Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A New Job?

I applied for a new job today.


It's not in design. It's not in art. Here are some sample questions from the test I will have to take next month:

1. Multiply the numbers below:

1.5 x 6.3

A .945

B 9.45

C 94.5

D 945

2. In the set of numbers below, choose the number that

does not follow the pattern.

... 40, 140, 239, 340 ...

A 40

B 140

C 239

D 340

I hope I can find my thinking cap that day. I actually called to see if I could volunteer and they said,"we don't take volunteers - but we'll pay you." So I guess I'll do it that way. I want to be a Census Taker. Seriously. It's on my life passport just waiting for a stamp.

It's because of Indexing. Indexing is a volunteer effort going on all over the world through the LDS Church to digitize all of the old handwritten records - censuses, death records, marriage licenses, etc. so that people everywhere can search them (for free) and find their ancestors. I started doing it at the end of last summer and quickly became addicted. It's fascinating. Here are some of my favorite things I have come across:

A 40 year old woman with a 16 year old husband... with a 3 month old baby and somehow a 6 year old daughter... I'm pretty sure that was scandalous even in 1920.

Stars name their kids the craziest names. Meet Rob Lowe. He named his daughter Lowe Lowe.

This guy was born "At Sea"

And this is my favorite name: True Love Hall. Her Grandson was named Brownie.

C'mon. That is a good time, right? My addiction led me to a new calling in the ward: Indexing Czar. So now I have to motivate the people at church to love it as much as I do. Some people love it even more. We have indexed almost 65,000 names.

I write stories in my head about the names I index. Like the "boarders" who have secret affairs with the "servants" without the Head of the household even noticing. But what did he think would happen when they are all the same age living in such close quarters? Sometimes the stories are already there. I feel sad for the 30 year old black widow in Louisiana in 1920 with seven kids. None of them could read or write. When I get my flux capacitor fixed - I'm going back in time to help her. Poor thing.

It has gotten me thinking about this year's census and about the stories and crazy things that are happening RIGHT IN MY TOWN! I really want to know. So I know I'm crazy, but this summer I hope to be going door to door and writing everyone's information with really illegible, horrible handwriting so that future indexers will spend extra time scratching their heads and wondering about my little town.

(NO, Melanie, I won't get killed and plastered into a basement wall. What is wrong with your brain?)


Adrienne said...

Dear Shelby,
This is sickening. Who even likes indexing? Oh that's right... me. When I first discovered indexing I got really good at ditching my boyfriend on Friday nights so I could go to the ward indexing all-nighters. I'm proud to have you in my family.

The Castillo's said...

OK, if you ever come across any of my ancestors, just know that it wasn't my fault and that I was born far after the branches began bonding together, somehow I survived a possible catastrophe. (At least I think so.)

Amy Cima said...

Did someone say ward indexing all-nighter? Why haven't we thought of this Shelby? Sounds like a good excuse to hang out with friends and drink caffeine. I want to go to there.

Lexi said...

Seriously. I didn't read this before I said I wanted to do door to door census work with Bill Gates. I would LOVE to do census work. Seriously. Why are we so weird?

Oh yeah. Mom.

Lexi said...

did you know a group of census workers is called a "murder"?

for obvious reasons, of course.

Anonymous said...
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Melanie said...

You couldn't pay me enough to knock on Ted Bundy's door just in time to help him load a couch into his van because he recently broke his arm.

Plastered into the wall -- luxury. He'll keep me alive in his crawl space for years!

Katie Price said...

i wish my in-laws were normal.

pretty sure this indexing thing is just another way to kiss your mom's butt so you get raja. it's okay, really. you can have him.

Lexi said...

Katie doesn't get a vote.

Cheryl said...

i loved indexing! it led to me being what i'm hooked on now which is the family history research, geneology, whatever you wanna call it side. and that always leads me right back to the online census records which were made available by indexers. i'm transcribing old letters from the 1880's right now and indexing majorly helped my ability to read these letters. and i say do the indexing all nighter! fun!

shel7by said...

We did an indexing all-nighter and it was blissful. We'll do it again. Our ward reached 100,000 that night.