Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Please Confirm Your Answer
I fill out the American Community Survey, but out by the Census Board, over the weekend. In addition to asking whether we had both hot AND cold running water, how many rooms our house had and what our yearly water bill was, it also asked for information about each of us- our education, job duties , commute time, date of our most recent marriages-that sort of thing. And again we ran into the issue of how to make A's job fit into predefined catagories not designed for pilots. Every time I tried to fill in an answer, I'd get an "oops, we've detected an error" type message. Because you can't possibly work in a zip code that far away from you home. ( really, how does one define what zip code a pilot works in anyway? His base? Company headquarters? Which airport he lands at the most?) One can't possibly commute 280 minutes one way- because our software doesn't account for 4 day trips between commutes and airplanes as a mode of commute transportation. How to express the number of hours worked daily? Especially versus the time actually paid or time away from base. So you can thank me the next time you see skewed numbers related to pilot incomes, work hours and lifestyle. It wasn't misreporting or wishful thinking, it was the constraints of ten data collection system.