Shady Scheduler ?

Help me figure this one out. I have a scheduler we'll call Mike who schedules 2-3 shops for me per week. He mails me the paperwork and I have 2 days to call the customer and set up an appointment to meet. There are several checkpoints to these projects so Mike is always in the loop:

1. As soon as I make the appointment, I log it in online with date and time.
2. Once I leave the customer, I call Mike and let him know whom I am leaving and/or leave a voicemail.
3. The same day, I fax part of the report to the number Mike gave me. He has mailed me the fax cover sheet I use.
4. I then input the rest of the report plus pictures online.
5. I mail him a hard copy of the paperwork plus my expense report via 2 day mail.

He called me 2 days ago and said, "I'm calling to remind you to visit Ms. Smith."
Me - I visited Ms. Smith last Thursday.The visit is complete.
Mike - When did you visit Ms. Smith ?
Me - Last Thursday. You should have her paperwork via mail.
Mike - Let me check. Oh, here it is.

2 hours later Mike sends me an email that says:

"Mike called Frodo and had to lvm for her to call both the customer and the site to do the meeting. Emailed Coordinator."

I'm like, WTF ? Not only was everything complete when he called but it's like he totally forgot our conversation. To make me more paranoid, he copies himself and I can't see which coordinator he sent it to. I don't even know who his supervisor is.

I immediately emailed him with the facts and of course, he ignored me. I called him and left a vm. He did not call me back. So I called him again this morning and asked him to clarify his email. He said I just wanted to document that I asked you to call. I asked him why he needed to do that after the visit was complete and he called me the day before ? I told him it sounded like he was making it look like he was chastising me for an already complete project. He says that's not what he meant. I told him I would like a response to the email stating that. I also reminded him that I faxed him the paperwork the day I completed the project. He says, I never check that fax machine. (So why does he mail me a fax cover sheet with that number on it ?)

He sent an email, separate from the original, thanking me for completing projects as required and to let me know he didn't need to know a piece of info I usually ask him if he wants when I leave a site. So when I call him 2-3 times a week and ask him if he wants to know X, all this time he could not open his mouth to say, Frodo, no, I don't need that info anymore ??

I really want to find out who his supervisor is and report the email and phone call. Should I or just let it go ?

I wouldn't be so suspicious of him if he didn't have some odd ways. He once berated me for letting the customer leave. I asked him how long were we supposed to sit there ? He says, Until I get back to you. Guess when he got back to me ? Several days later. That was totally ridiculous. I asked him to give me a time frame. I don't mind waiting an hour. I had waited an hour and 15 minutes with that customer. His time frame for waiting is 45 minutes.

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How much are you being paid for this? It sounds like a headache.....

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I'm not sure it's worth it for $70 - from your description. However, have you been doing this shop long enough to have been successfully paid? If so, it sounds like the scheduler's personality is simply going to be a part of the shopping experience on this one and you'll simply have to decide if it's worth the headache.

If it were me, I'd be seeking out better options.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Or maybe do some super sleuthing to find out contact information for this scheduler's supervisor just in case...
I've been doing this a while and i find i have to go over each check to make sure i was paid for each monthly invoice. Every month they miss 1-2 invoices. It is my main source of income right now. If people see it as a personality quirk and not a character flaw then i will stick with it.
"Personality Quirk" v. "Character Flaw": If it were me, it wouldn't make a difference - dealing with the fellow seems miserable and, thus, not really worth the cash. However, if you need the income, I can certainly see the apprehension about leaving. Getting berated is not a pleasant way to work. I also don't like having to chase payments.

I'd start poking about for other opportunities.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@frodosdojo wrote:

I've been doing this a while and i find i have to go over each check to make sure i was paid for each monthly invoice. Every month they miss 1-2 invoices. It is my main source of income right now. If people see it as a personality quirk and not a character flaw then i will stick with it.

He sounds quirky, unorganized, and forgetful rather than shady. If it were my main source of income, AND if I wanted to continue doing these assignments, I would stick with it and ignore his quirky behavior. I always go over each check to make sure i was paid for each monthly invoice for EVERY company so doing that for this company would not be a deviation for me from my normal procedure. If I determined that his behavior annoyed me too much, I would find another source of income.
It seems odd to me that the process is so archaic. These shops sound somewhat similar to an inspection where you have to document your different steps throughout the shop (phone call, appt date/time, etc.), but most MSC have you do it all online. Just the expense to send things back and forth by mail seems weird. Just my two cents. If the assignments work for you, I'd probably hang in there until I didn't receive a payment or he went off on me again. .

Shopping up and down the Colorado Rocky Mountain front range.
$70 is a good pay and it seems like you are good at doing this shop, and have done many. Yes, schedulers can be shady, even those that you have a close relationship with. I would take care of this situation, try to brush the whole thing off and keep doing what you are doing.
I have a theory as to what happened. Mike's boss asked him about Ms. Smith's paperwork. Mike called me to find out. Instead of being honest and telling his boss, it had been completed but he didn't pick up the fax, check for the report online or in the mail, he blamed me for not contacting the customer. He wrote the email as if to say he chastised me for not even calling the customer when I completed the work last week.

Sucks for him because the customer signed the report and I keep the fax receipt for everything I send plus the UPS receipt from when I dropped it off. I'm considering locating the boss and asking if he/she received the paperwork for Ms. Smith.
Seriously, I know it sounds like "biting the hand that feeds you" and it could come back to bite you in the ass if you do this (because Mike might not lose his job and may sabotage your assignments in the future), but I definitely would let his supervisor know about it if I could find a way to get in touch with them. And I would try really hard to do just that--that's just me. But again, it could screw up things as far as doing the same jobs in the future. Just keep that in mind.
You're right. Or i can hope the supervisor notices the dates on the paperwork and karma bites Mike in the backside. It is possible I will talk to another scheduler in the future and ask them some questions.
It's pretty obvious, from what you explained, that he was covering his ass using you and hoping you wouldn't say anything. From the email, I would say this is not the first time he's done this. His supervisor probably already knows. If not, the sup will know now because the assignment was complete prior to the email. My supervisor's supervisor could care less if my supervisor is careless with odd and obviously made-up excuses as long as he shows up and completes most of his work. The old adage that da lava can only end up in da ocean cause da ting no pour uphill applies to people too. Speaking to the supervisor could go either way but it's highly unlikely that it will end in praise and a thank you to you. Most of the time you have to suck it up buttercup, as daddy used to say. Shitty supervisors/people in charge, suck.
Have a heart-to-heart with him. You both have a stake in this, why not take a few moments to clarify things to keep the relationship productive?

Give it a try. Do not give any hints that you are suspicious. Only approach from the point you want to be sure things remain smooth.

Evaluating and mailing packages since 1994
Mail? Fax? Did this whole exchange happen in 1992?
That alone would have turned me off completely.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
@RobinMarie - i did ask him for clarification so he knows I am aware that what he did was strange. He is back to being his normal, friendly self today. Except he assigned me a project in another state. I am assigned to the northern part of my state.
Several major players in that realm use fax ..... not unheard of at all. If you did the program it would make total sense to you. You fax FROM the business to also prove the existence of the legit business. Not a big deal at all.
I had something similar happen not long ago. I was assigned a shop with many moving observation parts. Additionally, the scheduler called to give me several rapid-fire requirements not mentioned in the written instructions. I took written notes as fast as I could write. Later he berated me for missing a couple of minor details he had mentioned over the phone when I could barely keep up with all of his additional instructions. I tried my best to turn the ship around by adding more details, adding more description to the report, but he kept coming back at me and treating me like a child (it was very weird). So finally, I apologized even though it felt coerced and odd. I wondered whether he was pulling an apology out of me in the off chance the client would reject the shop - and that way they could blame me....definitely one of the weirdest experiences of my. odd how he talked to me.
This week I was sent paperwork that was incorrect. I contacted Mike (who prepares the paperwork before mailing to me). He said he would send me a new set. I only discovered the error because when I call the customer to make an appointment, I verify some of the info. So I apologized to the customer and told him as soon as I receive the correct paperwork, I'll call him to reschedule.

The customer got antsy after a few days and started calling the company. Someone at the company (either Mike or his supervisor) lied and said they over-nighted the paperwork to me. So the customer calls me daily (even though I told him I would call him as soon as I got it) to see if I got the new paperwork. The customer says that someone told him I was emailed the paperwork. No I was not. I call Mike and leave a voicemail. Then I call the supervisor to leave her a message that the customer keeps calling me based on their lies - well, I didn't say it like that but I let her know I still haven't received anything.

Mike eventually calls me to say he emailed me the forms. I let him know again I did not receive them. He then emails me while we are on the phone saying, let me send this AGAIN and voila ! I receive them.

They are really doing sloppy work over there and then blaming me for it and lying to the customers. They could have easily told this customer they are still working on his forms. Why lie and say it was sent out ? The customer was nice and polite, despite his daily calls.
Who cares?
If Mike isn't covering his ass and there's a logical explanation and you press the issue then that fractures a profitable relationship.
If he IS covering his ass, help him out. He helps you out all the time. It's not like it hurts you any. The supervisor isn't gonna tell Mike to not give you anymore shops. And now Mike likes you even more, because you helped him out.
At $70 per and averaging 2.5 per week we're talking about almost $9k in shops a year. I have several schedulers who give me that much work per year and I'll let any single one of them throw me under the bus anytime they want.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
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