Gas station shops

These gas station shops requiring almost a hundred photos are ridiculous. I just did my first six and now I'm getting all kinds of holds. They didn't pay enough in the first place, but I thought that I could knock them out in a day or two. Never again.

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If you’re taking a hundred photos and getting all kinds of holds, the problem is you, not the job.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
More for me, thanks!
Hoju is right though, if it was your first time doing one, the mistake was taking six that you "could knock out in a day or two". Pays better then a reimbursement only restaurant shop.
Whenever I'm doing a shop for the first time I only take one to see if I like it. Maybe that's something you could try next time.
I rarely do the ones with the potentially large number of pics. Someone can remind me of this: is it acceptable to use one image that shows multiple conditions instead of taking separate images for every possible infraction? For example, is it acceptable to use the pump island pics for the island view as well as a dirty canopy, if the one image shows this? If the same image also shows potholes or stains, can the one image be used yet again for those conditions?

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
100 photos?!? There are ones that ask you to take pictures of things that are below standards, but I have had eight or so photos. How would you not get questioned, and how is this worth your time uploading 100 pictures?
@Shop-et-al wrote:

I rarely do the ones with the potentially large number of pics. Someone can remind me of this: is it acceptable to use one image that shows multiple conditions instead of taking separate images for every possible infraction? For example, is it acceptable to use the pump island pics for the island view as well as a dirty canopy, if the one image shows this? If the same image also shows potholes or stains, can the one image be used yet again for those conditions?

It depends on the shop, but the vast majority of gas station shops I have done require a unique photo for each infraction. Using the same photo more than once is not allowed.
Shop-et-al - Don't take a chance, take separate photos. It only takes a few seconds and not worth the possibility that your shop is put on hold

Unclebobg - 100 photos is highly unusual for any gas station I do and I have done 5 different brands. I probably average around 20. Also, they should not take more than 1/2 hour each and, if routed right, can be done in a half day.
There is one brand that now limits to 10 per day. I randomly do 12 and haven't gotten any pushback about that. I used to do up to 15/18 of those in a long day.....

Basically my point is that you need to do a few and then you will fly through them much faster. I don't think I take more than 30 photos per station, even at the larger ones.
Search the forum, many have shared great advice on these shops. Do a few more knowing that there is a learning curve.

And in the end if you are still unsure, take a break from them and try a different kind of shop. Only you can decide what is worth your time/ energy.

Servimer Regional Manager- Midwest, including Chicago, Wisconsin & Minnesota
Hoju,
Thank you for your help. I hope to someday achieve your level of of perfection.
Okay, I exaggerated somewhat. I just counted it. There are 14 required photos on the report, plus one photo of each pump. I'd say the average station is 12 pumps, although I did one Saturday that had 16. Plus photos of any problems. Their guidelines say specifically to take two photos of each subject, meaning at least 52 if you do it according to the guidelines. I usually take a few extras to help me remember details for the narrative.
Anyway, the shop itself is not a problem. After the first one, I have the actual shop down to less than 30 minutes, usually about 20. But doing the evaluation takes me nearly an hour, with the upload of all the photos to their questions. This makes it not bad if done a few per day, but when I wrote the opening comment, I had done five that day, plus a bank shop, and when I got home at ten that night, it took me a long time past my bedtime to finish. Anyway, I was frustrated.
One of the problems was that I made more money doing the one bank shop, which took the same amount of time to do as each gas station, as I made for all five of the gas station shops. And that's including the free gasoline.
Oh well.
I'm not sure if that was a sincere thank you or a bit of sarcasm from unclebob to Hoju.
Ah, let him have his tiny bit of sarcasm. So much more refreshing than the down-and-dirty dog fights I've seen on the forum!!

I have done hundreds of gas station shops, and there are some I'll never do again (Shell immediately comes to mind). Like OP, I have taken between 88-120 photos; I take it seriously when they say take extras. You never know when a photo is going to cut off the end of the canopy with the logo, or cut off the top of the MID sign, or be just a little blurry. When I get a hold and an e-mail from the editor that they want the OTHER side of that pump in the photo, you'd better believe I want to have it on hand!

And yes, downloading and sorting those photos takes me FOREVER.

Now, Unclebob, learn how to ask for the bonuses on those gas stations!!!!
@LIJake wrote:

Shop-et-al - Don't take a chance, take separate photos. It only takes a few seconds and not worth the possibility that your shop is put on hold

Unclebobg - 100 photos is highly unusual for any gas station I do and I have done 5 different brands. I probably average around 20. Also, they should not take more than 1/2 hour each and, if routed right, can be done in a half day.

Thank you. For the most recent gas station audit, I took 67 pics. The large number of images and potential backup images were for me and my comfort zone because the shop location was hours away from home. As it turned out, I did not need every picture for the report. However, every image was sufficient for a report. I agree with the others that it takes time to become accustomed to each MSC;s guidelines and report forms. According to some posters, it is lucrative and worthwhile to get used to these shops because the bonuses for multiple locations is profitable.

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough. - Franklin D. Roosevelt
The reporting for these shops is something you get better / faster at through trial and error as well. Once I figured out that I could AirDrop my pics to my iPad Pro, and then use the split screen to see the photos and the report at the same time? Report time dropped to 10-15 minutes, depending on the number of pumps...could be faster probably, but I get distracted easily smiling smiley
@unclebobg wrote:

I usually take a few extras to help me remember details for the narrative.
l.

Note that you don't have to write an extensive narrative here. I started doing that when they first requiring it, then when I had a couple holds I saw that my 1000+ character paragraph was cut down to about three simple sentences. So, now I just write a few simple sentences, and have never had a problem.
Here is my dull piece of advice when doing shops and especially gas station shops:

1. create a worksheet! put down a space for the address, a space for its particular ID, the date, you know what I mean - the pertinent stuff. Also, have spaces you can check off for required photos - the ones that the MSC requires no matter what. The, go use the worksheet at the station!
2. Review and label your photos while still at the station. I always bring a laptop with me and do the reviewing and labeling while sitting in my car.
3. I always use a digital camera for all of my photos, never a cell phone!

There is a lot more, but as you go along, you shall get my drift (I think!).

BTW, I do the same thing (create a worksheet) for all of my shops. for bank shops, I have a check off area for the required materials I should ensure I receive. Same goes for some of the other shop types of other MSCs.

I'm anal (is that the right word??) about this when doing shops.
Ha Ha French Farmer - if you are anal, then so am I!!! I do the same thing. I have a worksheet for almost every shop I do. Especially the gas station shops which require so many pics. I check each item off, have room for notes, etc. It makes them so much easier.
@unclebobg wrote:

Hoju,
Thank you for your help. I hope to someday achieve your level of of perfection.

You’ll get there, little buddy! I just know it!

I’ll offer you one piece of much more valuable advice: never in a gojillion years should you take one of these jobs at anywhere near the original rate. Either wait for a decent incentive or start negotiating. They don’t even come close to being worth $10-12.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/13/2018 03:07PM by Hoju.
I didn't see any of you mention it, but why don't yall use the app for these shops? I find it much quicker, once I figured out that even though they asked for a pic for every question, you only have to take the required ones. When I go home, I'm done, no report, no uploading pics on their SLOWWWWW system.
The blue and red gas station MSC doesn't have a working app for those type of shops,(though I'd like to be the person they have been paying for at LEAST two years to get it right).
I do use the app. I find it a bit clunky but it's better than missing a photo and that doesn't happen with the app. I don't have to create worksheets or upload tons of photos to my pc either, no labeling a bunch of pics or sorting and putting into folders. I use the app for the green stations. I have no idea if it works for Shell although I'll probably find out soon.

@shawnthewoman wrote:

I didn't see any of you mention it, but why don't yall use the app for these shops? I find it much quicker, once I figured out that even though they asked for a pic for every question, you only have to take the required ones. When I go home, I'm done, no report, no uploading pics on their SLOWWWWW system.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
Spot on.

I sometimes take audits far from home and do not want to drive all the way back so I sometimes take 4x the required photos from slightly different angles just in case.

@ceasesmith wrote:

I have done hundreds of gas station shops, and there are some I'll never do again (Shell immediately comes to mind). Like OP, I have taken between 88-120 photos; I take it seriously when they say take extras. You never know when a photo is going to cut off the end of the canopy with the logo, or cut off the top of the MID sign, or be just a little blurry. When I get a hold and an e-mail from the editor that they want the OTHER side of that pump in the photo, you'd better believe I want to have it on hand!

And yes, downloading and sorting those photos takes me FOREVER.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/2018 02:01PM by fuzzymo.
I feel like the odd man out with this Shell thing. I love Shell. Up until they started requiring a photo of every pump, they were a thousand times easier than Mobil. For me at least.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
I also didn't mind Shell. I called them infamous because they are, but for real they were fast and easy. I haven't done one yet with the new photo requirements but just the thought of it gives me a headache. I did a ton of BP's where I had to get a photo of every pump. That will really slow you down.
I think the editors are what made Shell unpopular. But last year when I was doing them I would just submit a different picture and it would go through. Even if the photo wasn't quite as good.

@Hoju wrote:

I feel like the odd man out with this Shell thing. I love Shell. Up until they started requiring a photo of every pump, they were a thousand times easier than Mobil. For me at least.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
Shell and E/M have very similar photo requirements now. The different is the reporting flow. Having to click “this pump does not exist” on 20 questions if there are only four pumps is stupid when they could just do what Shell does and ask how many pumps there are. Then there’s the painful process of selecting every sticker or pop that is or is not on each pump.
I still prefer Shell to E/M.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
I said this on another string: Shell has "Darkness" shops. They must be done when it is dark outside. However, unlike other gas stations, such as EM who adds $5 minimum for doing the shop at night, there is no incentive for their darkness shops.

Too bad.
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