I just had to cancel 23 shops!

I'm really concerned since I'm still so new at this that companies are going to deem me unreliable. So far the scheduler e-mails back to me have been friendly and sympathetic, but I'm concerned anyway.

My half brother passed away Monday night. I had done 7 shops on monday before I found this out. I have not had time to report those shops yet. The schedulers are trying to work with me.

I do not mean to sound cold when I say this but my half brother and I have never been close. He was 58, I am 32. We never saw each other aside from holidays, and when our father passed away 16 years ago we drifted apart to the extreme. In the past 3 years I have made attempts to contact him; sending him Christmas cards, calling when our uncle passed away. I never heard a word back from him.

Tuesday morning I get a call from his wife, my sister in law I suppose she is though I had never met her before. Apparantly my brother had a will, and specifically requested I be in charge of his funeral arrangements! I am quite baffled by this, but I will honor his wishes. His wife is helping me as I have never had to do anything like this before.

I felt it best to clear my schedule for the rest of the week to focus on the task at hand. 23 jobs, only a handful I can reschedule since next week is full of gas station audits for me, the rest I had to cancel.

I also messed up my first job with National Audits, when I scanned the form I didn't preview it, just sent it and then put the paperwork in the mail. Got an e-mail that the scan cut off both sides of the form with pertinent time sensitive information on it. I fear I lost $100 for that and credibility with the company.

Sigh, it's been a rough week.

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I'm sorry for your loss.

Life sometimes demands that we make a choice. Forget the cancellations; you can work through the rebuild. Whether you and your half-brother were close is not the issue. You have arrangements to make and obligations. You won't regret doing the right thing.
Yes, sorry for your loss. Most companies realize that there are things well beyond our ability to control that come up from time to time. Keep them informed of what is going on, appreciate their consideration and when you can start up again be completely reliable so they know they were correct to work with you.
Tough situation. At least the schedulers are willing to work with you. It sounds like you might have built some credibility already.


“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
I have always said that there are a few situation that employers (and that's what the MS companies are, really) have to be forgiving of certain life events that cannot be helped or changed, and that includes births, deaths, serious illness and marriages.

If someone dies, that trumps anything. It doens't matter how close you were. You do what you have to do. They will have to go on your reputation, which sounds good already.
I know you are new to this but everyone understands that there are circumstances beyond our control. If for some reason they don't then you do not want to work with them anyway. As long as you do your best to deliver your part then you just keep moving forward. I had to cancel a shop yesterday. I have a very sick child at home with the flu. The scheduler was very kind and sent me an email wishing him a speedy get well and allowed me to re-schedule. I will say this, once you have been doing this a little while and you build a relationship with the schedulers you consistently deal with it will make these kind of circumstances much easier to handle. They will know what kind of shopper you are and if you are reliable. Hope this helps.
WOW! First, I am sorry for your loss and commend you for stepping up to assist with the funeral arrangements. But, 23 shops - good grief, (no pun intended) how do you keep up with that many assignments - specifically 7 in one day. I am new to this industry and more than two per day is almost overwhelming. But I will admit it is very interesting and enlightening. I am amazed at the lack of customer service I sometimes encounter. But on the flip side, encouraged by the kindness that I receive, though rare. As far as Market Force, I was able to reschedule with them. So, I guess its on a individual case basis. It won't hurt to try.
VenaiLyn Wrote:
how do you keep up with that many
> assignments - specifically 7 in one day. I am new
> to this industry and more than two per day is
> almost overwhelming.

As you become more experienced you will not need to study up on specific jobs, just glance through the instructions and questionnaire to see if there is anything new. When I am studying a new-to-me job I make notes on a cheat sheet about requirements in a spiral notebook. For subsequent jobs I already have my cheat sheet to refresh my memory and it is updated with new requirements if necessary.

I try to have no more than 1 new-to-me job per trip out to do shops. The most productive way to do shops is to route them and I have general routes I do that I am always on the lookout to pick up shops along the way that day. It is not terribly unusual to do 7-12 jobs on a particular route if I can get the dates/times to work out. This is where the jobs that have a 3-5 day window in which to do them is a true blessing. While I will not go out for a single job of less than about $15 overall benefit, I can readily work $10-12 benefit jobs into a route to make it more productive. The trick to this is being very aware of what you have accepted already to get the other stuff to work in.
I agree with Flash. The more the better, as long as they are quick and familiar. If not, I don't want to be doing more than 1 in a day.

“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
The 7 in one day were all bank shops. I use my dvr and type the reports out almost word for eword by just listening, they're easy. The Exxon shops I do I can do up to 15 in a day and they are super easy too.

Some of my shops were marketforce and they let me reschedule no problem.
Really? MFI? Wow. I'm impressed by that. Seriously. They are so rigid, in general. Except for the shops/folks that were SG Marketing...

“Lying in bed would be an altogether perfect and supreme experience if only one had a colored pencil long enough to draw on the ceiling."
~Gilbert K. Chesterton
I have not found MFI unreasonable about rescheduling, though it is certainly not something I undertake lightly. A year or so we had a hurricane headed my way according to forecasters. I don't remember exactly the days of the week involved, but lets say the storm was expected to hit on Wednesday, my shop was scheduled for Thursday and I asked if I could reschedule for Tuesday. They very politely got back to me that Tuesday was outside of the window promised to the client, though I could have Friday or Saturday if that worked better than Thursday. My anticipation was that if we got hit it really wasn't going to matter if the shop was Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Monday. So we left it as a Thursday with the understanding that if we did get hit I might not be able to contact them even to let them know I was unable to do the job, and they indicated they understood. We did not get hit, the shop got done on Thursday as originally scheduled and it was a no harm, no foul situation. I found them understanding but stuck by client limitations. I did not straight cancel because if I was unable to do the shop, probably no other shopper would be able to do it either.
all the ones rescheduled were gas station revealed audits that I rescheduled according to the list of dates that were available.
So sorry about your loss. I can't see any company worth working for "DAing" you just because of this. Life happens...to schedulers and shoppers alike. 99% of schedulers will work with shoppers (whenever possible) to reschedule shops when there's an emergency.

Joan, Scheduler

Private Eyes Scheduling
Warning: This User Has Been Banned or Is No Longer Active
MFI is very easy on those Phillips 76 gas audits. Basically they want shopper to check and make sure the gas stations are converting to their red , instead of orange and the carport are in the new standard format. They will let you reschedule on these up to 4 times. MFI although is the parent company of Certi.
and they dont have the attitude either. At least at this time they dont.
Hi seibahbah. Please remove the client name from your post. Replace it with something like "gas" or "gas station". It is a violation of your ICA with MFI to be revealing their clients.
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