Freestyle Friday: Your Response, Or Else

Good morning! Let’s get going!

A follow-up to last week’s post; Leah snagged Williams-Sonoma Christmas themed pancake molds and a spatula in Dirty Santa. I came home with a mug with a bicycle bell on the handle, so I can just ring when I need a refill, and an unrated copy of the movie Jackass.

A couple of you asked why I didn’t post anything Wednesday of this week. I have two posts in the hopper that need a little refinishing that should be up soon. I might have gotten one post up this week, but I read this post by Amye McManic, mom and wife in a sweet family that belongs to the same church as us. Whatever I was going to post seemed so insignificant.

ACSBrochure_miniBack on the lighter note, I came home a few weeks ago to find an envelope addressed to me, or the Current Resident, from the United States Department of Commerce. I opened it, thinking that it was a refinance offer disguised as ‘Official Government Business’, and found that it was a notice of a survey and that I HAD to respond and participate. Failure to respond to the survey would result in fines and penalties and possibly jail time. I ignored it. Then I forgot it. Then I got another letter.

The second letter said much the same as the first. This was the American Community Survey, and I had better logon on to a computer and complete the survey. “The survey should take approximately 40 minutes.”

FORTY MINUTES? Who has 40 undivided minutes to sit at a computer and complete some survey? I’m going to post my ideal week next Wednesday and you’ll see, there aren’t many 40 minute blocks of time in my week to share any additional thoughts with anyone. I certainly don’t have 40 minutes to share with an organization that doesn’t seem to have cared about my thoughts and concerns in years.

After a few more letters demanding my participation in an online survey and reminding me of the penalties of non-participation, I received the paper survey in the mail. It was as warm and fuzzy as you would imagine. About eight pieces of 11″ x 17″ paper, folded over twice, with a nice green bar design that reminded me of the early 90s (and I feel fiiinnnnne). After receiving the hard copy survey, I acquiesced and found a computer.

The survey consisted, mostly, of demographic and wage information. It was like getting a head start on my tax return. Form 1040-Light. Ninety percent of this information was contained in my tax return. That made me wonder, can these people not talk to each other? The inefficiency was (and is) maddening! All that effort, and all those threats, to get information that someone in Washington already has!? I have to believe that we can do better than that.

If I was President, y’all wouldn’t like it. We’d be on beans and rice for four years, but you know what? We wouldn’t send out surveys to get information that we already have. (But the Department of Commerce and the IRS are two different departments and blah, blah, blah. So is the NSA, but they seem to get information they want without asking.)

Go have a nice weekend. Remember the McManics in your prayers. We are in the 12 days leading up to Christmas, which means that our elves are back!