Monday, July 10, 2006
Agents in the field
Well, there's a crisis at Stats and folks from "head office" (that's us!) are being recruited to Go West and help out. Apparently there's almost 1.5 million Census Forms still at large, and lots of them are in AB, particularly in the more northern regions. We had a meeting Friday with the people organizing the push and trying to explain what would be necessary. It sounded really interesting: 3-4 weeks out west, working 37.5 hours a week, but most likely Sun-Thur shift, interviewing people who hadn't had a chance to fill in their forms, both short, long and the really long agricultural form "6"
I applied for the position, just the thing to defeat the anxiety, panic and doldrums I'm stuck in. Or is that a rut? I don't know.. but an all expense paid trip to someplace I'd never been (including accommodation, rental car, salary, food, gratuities) sounded like the cure I needed. Of course at the end of the meeting we headed back to our section, all chatting and curious. BT was at the door of our area, urgently talking with a group of mostly women: "Oh you know, you'll be talking to people who REFUSED to fill in their forms! They could be crack dealers, or it could be a grow op! And you'd be all alone, a woman, no cell phone!" "What if it was a pig farm and they were all psycho??" And on and on and on. And the inevitable "Of course if you were a guy, or in pairs, I wouldn't worry at all!"
This angered me so much. I felt this rise of indignant rage at the gender-bashing injustice pour into me. I said "If I lived my life in fear, I'd never leave the house. What stops you from walking out and getting creamed by the #86 in front of your building? Anything could happen!" (Besides, some of the guys in our group are smaller than the girls.)
BT "Well, what would you do if this really hostile pig farmer came at you?" Me: "I'd clock him in the jaw!" Of course, I'm taller and broader than say, my buddy Catherine, but still.. geez! Of course, with my luck, I'd end up trying to get Census forms filled by people in a dog-patch farm right out of "Trainspotting". "It's ok, d'you guys mind if I just walk through and count you?"
My friends Myra & Joy piped up at the crack house comment "Wow! That'd be our lucky day!" It was just so strange to be encouraged to take this opportunity to go west, help head office with the special project on the one hand, and on the other to be completely terrorized and intimidated by our Supervisor over the possibility that solo female members of Stats in the field could be murdered, fed to pigs or worse... Maaan.
Anyway, it's probably moot, cause I didn't get a confirmation email this morning. So who knows. More later this week--!