In my experience a lot of those times can't be "stopwatched" at least not covertly. If you have a digital watch with a seconds readout, that can help. If I'm afraid it would look too obvious on ones like the 19 second greeting time question, I mentally estimate and unless it's obviously over I would give the benefit of the doubt if it's a yes/no question (which it often is). That said if the report wants the time to the second, I will do my best to get a time to the nearest second without blowing my cover.
I have a question regarding the ethics of job reports as it relates to forgetfulness and time estimates. Let me explain.
1.) Do editors and/or the clients accept that these things happen and are okay with occasional slip-ups (assuming they don't happen too frequently and/or don't occur too many times within the same report)?
3.) Do editors ever "cheat" or doctor your reports to make them more acceptable with or without your knowledge? (I suppose this is more of a rhetorical or speculative question, unless anyone has personal experience/knowledge of things like this.)
I had an editor demand I rewrite the narrative stating she would be afraid to offend the client. The amended narrative the editor substituted was pure fiction that, If I had written it, could have been rejected by the client. and used as reason to terminate me for offering a false report.
The editor sent me her amended narrative so that I might use it as a guide for the next shop. .
2.) Is there some industry or company-specific margin of error that is just accepted and understood (for example, no one expects you to get the timing down to the exact second literally, so 5 seconds give or take should be fine)?
The Timing is done by clicking on my recorder IN THE CAR. It hears everything. I have a conversation with my guest Here comes the salad, the bowls are chilled, I can listen at home without writing a word of notes. If I do not have a guest I talk to the counter person or server or grunt and groan at the appropriate time mark.
I did amend my narratives and I am sure the editor amended those narratives when I wrote "I am not privy to the employees handbook and standard that are acceptable in performing but if (this, that and the other thing inserting the observations I made) are acceptable, the performance was OUTSTANDING.
The editor could not write that I was negativeas I marked the questions "excellent".
PS the location went out of business at the location I shopped while similar casual restaurants in the mall flourished The owner never had the opportunity to be aware of the issues and make adjustments. I could not write to the franchisee owner to tell them the MSC was altering my report because of confidentiality. The owner could not pay me to testify. I would have been called as a witness in a law suit, for a "free meal"?
I believe editors are fearful that the client would terminate the MSC's contract if I offered the truth, the client can not handle the truth, they think. I believe the owner of the business wants the truth. They suspect something is wrong, they want a shopper to report BOTH the negative and positive and NOT explain or make excuses like "the server was taking care o five tables at rush hour" and the server was overwhelmed.
Thank you for your feedback and thoughts everyone!
" I usually make my best guess and lie" is some of the worst "advice" that I have read in this forum. Talk about ethics. If you think listening to your recording is time consuming or the shop pay is poor, don't take the shop. It really baffles the mind that people complain about low-paying shops while as ICs, we have free will over which shops we accept and which shops we turn down.@redazure wrote:
As for your other questions, I feel the same way. I am often not sure. I forget, did not time, etc... I try to record my shops but going over them is time consuming especially when a shop hourly pay is already poor and sometimes the recording is too poor to get the right details. I usually make my best guess and lie but I avoid this at all costs. I seldom do it. I am just worried that weak answers wont be accepted, future shops refused and I wont be paid. And not being paid after spending money and hours into a shop is upsetting.