The much trumpeted last ever census ever to be conducted in the uk, because the country's too poor ever to attempt it again, promptly arrived on 27th March 2011.
Being an online-hawk (albeit with small wings that periodically furiously flap), I decided to complete the form on net a couple of days after receiving everything in the post, and well before the cut-off date which was officially highlighted in bold if my memory is to be believed.
I didn't, however, click that final submit button, as I had no idea whether anyone would be staying here at any time ever again, let alone overnight on the 27th March 2011. The likelihood was no-one, but if forced to answer by having a pair of hot-tongs waved in front of my face, i'd have probably indicated whilst sweating profusely that the probability was 99.9999999% that no one would be. In reality it turned out i was 100% correct, I was indeed here; but at the time, a few weeks before the deadline, I didn't know; and wanting to be a dutiful citizen I specifically - especially after reading the blurb which said you could complete as much as possible, and then whatever you had filled in but not yet committed would be used as your answer - waited, before even thinking about pressing the 'button'. A button presumably put there for clairvoyants.
So everything was filled in. Apart from that bit, because I didn't know. After all it wasn't the 27th.
The 28th arrived. I went, 'bugger!'
Imagine my surprise then when, on the 13th April 2011 (yesterday), whilst cursing my environment, the doorbell sprang into life.
Normally, after picking up the intercom, you're either blasted by wailing shrieks, squeaks, whistles or pops, as the "saw them coming" system on the one hand attempts to connect both ends via different communications protocols and magnificently fails, to the other of pretending it's not really a working system, and showers you in silence.
I knew something was up when I heard a crystal clear and chirpy voice pipe through the wires saying, "I'm sharna from the census office. We don't have a record of you completing the census."
"What?" I retorted. Thinking they're happy allowing their underlings to poison you, but don't fill in a form and its "oh, we'll be down on you like a truck of cement as obviously you're a naughty citizen, you, yes you!"
"I'm from the census office. We haven't received your form."
"I filled it in online."
"You filled it in online?"
Oh and a parrot.
"Okay", a brief moment of hesitancy aimlessly drifted before the official sprang back to life. “I'll mark it down then," and she was gone.
This was all undertaken via an intercom which normally decides it's not going to co-operate. Think of the lifts in the hitchhikers guide, but far less friendly for most of the time.
Moral? Always take a a hammer to something electro-mechanical, it saves fretting about it turning into skynet01.