Saturday, May 21, 2011
The Draw of the Hat!
No, that's not a picture of one of Jehovah's Witnesses knocking at a door. Rather, it's from a brochure placed at my door by the National Institute of Statistics or the cousin of the Uruguayan Census bureau.
I say cousin because there are two programs in effect. One is the countrywide Census taken every 10 years here in Uruguay. That one is due to take place this September, 2011. Everyone in this country (much like the one done in the United States) will be visited for a count.
The brochure placed at my door was for a yearly ongoing census that people are chosen to participate in.
Everyone, eventually partakes in this ongoing questioning about your life and business. I asked, why was this, the first time in 3 years that I was being contacted if it's a yearly program? The survey taker said because they just break the group up into random draws throughout the year, and my lot finally came up.
The survey question askers, all have a badge to identify them. In the brochure it states that all persons are obligated to answer the "encuesta" or in English the "survey/poll/inquiry/investigation"Article 14 of the Law 16.616 of October, 1994.
The brochure uses words like "the information you offer" and in looking back, I could have told her anything and she'd have had to believe me (unless she could see it for herself).
My brother worked for the US census bureau doing a summer stint recently and he told me how rude some people were and how, he had to report shot guns and bad dogs during his route. I guess with that in mind I was willing to partake fully but in looking back I thought the questions were more about material things than needed. When I asked her why these types of questions were asked she said that the government likes to know about electrical usage and such so they can plan on providing services.
Here are some questions asked (in the future, other expats should ask what would happen if you refuse to answer, I didn't)
How many people living in the home? Their ages, level of education (starting with Kindergarden!) Was the school public or a private one?, Income, What they do for a living?, What did you do before moving here (since I said that we were retired), any outside money sources, (rental,bonds, Alimony, etc...)This I feel was too nosey! Do you have children? Do you own your home (or have a mortgage) or rent, How many rooms in the house. If you had to rent your house out, what do you think you could get as rent? Do you own any other homes? Do you have a cell phone, How many TV's, computers?, Do you have a VHS or a DVD player, Microwave, dishwasher, washer, dryer? Car? Do you have a cedula?, Do you have Medical Insurance? Do you pay for it yourself or does an employer? Do you have emergency service (ambulance rider attached to your insurance) How many years have you lived here? Where did you live before? Do you have any black people in your family (that you are descended from) or Indians? All in all, I think the questions generally were intrusive!
On a lot of other surveys I have seen in my life, the number of people, ages, education and home ownership are the usual questions and in the USA the race question was asked. I remembered in the US a number of questions about Hispanics were asked, (this was way before the Arizona immigrant issue, but I can't help and wonder if that didn't help lead up to that issue)
I was able to answer about Wally for Wally and our cedula numbers were not asked for, just if we had them.
I just thought that I should prepare any expats or Uruguayans that you could be next, for the draw of the hat.
If not, then expect them in September! I was told, I would have to do that one as well!