Shopper-Scheduler Relationships: Etiquette, Ethics, and Rules

@ceasesmith wrote:

" For example, in this post above, I do think that MSCs should let shoppers know that they can ask for and negotiate shops (plus bonuses). It would put everyone on an even playing field."

I don't WANT an even playing field! I think the best should be duly compensated; by "best", I mean those of us who have paid their dues and proven their reliability and integrity. But I've been quite open about suggesting how "newbies" can ask for and get bonuses. If you've been doing a job for 10 years, do you think the college drop out who started last week is worth as much as you are? I don't think so! If I am willing to get those bonused shops by working 17 hour days, should the shopper who isn't willing to drive more than 30 miles get the same $100 I get for a shop 90 miles from my house? I don't think so.

That being said -- disagreeing with you, but I hope in a non-inflammatory, non-hurtful way -- I do hope you reconsider and don't leave the forum.

A forum doesn't teach/learn/communicate if it's left with only the members who agree with one another.

Oh, what a dreadfully boring place this old Earth would be if no one ever disagreed with one another!!!!!
Please, do stay!
smiling smiley

Thanks for the peaceful and thoughtful response, ceasesmith.

I wanted to clarify what I meant earlier when I said "even playing field." It was in context to something different from what you're describing here above. smiling smiley In the PJ's thread, I asked if it was okay to ever call a scheduler to ask if we could get a bonus for a shop that did not have one advertised to everyone as such. So, for example, you might see schedulers email you with shop offers saying such and such a shop has a $10 bonus. Let's call that $10 bonus shop PJ1.

Well, suppose I knew that I would be driving toward the mall, where a shop was located that did not have an advertised bonus. We'll call that location PJ2. I asked if it was okay to personally call a scheduler up and ask if I could do PJ2 for a bonus. I thought of doing that, but I also wondered if it was too aggressive. And I also asked if that gave me an unfair advantage over other shoppers, who might be willing to shop PJ2 for a bonus too, but were unaware that you could ask for one like that. I didn't want to do anything unfair and/or too aggressive.

So when I was talking about unfair playing fields, I was thinking of situations like this and wondering if it did create an unfair playing field. I actually wasn't aware that shoppers could even ask for bonuses until approximately two months ago (although, I've only been shopping for six months total now). I only found out from reading this forum. So that made me wonder why mystery shopping companies don't inform shoppers of these informal practices in training and such.

I have no problem with schedulers offering perks or "hidden" and "better" shops to preferred shoppers who have a proven track record with them! I think that's logical and beneficial to everyone. Shoppers SHOULD be distinguished by their performance, as we are in every other work environment. There're incentives and rewards in place that promote good performance and that's correct to do. I never had a problem with that sort of thing. smiling smiley

Thanks for the kind words. I agree that differences of opinion should be acceptable. As the saying goes, "We can disagree without being disagreeable." I think Barack Obama has used that a few times.

I will consider hanging around, but mostly I think it would be healthier if I at least left for a while. My physical therapy is almost over now and I am looking into preparing for school again and working a part-time non-mystery shopping job on the side as well. Although, ms-ing was great for me during this period, as I was recovering, it doesn't have a stable schedule that might be better for me. If a local grocery store offers like a fixed weekend job schedule of 9 -10 hours every Friday and Saturday or something like that, then I might try to do something like that and cut back on ms-ing, while I'm back in school. One down side to ms-ing is that sometimes you're not sure if you'll get a shop or not and sometimes you pick one up that is great that you didn't expect. That unpredictability might be bad for me next Fall.

So even though I'm less angry now grinning smiley , I might not be around anyways due to other things like school and possibly a different part-time job. I might still drop in every now and then if I decide to stay, but we'll have to see. I kind of wanted to "take a break" anyways, because of the summer coming up and lots of life changes. But thanks for your thoughts and kindness.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2017 08:04AM by shoptastic.

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@MSNinja wrote:

@walesmaven wrote:

I am not the first person to raise this issue.
i asked op if she was writing a food book cause of all the food questionms,
I think I did interpret your remarks to be related to this other book writing accusation thing here, MSNinja.

If you were only joking around about that in relation to the food threads in the General Chat, then we'll just chalk it up to a misreading. Sorry about that!

And I'm not writing a food book either. winking smiley
@shopper8 wrote:

I agree with all of the above. You earn your way by experience.

Shoptastic you should not leave the forum based on other people's opinions or answers to your questions. I do think that you are over reacting. If you don't like one of the shoppers answers, just ignore them. There have been shoppers on this forum that are instigators, most I don't bother with. There are also a lot of smart, educated, hard working shoppers who have been here for a long time. We're in this together. And most important: Have fun!
I clarified what I meant in my response to ceasesmith above, shopper8. I was thinking of something else in my OP, but thanks for your overall response.

I can't say whether or not I overreacted, but I will say that I've been going through a lot of other stresses in my life outside of this forum and mystery shopping. So, it's possible that I'm extra sensitive to things emotionally. And, if so, then I do ask that people forgive me for that and know that I that have any bad feelings toward anyone and might just be going through a rough time. I'm sorry if anyone felt offended with my tone.

On the other hand, I tend to still think that the way people throw "cheap shots" out in this forum or completely unhelpful little jabs at others is childish and hurtful. You can talk to another person without that sort of low behavior. So I do think that part is genuinely annoying and wrong.

And, lastly, I think maybe people are taking too lightly accusations thrown at others. Put yourself in my position, where you think you're just writing normally, and then suddenly people throw accusations at you (in addition to those little cheap shot remarks I mentioned) that you're a secret book writer and call into question your motives! I'm thinking, "What??!" I had already told people that I wasn't a secret book writer in the past. But that accusation still came up again here! I don't think that's okay. It's beyond unfriendly to me, because to accuse someone of something in a flippant or loose way is wrong. I wouldn't want that happening to others. So that's why I made an issue out of it. I felt it needed to stop right away. If someone is also known to schedulers on this forum, it could even impact their image with mystery shopping companies. What if schedulers or companies started to view a shopper (falsely) as a book writer or someone having ulterior motives. Would that possibly impact their work opportunities?

If I'm missing something or if my questions were genuinely suspicious, unreasonable, or abnormal in some way, then I'd be willing to go back and look at and think about those things. But, at the same time, I feel things could have been handled differently and better. I had already said I wasn't a book writer in the past and rather than throw out that accusation again, a concerned person(s) could have said something like:

"Hi, shoptastic

We welcome your question/s and would be happy to help you with things as fellow shoppers and appreciate good discussions, but we just thought we'd let you know that occasionally your questions or comments can come off as being a little unusual. This isn't in any way an accusation against you, but we wanted to let you know, in case you were unaware, that we've had a previous forum member ask similar questions in a similar manner and who ended up writing a book about mystery shopping using our comments on the forums that was not approved by us [I'm assuming that's what happened, as I don't know all the details]. We don't want to scare you or anything like that, but just thought it could be helpful to know that sometimes certain types of questions or ways of asking things can trigger our sensors of possible book writers. It's something that was a bad experience in the past and we're naturally a bit protective of it happening again.

...."

And from there, maybe some description of what specifically I wrote worried you all would have been nice and helpful. I think taking a non-confrontational, non-insulting, non-accusatory, non-"cheap shot," etc. approach would have been more friendly and helpful to me. You all could have even told me that you may not feel comfortable answering my questions or interacting with me if you were not sure of my intentions and I would have even been fine with that. I'm not unreasonable and wouldn't have been offended if I was told in a nice way what the problem was and how people might react.

I'll even say that maybe I should have taken more time to think about how I was coming across too. In fact, I will do that later. I didn't see any problems with what I asked, but I'm open to looking at my own manner of posting too.

It's just the escalation, snide remarks, and full on accusation that felt unfair and wrong to me. Like I said, I've been having a stressful time outside of the forum, so I might have been super moody earlier. Maybe that'll occur to me later when I think about things. But I think reacting to a false accusation with some frustration isn't abnormal.

Okay. I've written too much probably. I'll just end here. I appreciate your's and others' thoughts and hope others see where I was coming from to. Peace to you all.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2017 08:51AM by shoptastic.
@walesmaven wrote:

I am not the first person to raise this issue. In addition, there is a history of other former forum members pursuing similar lines of questions that have turned into publications and/or blogs based on posts here. If that is not your case, I apologize. All of the other instances were of MS professionals as well. I did not accuse you of mot being a professional.

Publication of forum posts is the only action that might engender legal consequences. Since that is not your intention, there is nothing to worry about.

I am quite content to discuss all of this in open forum.

I was going to PM you, but will just keep the comments here, walesmaven, after reading this post.

I mentioned previously that I was unaware of past issues with book writers and had no intentions of doing so. If you or others did not believe me, then I honestly don't know what to do or say. I'd be glad to (and am curious too now) to check out these older forum posts from the book writers(s) of the past. I'm curious what similarities they have with my questions.

I also briefly majored in English for what it's worth if that makes my writing look a little "more formal." Other than that, I didn't personally think I was saying or asking anything unusual and wished that you or others would have approached things differently, instead of suggesting that I was a secret book writer. I gave an example of how things could have been handled differently in my post above that might be helpful.

I don't know if this is a good analogy or not, but let's say you had a neighbor whose teenage son burglarized your house and he had a lot of tattoos, wore baggy clothes, smoked a lot of cigarettes, and played catch/football/baseball in their backyard with the ball occasionally being thrown into your yard and you watching them come over to get it. Later they move and a new neighbor arrives and they also have a teenage son with tattoos, baggy clothes, smokes a lot, and who plays baseball/football and has their ball fall into your yard. Do you treat that neighbor with suspicion? Do you openly suggest that the son might be thinking of burglarizing your home?

Again, I don't know if this is a good analogy or not, but the point is a previous bad experience shouldn't lead one to think everyone else who has certain characteristics is the same way. We should treat people individually.

walesmaven, I don't have any personal harsh feelings with you and anyone else over this (even if I was emotionally upset earlier, that's passed now), but I would hope that people took some time to think about how they handle things and treat others. I will do the same in my spare time. If there's something I can change or something I'm missing, I'm open to that too.

I do stand by my points that:

1.) people should refrain from making accusations or suggestions of ulterior motives unless their is definite proof
2.) people should be civil, deal with things professionally, and not make cheap shot remarks toward others
3.) having a different style of writing/speaking or different interests should be accepted and perfectly normal and not something to criticize - unless that "style" is profane or offensive in some way - or look down upon/attacked

The third point is something I have seen people get attacked for online elsewhere and even in real life. It's like when we were back in high school and social bullies would make fun of others' different style of speaking, dress, or interests. Or not too long ago, the NFL player Russell Wilson was reported and alleged to be thought of as "not black enough" (for being well-spoken, a good company man, etc.) by some of his own teammates, as written by Mike Freeman. Just because people are unique and don't fit particular stereotypes or pigeon holes doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them. People have their quirks and I think we should appreciate people for how God made them rather than want everyone to be the same or automatically think something's wrong because someone does things a little differently.

If I was doing anything that was objectively wrong or reasonably suspicious, I'm open to hearing about it. But, at the same time, I do think things could have been handled differently and there was probably some overreacting on others' part as well.

Feel free to give honest criticism and I'll listen. Peace to you.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2017 09:48AM by shoptastic.
My 2 cents.....I find this thread quite boring, as when you 'over write', as your posts seem like a chapter, people start to wonder what's going on. The original question, should you ask a scheduler for a bonus (to be basic), doesn't take a brain surgeon, of course you can figure out your time and see if it's worth your while, time spent, driving, etc. part of our job is to make money, ask, they can say yes or no... building a relationship with your Scheduler is part of it, we can't answer that question for you. My way to MS'ing has been, keep it simple when possible. I wondered why you need all this info.,it does seem you either have way too much time on your hands, or are gathering information for some sort of blog. Questions you need answers to seem simple enough for you to figure out. You have to admit, your posts are 100% longer than anyone else's, reminds me of a survey....just saying.

I wouldn't tell you to leave or stay, that's up to you, i would with respect tell you to keep posts shorter unless you really have a serious question about a job...gathering info. for your personal use isn't going to make friends.

When you know better you do better....

Oprah


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2017 06:47PM by Irene_L.A..
@CoffeeQueen wrote:

Shoptastic has clarified his intentions, so I see no reason to keep bashing him. I despise a pile on. Shoptastic, I'm sorry your feelings were hurt. Forums are tough sometimes. I agree with Shopper8 that you shouldn't leave. People will get used to you, and if not, toggle them.
I fully agree with this post. Take a break from this Forum OP, a long time if possible. And use the Toggle, when you come back. Take it easy. It's the pulse of the Forum. At precious times, it is very friendly and informative.
more never ending posts. some of these posts r long enough to be chapters in book.

how do u toggle? i don't see a link or button.
@MSNinja wrote:

more never ending posts. some of these posts r long enough to be chapters in book.

how do u toggle? i don't see a link or button.

To toggle, click on the name of the person you want to toggle. A dropdown box opens, listing Profile, # of posts, PM, Toggle User Visibility. Click on Toggle User Visibility.

Unfortunately, this will only block the person's posts from your view. If someone quotes one of the person's posts, you will see the quoted post. And if the person starts threads, you'll still see the threads.
Somehow my post posted twice. Edited to removie duplicate post.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/22/2017 03:52PM by roflwofl.
Some of my posts are long enough to be chapters in a book.

Bottom line, we cannot interpret the written word as well as we can when we see the person; we don't have body language or facial expressions to guide us as to the word's intent.

Some people are rude and mean.

Forums is where people hang out.

Some people in forums are rude and mean.

If there's 2.5 million shoppers, and a few hundred hang out here and have learned how to negotiate bonuses -- let me say, I hope the rest of the 2.5 million NEVER discover it on their own. Schedulers have budgets, and get their own bonuses for coming in under budget. If other shoppers hesitate to ask for those fees, it means my share of the budget just got bigger.

Very FEW shopping companies offer job fees commensurate with us being professional. When they want me for a job, they usually call me -- no e-mail blasts to hundred of thousands of shoppers. The fees run between $250 to $400 for a shop. I'm sure there are even higher-paying shops, but they are outside my comfort zone.
I would NEVER ask for a bonus for one of these, as the fee is adequate.

Shop, just ignore the rude and mean.

I had to learn that, too! When I first discovered fora...well, I had some rotten experiences, too. I decided I would learn to ignore nastiness and meanness.
OP doesn't know what mean and nasty is.....no one is calling her/him names or belittling in front of everyone.
We are offering advice that I don't consider personal. I was told more than once to develop a thicker skin if i'm to survive on here.....I did and lasted, after leaving a couple times, I decided the forum was worth it for the useful advice I got, and I made friends along the way. While I don't see my attacker here any longer, we all go through some sort of uncomfortableness, toggle, ignore and keep on trucking.......

When you know better you do better....

Oprah
@ceasesmith wrote:

Schedulers have budgets, and get their own bonuses for coming in under budget.

Not all of us get bonuses for coming under budget. winking smiley However, everyone does have a budget or pool that they have to stick too, so it's still a good point! (I know some schedulers who have to take the bonuses straight out of their pocket! Yuck.)

Scheduler and Editor for Shoppers' View
www.shoppersview.com
christinew@shoppersview.com
616-608-1594
I realize I may be raked over the coals, but here goes: I have been a shopper for over 15 years. Back in the day, there was a lot more comraderie and a lot less accusation. The last couple years on this forum, I see so much more back-stabbing than in the 10-12 years prior. I find it hilarious that many of you apparently become suspicious of lengthier posts. Some of us (and I am definitely one) tend to be more long-winded. So I guess I may be writing a book, too? That is just the strangest accusation. My suggestion: put aside your paranoia, answer the orginal question or not, as you so choose. But why be snarly? THAT is unprofessional.

My response to the original question: I have often contacted schedulers to adviser them I would be in an out-of-the-way place and would like to be considered for their shop in that area, or I will be near a posted shop, but still a distance away and I have asked if they might be able to throw in a little gas money. Three things happen:
1. they thank me and we negotiate
2. They say they cannot add a bonus.
3. They don't respond.

I don't think it is harmful or poor etiquette to try!
One of the original suggestions in the OP was to have MSCs write up "rules of engagement" for interactions between schedulers and shoppers. OP's preference is to define that working relationship by explaining what is and isn't considered acceptable behavior. That is pretty much what is happening in this thread. Posters are informing OP of our preferences when being engaged by fellow posters. I believe the fact that this thread turned into a flame war puts the question about regulating sched/shopper interactions to rest.
@Jbrz123 wrote:

The key is to sleep with the schedulers.

your sense of humor is refreshing...)

When you know better you do better....

Oprah
@roflwofl wrote:

@MSNinja wrote:

more never ending posts. some of these posts r long enough to be chapters in book.

how do u toggle? i don't see a link or button.

To toggle, click on the name of the person you want to toggle. A dropdown box opens, listing Profile, # of posts, PM, Toggle User Visibility. Click on Toggle User Visibility.

Unfortunately, this will only block the person's posts from your view. If someone quotes one of the person's posts, you will see the quoted post. And if the person starts threads, you'll still see the threads.

thanx
@ShoppersViewChristine wrote:

@ceasesmith wrote:

Schedulers have budgets, and get their own bonuses for coming in under budget.

Not all of us get bonuses for coming under budget. winking smiley However, everyone does have a budget or pool that they have to stick too, so it's still a good point! (I know some schedulers who have to take the bonuses straight out of their pocket! Yuck.)

Trust me, I remember working like this. It wasn't fun Christine. Don't get me wrong, I miss scheduling, but I don't miss the 80+ hour work weeks or bonuses coming out of my pocket.

Currently NOT scheduling for any company.
@shoptastic wrote:

@MSNinja wrote:

@walesmaven wrote:

I am not the first person to raise this issue.
i asked op if she was writing a food book cause of all the food questionms,
I think I did interpret your remarks to be related to this other book writing accusation thing here, MSNinja.

If you were only joking around about that in relation to the food threads in the General Chat, then we'll just chalk it up to a misreading. Sorry about that!

And I'm not writing a food book either. winking smiley

Oh no, you've really had it now... you've ruffled the feathers of the "forum elite"... prepare to be whined at on every single post or reply...

Seriously, welcome to this forum. Don't let people get under your skin.

Currently NOT scheduling for any company.
@DanteScheduler wrote:

@shoptastic wrote:

@MSNinja wrote:

@walesmaven wrote:

I am not the first person to raise this issue.
i asked op if she was writing a food book cause of all the food questionms,
I think I did interpret your remarks to be related to this other book writing accusation thing here, MSNinja.

If you were only joking around about that in relation to the food threads in the General Chat, then we'll just chalk it up to a misreading. Sorry about that!

And I'm not writing a food book either. winking smiley

Oh no, you've really had it now... you've ruffled the feathers of the "forum elite"... prepare to be whined at on every single post or reply...

Seriously, welcome to this forum. Don't let people get under your skin.

You're absolutely right Dante. A mystery shopping forum should not take itself as seriously as it does. I used to be part of a forum for amazon sellers and they were similar. Maybe all "occupation" forums are like this who knows.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/2017 06:40AM by Jbrz123.
What is the opposite of elite? That's what I am.

Talking tough is easy when it's other people's evil and you're judging what they do and don't believe.
@MSNinja wrote:

who is the mystery shopping elite? i din't know there was a heirachy.

They know who they are MSNinja, they look down their noses at others with disdain and whine about every post they don't agree with, mostly just to drive their post counts up and sound important to themselves. Just politely nod your head when they speak and don't attempt to challenge what they say, as you will draw the ire of all of them at once.

Seriously (and I think I've posted something similar before), I really don't care what anybody on an internet forum thinks of me; don't care whether you like how I run my own business, don't care if you like me or not. The bottom line of my way of thinking is this: Despite your opinions, I will still make money, I will still go to sleep at night without losing a second of my precious sleep over your opinion.

I've learned from people on here, but I also believe I've been able to give back to people as well. I don't shop as much as I used to (Under $1500 in fees per month), but I shop as much as I want to; that's what counts.

My point is- don't lose sleep over what other people think of you.

Currently NOT scheduling for any company.
I agree with Dante. He must be from Texas. But people don't really lose sleep over what other people think do they? I'm a giant a-hole so I would never get any sleep. I love this forum.

"Never believe anything you read on the internet"- Abraham Lincoln
Shoptastic...you may just be one of the best trolls we've had here, congrats!!!!

When you know better you do better....

Oprah
@elcarev68 wrote:

@bgriffin wrote:

What is the opposite of elite? That's what I am.

Etile.

peasant
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