going out

Secret Shopper

While the kids were in Wisconsin for the second time this summer, I was busy, busy, busy!! I was working until 2:00 in the morning if not later, meeting up with some women I met through the internet and taking care of the herd of animals that I have somehow found to be my most loyal of friends. But I did do something I’ve always wanted to do – going on a secret shopper assignment.

It is funny how much like a spy I felt on the day of the assignment. I read the instructions and took notes on the items that I needed to note in my report. While it felt appropriate, I decided not to eat the instructions – can you say, “taking an assignment a little TOO seriously”?!!

My assignment was to eat at a restaurant in the food court of one of our local malls. I was given a specific day to do this and a time frame in which to complete the assignment. I took my assignment seriously and really wanted to do the best job possible.

People who know me know that I am seriously time challenged.  Getting somewhere on time is a major problem for me.  And while I could go on and on about the psychology that goes through my mind when I am running late, that would get me off track.  Something else that has always been a bit of a problem for me!  But on this particular day, I was bound and determined to BE ON TIME.  I did arrive at the mall with plenty of time to spare – getting to the restaurant was more of a challenge.  There are so many distractions between the entrance and the food court.  But I did get there, I did order and I did get my report in within 12 hours of the assignment – a requirement of the job.

Secret shopping is not a lark. There are so many parts to the assignment and so much to remember. How long did it take to get through the line? Were they in proper uniform including name tags? No nail polish or piercings (except for a single ear-piercing) allowed? How were you greeted? Those are just the obvious questions. There was much, much more.  Is it worth the time spent on the task?  The payment is not exactly going to feather my nest egg but I did get a meal at the food court and some me time at the mall.  The me time is a payment that can’t be assigned a monetary value.  So yes, I thought it was worth it and I would definitely do it again.  As a famous commercial likes to say…..”Priceless”……

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