Working the NRFU: Census 2020

Non-Reponse Followup

census2020-storyimageWAY back in May or June 2019, right before I retired, I applied to work Census 2020. I heard nothing. I visited a Census recruitment table in the Pine Hills branch of the Albany Public Library shortly before the COVID shutdown, sometime earlier this year. The representative said, “Don’t worry about it They’re still in process.”

Then the pandemic hit. So I didn’t know what this was going to mean for the process. When I worked the 1990 Non-Reponse Followup or NRFU, I began in late April. Then in early June, I got a phone call. After asking me a few questions, the gentleman said I was in.

On June 12, I got an email. “We are pleased to confirm your acceptance of a temporary position with the US Census Bureau as an Enumerator. Working in the field, Enumerators visit households that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census, speaking with residents to collect 2020 census data. Your employment is dependent upon successfully clearing a background investigation.”

“You are required to do the following!” I needed to “Schedule a Fingerprint Day appointment to be fingerprinted within 7 days of this letter… Please note: The action item above is time-sensitive.” I was to “bring ALL of the listed documents to your scheduled appointment, or you will not be fingerprinted.

Another bad photo ID

“Employment Confirmation E-mail attachment with barcode – Display this attachment via an electronic device OR print a hard copy of the attachment.” Naturally, I brought BOTH. They wanted two forms of ID; the list had a great deal of detail. My passport and my DMV card were acceptable.

“As part of appointment, your photo may be taken so that a badge may be created if you successfully complete the background check process and are hired. Pose and expression: Have a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open. Face the camera directly with full face in view.” I couldn’t wear glasses, a hat or head covering, unless I had a medical reason. It was not my favorite picture of me.

“As a Census Selectee you are subject to a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint-based Criminal History Record Check for the purpose of making a security determination. If you have a criminal history record, you will be afforded an opportunity to complete or challenge the accuracy of the information in the record, or decline to do so.” After I cleared the investigation, I had to do a bunch of paperwork, such as the Emergency Contact Information and Payment Authorization.

And on August 19, a handful of people met in the Albany Capital Center; the building was locked but we were let in. Three hours later, we are trained NRFU Census enumerators.

Obviously, there is more to tell down the road. NONE of it will involve politics, per my agreement. Absolutely NONE of it will include any identifiable information about who I visited. I’ll be doing this until September 30, as far as I can tell.

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