“I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction for then we will have a generation of idiots.”

Often attributed to Albert Einstein, but he never said it.
Caricature of Donald Trump with a red flag on the way to the 2020 Census by DonkeyHotey

The whistle is blowing, red flags are raised, and “knock, knock, hello? Is anybody home?” can be heard. The 2020 Census will make the Iowa debacle look like a walk in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

The Department of Commerce Inspector General has been ringing the bell for the 18 months. The most damning declaration was management had no contingency plan. That is the tip of the iceberg.

The census budget is $16 billion and cost over runs are expected. It will be one of the largest employers in the US weighing in with at least 500,000 employees. Each employee will receive an Apple iPad to count noses and report. Apple has a $250 million order. Not a “biggee” for a trillion dollars company.

I was hired as a Recruiting Assistant in October. I was sworn in and trained in December. On the first day of training we were told we would not receive the iPads as advertised.

We were instructed to use our personal phones and email accounts to report our activities and the results of those activities. The transmitted information contained the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email accounts of potential hirees and partners. A significant portion of training was protecting Personally Identifiable Information (PII) as required by law.

My training did not include “how to do the job.” They provided a load of “what to do” and the penalties for failing to do so. I suspect the training for the half million nose counters will be no better. The training was to be conducted by the Recruiting Manager, but she was in LA getting trained to do her job.

There was no on the job training, no advice on team building, no performance metrics to guide daily activities, no regular meetings with management, and after four months only 4 of the 12 Recruiting Assistants hired remain. High turnover is management’s responsibility in the real world.

2020 Census Management was to design, implement and manage a huge temporary workforce to produce information that will guide government for the next decade.

The management teams at all levels are not the cream of the crop. Employing competent managers and expecting exceptional results is truly whistling in the dark.

The 2020 Census results will be available on March 31, 2021, but its false starts, oversight examination, failures will be leaked, shouted out, debated about and all thus will provide ample fodder for Trump to convince his base the elections are rigged.

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Image: Caricature of Donald Trump with a red flag on the way to the 2020 Census by DonkeyHotey (flickr/Creative Commons) – not the sign and the flag were modified from the original by LikeTheDew.com.

David Roberts

David Roberts

More than you want to know: I am a senior citizen, quick someone tell me when is graduation, I was too old to be beatnik and too young to be a hippie. You've heard "middle-aged crazy" well I went middle-aged sane.

The first half of my life I was a professional musician. First in the 30th Army band in Munich Germany. I played tuba in the marching band, string bass in the big band and jazz ensemble, the last one paid...more than just the $120 a month the army paid me.

Back home attending school on the GI Bill at Auburn University studing music composition under John Tamblyn PhD. His piano teacher's piano teacher was Bella Bartok. In my Junior year Summer Qtr, Body Hinton head of the music department called me in and asked if I'd like to go on the road with the Jimmy Dorsey Band. Whoa sez I, my ship has come in I' going into the "big time". Yeah, I said yes. Told my wife this is it darli' next stop New York City. But I picked up the band in Indianapolis, Indiana they were staying at the Hilton yessir’re the big time.

The next morning at check out I met the piano player aka Fice Mook at check out. I asked him doesn’t the band pay for the hotel? He just laughed. I knew I was sold short.

Long story longer: at 35 I was with a band that had signed a record deal with London records, the man who signed us was the same man, Walt McGuire, who had signed the Rolling Stones to their first record deal; our producer was Chips Moman who was responsible for reviving Elvis’s career after the army…. Whoa sez I, my ship has come in I'm going into the "big time." Yeah, I said yes. Told my wife this is it darlin' next stop New York City. We did play NYC, recorded an album and nothing else happened at 40 I realized a life of Sex Drugs, and Rock’n’Roll wouldn’t see me in retirement… so I decided I had to learn how to make a living… more later...

My father said you can’t know where you’re going without knowing where you’ve been and you can’t know yourself with out knowing who you came from…

I am the son of Norwood Roberts son of Philip Roberts the son of William Roberts son of Philip Roberts III son of Philip Roberts II son of Philip Roberts I son of Thomas Roberts. Philip Roberts II fought with General Marion in the War of Independence or Revolutionary War .

My great, great, grandmother was Mary Ann Evans whose mother was Ann H. Macon whose father was Hartwell Macon whose mother was Mary Stephens whose father was William Stephens whose father was Richard Stephens whose father was Richard Stephens whose father was Richard Stephens whose father was Edward, Lord of Eastington, Stephens whose father was Henry Stephens whose father was John Stephens whose father was John Stephens Esq. whose father was Baron John Stephens whose father was Baron Richard Stephens whose father was John Stephens whose father was John Fitz Stephen whose father was Henry Fitz Stephen whose father was Henry Fitz Stephen whose father was John Fitz Stephen whose father was Ralph Fitz Stephen whose father was Ralph Fitz Stephen whose father was Ralph Fitz Stephen whose father was Thomas Fitz Stephen whose father was Airard Fitz Stephen came to England in 1066 from Normandy. Airard Fitz-Stephen who was the captain of the ship Moira, the ship that William the Conqueror took to England for the invasion and the subsequent Battle of Hastings.