. I like to think I played a confidence-boosting role in that new swagger.
The census people have to interview ten students a month and ask them questions that are illogical to ask college students. I could have delegated this long ago, but instead, I e-mail the students and tell them to be nice to these people and cooperate. The students assume I am a rule follower and want to comply.
I regularly receive articles in the mail cut out from the local paper that contain Trinity references. These come from Louise. She likes to add a personal touch to her work. She doesn't own a computer and I suppose doesn't know that I see these articles on-line and also read the paper. I don't care. I think it is sweet that she clips articles and mails them. Who does that? Not every census worker, I assure you.
So, I will recycle my certificate for my good work in 2010. It doesn't mean much to me. The clippings - those I will save. I will also print this post and mail it to Louise. But no matter how you count it... we won't be even.