Mystery Shopper or Pedofile?

I was reading my neighborhood ramblings on nextdoor.com and came across a discussion about a man caught taking a photo of a child at a fast food establishment. The neighbors were all up in arms ready to grab their pitchforks (to be fair this is their response to any stranger seen in the neighborhood, person wearing a hoody or stranger knocking on their door). The poster took a photo of the guy and it looks like he might be trying to photo the menu board or register area.

I wasn't there and really don't know what the guy was doing but the discussion has made me more aware of how others perceive me when I'm taking those required pictures for jobs.

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I've gotten weird stares when taking my Chili's photos. I literally pointed my camera at someone's face (although, I tried to angle it as much as possible to not be totally direct on) to get the whole dining area, because it was full that day. There was no direction I could snap a shot without aiming it at someone.

People probably do look at us weird. Just make sure flash is off!

Even then, it could create some weird looks. Sometimes, it makes me want to dine "later" lunch hours, so I can possibly avoid this problem when snapping pictures.

I've had lots of instances where I had to take pics in crowded places. Not always easy. sad smiley

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/25/2018 06:12PM by shoptastic.
an adaptor existed at one point to keep this from being an issue. It was essentially a tiny mirror that went over your phone camera lens so it looked like you were just texting but instead you were actually taking a picture. The mirror kept you from having to hold your camera at that "I'm clearly taking a picture" angle. It was billed as spy camera crap when really, it would be perfect for our work.

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
I feel it fine to take a pic of your food, but when you jump up and take the menu, and outside, yes, that's a bit obvious. My mall the outside part with the cute shops and restaurants doesn't allow pictures, I was reprimanded
taking a picture of BJ's , security said we don't allow pictures, it disturb's the customers coming in. Don't the owners writing the instructions know this....it also puts us at risk and easy to tell we're the shopper.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
Interesting. I am an avid Yelper as well as post reviews on Google. I take pictures outside, inside and of course of my food. I have had staff members smile even though I try to avoid them. I have never been challenged about this. The review sites are full of such pictures: including table and wall menus. Most retailers register so they can comment on posts and communicate with reviewers. Proactive retailers add their own professional pictures.

I think the only time people stare at me is on mystery shops when I take pictures at gas stations.

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I feel the same way but not about the pictures, whenever I am trying to read a nametag on a woman/girl working in a store and I have a hard time making out the name (a lot of stores allow hand written name tags). I am waiting for someone to come up and sock me one for looking at what I am looking at.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
@oteixeira wrote:

I feel the same way but not about the pictures, whenever I am trying to read a nametag on a woman/girl working in a store and I have a hard time making out the name (a lot of stores allow hand written name tags). I am waiting for someone to come up and sock me one for looking at what I am looking at.
lol
From what I read, the police were called and neighbors were organizing to go to the location to try and confront (or I'm not sure what ) the individual.
I wanted a photo of a house that used to be in the family along time ago for a scrapbook project, but I thought I would back up and pretend to take a pic of the restaurant next door, getting them both in the frame, to avoid freaking out the people currently living there. Turns out the restaurant owner comes out and wants to know why I'm taking pictures of his business. Seems I'd have been better off just aiming for the house. Anyway, I just told the restaurant owner I work for the city and he'll find out soon enough. Hehe.
@wwin wrote:

From what I read, the police were called and neighbors were organizing to go to the location to try and confront (or I'm not sure what ) the individual.

Next door is the new facebook for retired people. It's crazy. They had to ban a few retired teachers who could not keep their political opinions to themselves.
WE built a home in Calabasas when raising our daughter, and I still miss it. Last time my daughter visited, we took a ride to see old neighbors, and she took pictures of the house, I treasure it, the biggest undertaking I've done, and now I have a memory. My daughter ran the bell, and introduced herself, the lady was gracious and spoke with her, relieving a great memory, nice. Today everyone is either on their phone, or snapping the food, no one should control it. Brokers must take pictures of the property their selling and so on.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

Last time my daughter visited, we took a ride to see old neighbors, and she took pictures of the house, I treasure it, the biggest undertaking I've done, and now I have a memory. My daughter ran the bell, and introduced herself, the lady was gracious and spoke with her, relieving a great memory, nice.
Irene, I did that once, but it was about 15 years ago. A small house where I grew up until I was 6 years old....up the street from the beach.....I also knocked on the door and introduced myself....got the OK to take pictures. It does indeed provide pleasant memories.....got off the track here, but you brought back memories, girl!!!
What's life about if not for building memories.....we also took a road trip up Big Sur to San Francisco to see my old house growing up, and it was torn down, with 8 condo's replacing it...sad smiley not really off subject, all about taking pic's, which may or may not have gotten off subject, but this won't be the first time.

Create a life that feels good on the inside, not one that just looks good on the outside.....
Dr. Judith Wright
@Hoju wrote:

an adaptor existed at one point to keep this from being an issue. It was essentially a tiny mirror that went over your phone camera lens so it looked like you were just texting but instead you were actually taking a picture. The mirror kept you from having to hold your camera at that "I'm clearly taking a picture" angle. It was billed as spy camera crap when really, it would be perfect for our work.

I found this device on Amazon but the reviews are mixed. Has anyone actually used this or something similar? Maybe for $7 I will just give it a try.

[www.amazon.com]
Just found a similar mirror lens device on eBay for less than $3. Will give it a try and let you know. Might take a while as it will be shipped from China.
That one on amazon is enormous. Do you have a link for the eBay one?

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Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
@Hoju wrote:

That one on amazon is enormous. Do you have a link for the eBay one?

Here you go and free shipping:

[www.ebay.com]
Thanks. For 2.39, I’m in for one to give it a shot

______________________________________________________________________
Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.
@SoCalMama wrote:

Next door is the new facebook for retired people. It's crazy. They had to ban a few retired teachers who could not keep their political opinions to themselves.
I think it's much worse! I don't go there anymore, even if I have a question or want to recommend a good contractor. Just not worth it. A nearby friend told me she thinks I have the absolute worst neighbors in the world, based on ND posts.

Anyway, I haven't done a photo-required shop in a long time b/c of these issues. If it's overt, that's one thing, but covert, not so fun. The photographer could have a cover story ready to go, but for me, that's more angst than I choose to endure, in this day and litigious age.
My local next door has a few really absurd people (who are not all old...i have met many of them and in my area they are mostly middle aged). But these people start a thread about everything...a small piece of paper on their lawn, a person just walking down the street and they think someone is trying to break in. If someone leaves a bag or something they are convinced it is a bomb. And then they write in about things like did anyone hear that noise in the middle of the night....we are in a big city, there are noises every night and the noises they describe are just regular city living noises but they think the world is coming to an end.
As far as taking pics goes it is pretty hard not to get a person in a pic for mystery shopping as most stores in the city have customers most of the time. I do not usually take those where it is impossible to be discreet...like the one for Sbarro....I did that once and felt like the staff would arrest me by the way they reacted to one shot of their food case. To me these types of shops are not worth the small fees and marginal food.


@LGRM wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

Next door is the new facebook for retired people. It's crazy. They had to ban a few retired teachers who could not keep their political opinions to themselves.
I think it's much worse! I don't go there anymore, even if I have a question or want to recommend a good contractor. Just not worth it. A nearby friend told me she thinks I have the absolute worst neighbors in the world, based on ND posts.

Anyway, I haven't done a photo-required shop in a long time b/c of these issues. If it's overt, that's one thing, but covert, not so fun. The photographer could have a cover story ready to go, but for me, that's more angst than I choose to endure, in this day and litigious age.
If it's a food establishment, I'm a Yelper. End of story.

The only one I'm sometimes uncomfortable with is restrooms. I've been asked more than once. And one time it was another shopper who said, "Oh, you're a shopper." We ended up chatting for an hour.

I've had a few gas station customers report me to management for taking photos of pumps even when wearing a vest. Others will ask me why I'm doing it. I usually say, "The company wants to deal with any issues before the state comes to inspect." Any Californian will drop it right there, or if I'm in redneck country, start a rant. LOL
@alake58 wrote:

They still have them. I have one on order right now.

It’s helpful to quote the post to which you are referring. Is it about the mirror device for a smart phone camera that I mentioned in this thread? I’m waiting for mine to arrive from China. Probably won’t be until the end of the month.
There are no hard and fast rules about quoting other posts. It can actually be frustrating when people quote the post directly above their own in it's entirety. Quoting comes in handy when a thread has veered off into several directions and there are several posts about other subjects between the one you are replying to and your own.

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.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/2018 09:07PM by LisaSTL.
I’m thinking of starting a new thread. Something like Mystery Shop Gadgets. What do you all think?
I would love to be informed about MS gadgets. I have very few and need good tricks up my sleeve. Yes, please.
While taking photos I've been asked a number of times if I'm with the FBI.

Another time I was taking exterior photos of a gas station. There was a black politician across the street talking into a bull horn. A black woman came up to my car and asked why I (white person) was taking pictures of him, and I explained what I was doing. It occurred to me a little later that the woman thought I was being a BBQ Becky! I was mortified.
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