I need a critique of my narrative.

I have been mystery shopping for many years and I believe I know how to write good narratives. I submitted the comments below for a shop and received the following from the editor: "Please use the correct punctuation. Do not write in run on sentences." My comments are in response to the questions in the Sassie form. It is not a one paragraph narrative and hence it may seem a bit disjointed. I deleted the name of the product as I don't want to be too specific on the client or the MSC. Any comments are welcome. I don't understand the editor's comments. Here is my narrative:


The server asked if I wanted to add a drink to my order but he did not mention anything specifically. He thanked me but did not invite me to return. He smiled frequently and was personable. I waited 15 seconds to order and was not initially offered a sample or a suggestion of what to order. After I received the food, the cashier asked if I wanted to order a drink and offered me a sample of xxxxxxxxx. The xxxxxx's were attractively displayed in a cup. This is a mall location with no restroom. There was no banner on the front of the counter. The xxxxxxx's were not priced. There were no prices shown for the drinks. They were nice and light and a delicious snack without being too filling.

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The only minor error I see is that there should be a comma in the first sentence after the word "order" . . . "The server asked if I wanted to add a drink to my order, but he did not mention anything specifically." (Two or more independent clauses were joined by a conjunction, which requires a comma.) That technically made it a run-on sentence.

The rest was fine. The advice to "not write in run on sentences" (plural) appears to be overly broad. You missed one comma, once. Additionally, your editor doesn't seem to know that "run-on" (two words used together acting as an adjective) should by hyphenated. I'd just shrug it off as a possibly brand-new editor trying to impress.
Here's my critique: Your narrative is good enough. Don't sweat it.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Thanks Izzy. That's exactly what I wanted to hear. It's interesting that I use MS Word and it often corrects grammar mistakes for me. However in this case, it didn't show the missed comma. This was a low paying shop for a small reimbursement and it just annoyed me to get those comments. (I think I just created another run-on sentence!)
Hahaha . . . I think MDavisnowell hit the nail on the head -- don't sweat it, it was good enough!
I thought it was fine, and the comma in that place would be optional based on the relatively short length of the sentence, so that could go either way.

Editor was having a bad hair day (or works for intellishop). Don't worry about it.

Time to build a bigger bridge.
@dspeakes wrote:

Editor was having a bad hair day (or works for intellishop). Don't worry about it.

Lol

The narrative isn't full of run ons. To me, it reads a bit disorganized but otherwise it's fine.

Silver Certified ~ Shopping all of Toronto and beyond
As long as you have good detail and the right info, it will be fine. Editor might reword things differently, but that is on them.
@kenasch wrote:


The server asked if I wanted to add a drink to my order but he did not mention anything specifically. He thanked me but did not invite me to return. He smiled frequently and was personable. I waited 15 seconds to order and was not initially offered a sample or a suggestion of what to order. After I received the food, the cashier asked if I wanted to order a drink and offered me a sample of xxxxxxxxx. The xxxxxx's were attractively displayed in a cup. This is a mall location with no restroom. There was no banner on the front of the counter. The xxxxxxx's were not priced. There were no prices shown for the drinks. They were nice and light and a delicious snack without being too filling

My silly take on it. I do most of my shops using chrome and Grammerly is offered for free in chrome so I use it. Only thing I spotted, was the comma after order. Here is my first ever shops editorial reply.
****************************
Thank you for your report. You provided us with the correct information; however, it was very time consuming to edit due to spelling, grammar and sentence structure issues. Please make sure to read through your narratives one more time to avoid these mistakes. Otherwise great job! Got a 9/10 out off of it. Started using a grammer checker after that one. Do not have MS Word and don't really want it.
****************************
The server said to me, "do you want to add a drink with your order". But he did not mention anything specifically. He thanked me for my visit, but he did not invite me to return. He smiled frequently and was personable. I waited 15 seconds to order and was not initially offered a sample or a suggestion of what to order. After I received the food, the cashier asked if I wanted to order a drink and offered me a sample of Ginseng Green Tea. The free toes were attractively displayed in a cup. This is a mall location with no restroom. There was no banner on the front of the counter. The phalanges were not priced. There were no prices shown for the drinks. They were nice and light and a delicious snack without being too filling.
@Ccc1122 wrote:

I got the same comment on my report. Did you get an 8?

Yes I got an 8. I also was told not to abbreviate. I referred to the "10 pk" that I received. I used "pk" instead of "pack" since that was the way it was listed on the receipt. I also failed to capitalize the name of the product properly. They capitalize one of the letters in the middle of the name. Wow is me.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/18/2015 06:13AM by kenasch.
I substituted milkshake for xxxxxx

The server asked if I wanted to add a drink to my order but he did not mention anything specifically. (Needs comma between order & but.)

He thanked me but did not invite me to return. (Needs a comma between me and but. He is the subject inferred in the part after "but" so it is a compound sentence that needs to be separated by a comma.)

He smiled frequently and was personable.

I waited 15 seconds to order and was not initially offered a sample or a suggestion of what to order. After I received the food, the cashier asked if I wanted to order a drink and offered me a sample of milkshake. (These 2 sentences should probably be broken up into 4 or commas added for the same reason as above.)

The milkshake's were attractively displayed in a cup. (A plural of a noun does not need an apostrophe. It is not a contraction nor does the milkshake possess anything)

This is a mall location with no restroom. There was no banner on the front of the counter.
The milkshake's were not priced. (Again, no apostrophe.)
There were no prices shown for the drinks. They were nice and light and a delicious snack without being too filling.

As others have said, though, if you got paid don't sweat it!

Kim
I agree the first sentence doesn't necessarily need a comma, and the the narrative is fine how it is. If I had to nitpick, I would suggest adding a comma in the last sentence after "nice and light," but that's all.

I used to write a lot of online content that went through editors. One thing I learned is that every editor has his or her own style preferences, and you can never please everyone.
Ask the editor to state exactly what they are referring to because you can not respond to vague commentary.

Don't expect a response
The only thing I can add to the above comments is the narrative seems a bit disjointed, that is, it's out of sequence.

I also think too much is made of points. As long as I get paid, that's all I care about. Now, if I were to consistently be getting 6 or 7, I would be concerned and seek advice from the MSC.

.
Have PV-500 & willing to travel.
"Answers are easy. It's asking the right questions which is hard." (The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil, 1977)

"Somedays you're the pigeon, somedays you're the statue.” J. Andrew Taylor

"I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him." Galileo Galilei
For what it is worth, I am a former English teacher. Ten teachers can grade the same paper and I guarantee you we would all have different edits. We would agree on the major errors, but likely would have differences of opinion on the minor stuff. Many of the minor grammar rules change more often than most people think. As other said, don't sweat it.
@James Bond 007.5 wrote:

The only thing I can add to the above comments is the narrative seems a bit disjointed, that is, it's out of sequence.

Yes, it is disjointed but that is because it was not a one paragraph narrative. Each sentence (or two) was a specific answer to a question in Sassie, in the order that they were asked. I pulled the answers together to make one paragraph for ease of posting in this forum.
How about this:

"The server asked if I wanted to add a drink to my order? He did not mention any specific drink. He thanked me for coming in but did not invite me to return to the location. He was personable and friendly during the interaction. My wait time was 15 seconds to order and I was not offered a sample. Nor did I observe any sampling at this location. After my food was plated, the cashier asked if I would like a beverage with my order? She also asked if I would like a sample of the chicken? The chicken was attractively displayed in the cup, with fresh ingredients and an appetizing appearance. This location was inside a mall and had no restroom. I did not observe a banner on the counter and the price signage for beverages, was not visible at this location. The chicken was a light, delicious snack, without being too filling. smiling smiley
I received the same editing statement. I think the same editor gives the same edit answer every time. I think we all know which company this is.
Job security. Editors need to find mistakes or they would not have a job. Your narrative was fine for what they were probably paying you.
That comma in the first sentence as mentioned. I am guessing it may have been intellishop as the msc. I little hard to read as it jumped a bit. overall fine so like has been stated don't sweat it.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
Thanks for all the help and suggestions. One thing I've learned for sure is to avoid compound sentences. No more "and, or, but" for me. I will keep my sentences short and to a single point. Oops, used the "and" word again!
Intellishop , the MSC thats says
"We deducted one point because we did not have to contact you for more information"
Your deducted no matter what you do
Sunnydays, it needs to be either: The server asked if I wanted to add a drink to my order. *or* The server asked, "Do you want to add a drink to your order?" If you are not quoting verbatim, you do not put a question mark at the end.

And "Nor did I observe any sampling at this location. " is not a sentence. It should be joined to the preceding sentence with a comma.

Time to build a bigger bridge.
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