Sunday, May 9, 2010
Of Time, Food Poisoning, and the US Census 2000.
c. David Grim (taken 4/25/08)
It becomes more and more obvious to me with each passing year that time accelerates for the individual. The last ten years seem (in retrospect) to have passed in the same amount of time that I experienced from age 25 to age 30. I can only imagine what this phenomenon is going to feel like when I am in my 70's.
Ten years ago at this time of the year I was working for the United States government for the first (and so far only) time in my life. It was US Census 2000. I worked my way up to crew leader of the neighborhood I had recently moved into. It was a rapid ascent, encapsulated within the space of about 4-6 months. At the beginning of that particular journey, I had recently quit a gig working with adults with mental health AND mental retardation issues. I had stopped by the jobs center down the street from my new rented house, and quickly set an appointment to take a type of civil service exam.
The day I took the test couldn't have been more inauspicious. I ate lunch at an independently-owned hot dog shop of some repute (the place is notorious for its strong essence of body odor flowing out of its doors and down the sidewalk). I ended up an hour later with my first cramps. And then the stuff I ate began to come rapidly from both ends. Still I got a high enough score to be invited to work at the temporary downtown office, entering data into the still-unwieldy, publicly-financed desktop computers.
After a short stint at the enumeration job (which entailed driving around the city, trying to find addresses to deliver follow-up surveys), and an attempted car-jacking that I negotiated safely by flashing my US flag badge ominously from the interior of my GEO Metro, I took the manager's test and scored a supervisory position that I undertook from the second floor of a bar that has since become the Brillobox. Now I can see bands that I enjoy, or dance with hipsters, where I used to badger my poor employees to get everyone counted.
Anyway, I could have never foreseen the conditions of my life a decade later. And I'm sure the same thing applies to my future. I'd suggest that it's all going to be quite an interesting journey, but that fails in its vast quality of understatement.