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View Diary: Random Thoughts from a Census Enumerator (124 comments)

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  •  I know exactly what you're talking about (5+ / 0-)

    When Census workers get information over the phone, we're required to tell people that all information is confidential and secret.

    But the way you're supposed to word it is this: "According to U.S. Code, Title 13 (Sections 9, 141, 193, 214, and 221) and Title 44 (Section 2108), blah blah blah."

    Bullshit. Most normal non-lawyer Americans don't care about the Title or Section. And it sounds like bureaucratic gobbledegook legalese. Which is the wrong way to talk to people, especially if you're trying to get them to cooperate and answer some questions about how many people live in their house or apartment.

    I can envision some lawyer in the Commerce Department having the bright idea to tell people the exact law numbers. "THAT will get people to answer questions! We'll give them a bunch of numbers from a law book!"

    So I would improvise. I'd say, "Everything you tell me is confidential. If I reveal any information, I could get a huge fine or I could go to jail. Trust me. I'm not gonna give your information to anyone." If the person said, "How do I know I can trust you?" that's when I'd tell them about Title 13 and Title 44 (etc.).

    "You might very well think that; I couldn't possibly comment." - PM Francis Urquhart (BBC's "House of Cards")

    by Dbug on Sat Jun 12, 2010 at 11:13:00 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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