My sister the editor has quit her part-time job as an enumerator for the Census. This was expected, as the local Census bosses for whom she worked were archetypal jerks. Indeed, they are such jerks that they have difficulty keeping enumerators on the job: Workers would rather take their chances with the private job market than work for those bosses.
The jerkitude in itself did not bother my sister. What made her decide to quit were two Marion resident whackos: one of whom threatened her with a shotgun and the other of whom called the sheriff because she had blue hair. When my sister reported the latter incident, her boss demanded to know what she did to make the guy call the sheriff. My sister replied, What makes you assume I did anything? At this point, she was out of there.
This is folly of the kind that makes Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss look like a paragon of managerial competence. It is this kind of folly, that makes it likely for Marion to be undercounted. Marion cannot afford undercounting, as it has been losing people every decade since the recession of the early 1980’s and the loss of almost all of its manufacturing. It would not surprise me if Marion comes out with fewer people since the 1940’s. It currently has fewer people (now roughly 43%) than the surrounding county, which makes life difficult for the city and its leaders: Relations with the county have never been cordial, and have sometimes been snarky.
Anyway, to celebrate her departure from the Census, I have bought a gift for her: A set of five Japanese pencil erasers in the forms of a hamburger, French fries, fruit shake, ice cream on a stick and a toothbrush and cup.