Will their be a Test on it Later?
***I first rattled off this post after the last Census in 2016; our first time doing it via the Interweb (don’t mention The War?) Thought I’d pop it up again just because… fingers crossed for tomorrow night, folks! xxx
This Tuesday 9th August is Census night here in Australia.
The official ‘Counting of the People’ to find out what jobs we do, how many babies we’ve made since the last tot-up, the religion with which we devote ourselves to and in what language we prefer to speak it in.
But this year, thanks to timely advancements in technology – we get to do it ONLINE!
So, with the dinner mess and the children cleared away we make ourselves comfy. Plop onto our sofas, whip out our laptops to dutifully log on (as per instruction) only to learn… shock… horror… and disbelief as the entire Census website comes crashing down into a million pieces, shattering its techno-self all over our lounge room floors.
(Which is actually where we feel like chucking our computers right about now).
Oh, there’s rumours abound of dodgy ‘hackers’ infiltrating from overseas bandied about, or (depending on who you asked)… that the systems been shut down on purpose by the Statistics people – for security reasons and to ‘protect the data’ don’t you know.
Not helped by the PM who then appears on our TV screens saying how smoothly it was all going and how he filled in his Census in a matter of minutes, it was that darn easy-peasy, Census-squeezy.
Whatever the truth behind the debacle of Tuesday night (and do we really care?), I found it interesting to note (gotta love hindsight) that the majority of my elderly clients had no inkling of all the technological fuss and bother we’d just experienced.
BECAUSE THEY DID THEIRS ON PAPER!
Oblivious to all the IT angst we nifty younger folk were suckered into, the mature-ager instead if he or she so desired, got to ring up and order a nice smart printed version be mailed out to them in the post. Meaning they could settle in and complete their Census paperwork at the kitchen table with only a working ball-point pen (blue or black only, please) and hot cuppa to worry about.
Maybe a nice bit of ginger slice, for the real Census-ly committed?
In fact I’ve been visiting my client’s homes all week to find many of them still in Census-ing mode. Slapping down a tick here, a tick there – in between a trip to the shops or a scheduled medical appointment or getting their hair done. Then back to it they go over lunch, biro in hand…tickety, tick, TICK.
Because for some of my elderly beloveds, it’s a thrill just to have a small bit of purpose thrust into their fairly low-key lives. And by limiting themselves to just the one page of tantalising ticking per day, the truly Census-savvy can stretch out the excitement for at least a fortnight!
Amusing too, is the accompanying commentary they share with me. Reminds me how witty these playful pensioners with their wry senses of humour can be when they try:
“Gee, I had to think hard about some of these questions, Dollie. Makes you wonder how all the stupid people get on?”
“If not enough of us tick ‘Christian’, do you think they will end up cancelling Christmas?”
“Fictional nonsense, this Census business. I’ve bought my mother back alive twice over the last 20 years of doing this rubbish – and they haven’t picked me up on it yet!”
“Better get on with my ‘homework’ then, Dollie. I feel like I’m back at school! Do you think there will be a test on it later?”
“Charlie always loved a good Census… said it made him feel ‘Australian’! I toyed with including him in the numbers, I mean… they aren’t to know he’s sitting in an urn on the mantelpiece, are they?”
“Census? More like ‘Senseless’ if you ask me!”
Needless to say, we here at my house are still poised waiting to launch Operation Census online. Fortunately, they have informed us on the telly that we have until mid-September before they start dishing out fines for non-completion.
Perhaps, just to be safe, they should consider extending that ’til Christmas? Assuming we still have one that is…