Maritz Gas Station Audits

I'm doing my first route of Maritz gas station audits. A question for those of you who have done them- After you make your purchase inside, do you reveal yourself right away, or leave, go to your car and get your stuff and then come back to reveal and start the audit? I've only ever done one reveal shop so this is something that I'm not very familiar with. Thanks!

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I have been doing these shops for them for three years in Michigan and most of the instructions say that you are to make your purchase inside, then go to your car and get your stuff and then come back to reveal and start the audit? That way you are not carrying your clipboard and camera etc in with you and looking suspicious. Just a quick note on the gas stations shops as well.

Each Client of the MSC has different guidelines and they update regularly I have learned over the years to take extra photos they don’t cost anything and you can re-check some of the things you might miss like this one for instance last month I did a new round of shops for a new client of Maritz and I missed the part that they wanted a picture of both restrooms. If you could only get into one you are required to take a photo of the other door. Also if one was being used for a temporary unisex because the other was out of order a photo of the door and sign. That being said I missed that little fact and had to go back to take them. My mistake opps!

Here are some suggestions that I have found helpful:

Read instructions - guidelines
Print master guidelines for a notebook (I have one for each oil company) this saves paper.

Read instructions - guidelines

Check regularly for updates signage changes at least quarterly
· Take plenty of notes and photos take extra batteries for camera
· Make a master folder for the MSC on you computer
· Make a folder for the shop itself with id number - The first thing I do myself when I get in for the day is separate all the photos into the individual shop folders name them with the id numbers adding and date.
· Keep yourself organized

Read instructions - guidelines

Remember We are all in this together and “everything you do touches everything” You are somewhere in the future and you look much better than you do right now!

Read instructions - guidelines

God Bless
Also when I label my photos I make sure each one has visit number and city with short description. For example "123456 Zoltar Overall" If you've taken 3 or 4 of each view so you don't have to go back and take more I also number them such as Overall1, overall2 etc. It saves a ton of aggravation. Even within separate folders photos can go astray sometimes.

Her Serene Majesty, Cettie - Goat Queen of Zoltar, Sublime Empress of Her Caprine Domain
The first thing I used to do after transferring pics from my camera was to batch label them with either job IDs or some other identifier then move them into their own folders. By having specific shots to separate stations, the pump receipt first, the LOA last, it was easy to do from thumbnails.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I used to do it that way, now I've found it faster to change the explorer view to details and sort by the time the photo was taken.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I watch the photo times, too. I'd had cases of camera bump that jumbled pics.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Great advice so far. I'd just add to be sure to do everything in the right order. If they want you to pump gas before making your purchase, do it that way every time. (I learned the hard way on this one).

After I have done everything i need to do before the reveal, I leave the store, go to my car, and collect my clipboard, camera, and safety vest. Everything I'm going to need. I lock my purse and anything valuable I don't want to pack around in my trunk. Then I go into the store, present my letter, and go into the bathroom and put on the safety vest and take my picture in the mirror. That way I know that is the beginning of this particular audit. Every new station has that picture first. (This is for the green stations, I don't know if the others have the same requirement).

Anyway, you can do this. The learning curve feels steep at first but just follow the guidelines to the letter and you'll be doing them like clockwork in no time. Good luck!
Thank you everyone for the great advice! The one that I'm doing doesn't require a gas purchase or a safety vest. I feel like I got through them a lot quicker than I had anticipated so hopefully I'm not missing something. I did end up going to my car after the purchase to gather everything, and kind of gave myself a few minutes to get organized. It was a bit nerve wracking at first, but I feel a lot more comfortable after doing even just those few. I did have one guy who was pretty angry that I was there, saying that he didn't understand why they have to send someone out every three months. He requested that I let the company that I work for know that he only wants a visit once a year and that he wants to be notified beforehand. It was quite the experience but I just did what I had to do and got out of there. smiling smiley Again, I appreciate all of the great advice and I'll be sure to post again if I have more questions!
Kappa, that station that doesn't require the gas or the vest is the easiest, quickest one. Brace yourself for some of the others. One veteran (not me) has reported an average time for that station of eight minutes. I can believe it.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Well that explains it! It seemed so simple, I was wondering why the lady at Maritz told me to plan on an hour per station. Good to know! Thanks!
Well, all of the advice given is great.

Mine would be to review your photos whilst still at that station.

What I do is carry a laptop with me and while I'm in my car, filling out my own personal cheatsheet for that particular station, I download my photos into a file named for the station.

For instance, if I am performing a shop for Pegasus, I have a Pegasus file. In that file, I have a sub-file for the location.

Hence, if my station is in Mayville on Rte 67, I have a file for Pegasus, sub-file named Mayville. I download my photos into that file and then, review them. As I review them, I name them.

My cheatsheet is specific to that station's address. I fill out all of the necessary and pertinent information, staple my receipts (photo also taken) to the cheatsheet and I'm on to the next station.

It may seem tedious. However, after you have done as many as I have, it becomes quite fast and easy. For a Pegasus shop, they require your time at the station to be a minimum of 20 minutes.

And that is just about how long I find myself there. A beginner shall certainly be there longer.

The review of the photos is most important as is the cheatsheet. You do not want to find that you have missed a pump or an overall photo after arriving home to make your report. Therefore, it is most important that your cheatsheet list every required photo as a checking off list.

Of course, you should not list infractions as check-offs, rather, you should know them and at least have your guidelines present when performing the shop.

Most important is to be understanding and discerning.
If you're a Mac and iPhone user, the photo handling process couldn't be easier.
I take all my pics for one station. Then I create a shared folder (I name it with the location name, instead of visit ID, but that's a good idea too). In reviewing my photos while still at the location, I place them in the shared folder.
Do this for each location. Then, when I get home, I open up iPhoto on my Mac and click "cloud" and all of those folders are right there, ready to upload to the MSC. It couldn't be simpler.

Oh, and as far as doing revealed gas audits, my advice is to not be a complete a-hole. I recently took over a route for someone that had been doing this for quite a while. They called her the "secret cop'per" because she acted like a cop while she was there and showed no respect for the employees. Be nice and be friendly and realize that they have a business to run. If you're coming in there guns a'blazing, you're going to get a LOT of pushback.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
I always go back to my car. It felt like "gotcha" the only time I carried the LOA in with me and presented it as soon as I received a receipt. Besides, I carry my material in a three ring binder, which is pretty conspicuous.
It's amazing, though, how many nametags magically appear between the time that I ask for a $1 purchase receipt and when I return with my LOA!
The problem I was running into was after the reveal many cashiers wanted to change into proper uniform or had already changed when I came back in to take the counter shot. I'm glad the company addressed this in an update letter.
I've been using the street address # to identify the photos and receipts. In the last three months, I only had two jobs with the same # (100), so I used the street name instead on the second one. I also use one folder per month for all the photos and one folder per month for all receipts. It has worked pretty well for me so far.

I now need a program for dropping and dragging my photos to resize them to 640x480 in one shot. I have tried several and it seems that my android phone folder with the photos in them won't drop and drag. Does anyone have a good program they use with a Samsung S5?
If we're still talking about Maritz, I've never once resized a photo to 640x480. It's never been a problem, and I've used iPhones 4 through 6 to take my pics.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
I've never resized a photo for them either.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Hoju and bgriffin, what size are the photos you submit?

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.
Hmm... IT won't let me respond to you with the numbers.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
fifteen thirty-six by twenty forty eight

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
You can submit photos of any size, but it takes much longer for them to upload. I don't think it's just the amount of data being transmitted taking longer, I think it's being resized on their end as it uploads. Sometimes too large of a photo will actually crash the process and you'll get that dreaded error 500 message.
I resize mine with PixResizer, and it takes five seconds to resize an entire batch of 100. Saves many, many minutes on the upload to the MSC.
The only time I've ever experienced a problem with photo uploading is with MarketForce where their system limits the file size. Upload time hasn't really been a problem with Maritz. I think they upgraded their system a while ago because it was a nightmare before that.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
That is amazing that no one here has ever resized photo's, every since the new MaritzCX has taken over they are not the same nice company I started working for a while back. I loved the Maritz company and the people I worked with there. Things have changed.

Mary Davis Nowell. Based close to Fort Worth. Shopping Interstate 20 east and west, Interstate 35 north and south.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/29/2015 11:52PM by MDavisnowell.
My camera only takes 648 by 480 and loading is still a nightmare

Her Serene Majesty, Cettie - Goat Queen of Zoltar, Sublime Empress of Her Caprine Domain
Well I do resize my photos. I have some awesome program on the desktop that resizes all the photos in under 10 seconds. I just always thought the photos had to be 640x480.
They do have to be that size but the site still times out for me before they load, then I try doing half at a a time and it only gives you two chances to upload before giving up and telling you it's been submitted as is. I've talked to them about it and they said they hear about it a lot but it will be over a year before they get around to addressing it.

Her Serene Majesty, Cettie - Goat Queen of Zoltar, Sublime Empress of Her Caprine Domain
For years I've been submitting my photos at 1024 x 768 and do not resize. They have all been fine and go through easily. I changed the size after getting requests from companies about not being able to read receipts. The small print was not always clear with the smaller sized photos, so when I increased it to the next larger size (via my camera) I found the receipts and any other small print on photos were totally legible. Haven't had a problem since and all go through with all my companies. Just saying.

The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/06/2015 01:58PM by MsJudi.
My Samsung S5 has settings for picture size from the largest 3984x2988, to the smallest setting of 2048x1152. I am going to try that lowest setting today and then submit them and see what happens. This is the only part of the job I hate, resizing photos which takes too much time!
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