Editing is a thankless job - ask me anything

I can't give away anything, but I can tell you I've seen it all. Good shoppers and bad. Really bad. People cussing us out, lying, threatening to sue and demanding payment although they didn't follow the guidelines, personal insults, and of course the fraud attempts. Hilariously badly edited receipts (to the point of misspelling everything on the receipt, using different fonts, whiteout, or just crossing out something in marker and writing over it).

I've come to the conclusion that nobody can really read or write properly - including me, but I at least know how to capitalize. I enjoy the spelling and grammar errors that make me laugh out loud. I enjoy the bizarre comments people send in that I can't report but can save for when I'm feeling down. I enjoy the really strange things that happen sometimes.

I have worked on almost every holiday and we are constantly under stressful deadlines. I know your frustrations and I know that while we do work to improve things, sometimes our tools or guidelines or what the client wants just sucks. You think this project sucks? Imagine having to review thousands of them and deal with all of the complaints and problems. But we're going to make it work anyway because that's our job.

If you want to upload a photo of your cute dog instead of a receipt I can't say you'll get paid, but at least I'll enjoy it.

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I have absolutely no desire to be an editor. I'm glad that folks like you will do it, though.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I don't understand the fraud thing. It seems that it would take more effort to fraudulently submit a shop than to actually do it.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
Since you've opened the floor on the topic...
What approximate percentage of shops see people actually try to blatantly be fraudulent?
What approximate percentage of shops are error free on the first try?
I am guilty of adding a bonus photo of a cute doggie once in a while, but never in place of a receipt. Sometimes I see things on a shop that is more interesting than the required photo of a toilet or gas pump.
@KA047 wrote:

Since you've opened the floor on the topic...
What approximate percentage of shops see people actually try to blatantly be fraudulent?
What approximate percentage of shops are error free on the first try?

Those are excellent questions. I can't give you an exact answer because I simply don't know but I can give you a bit of insight.

1. For blatantly fraudulent projects, it's a very small percentage. Probably less than 1%. I'm sure there are people who lie and get away with it for years but most people slip up eventually. What's harder to catch are people who are doing the projects but only halfheartedly. For example, going to a store but just gathering employee descriptions and not talking to people or asking the right questions. There are a myriad of ways for people to cheat the system. However, there are checks at several levels including data cleansing that goes on before larger reports are presented to the clients. Most of those people are caught eventually or get weeded out for other reasons.

2. This totally depends on the program. For the larger ones, I think it's something like 80% of projects that don't have any major problems (not including minor fixes like spelling/grammar/updating things without needing to ask the shopper a question). However, it never feels like that. It always feel like 80% of projects have problems. The numbers do get run on it, though, and I ended up realizing that my view is very skewed because I spend all day working on the projects with problems.
I’m not an editor, but I don’t understand your last sentence. Is there a typo in there?
@kenasch wrote:

I’m not an editor, but I don’t understand your last sentence. Is there a typo in there?

Ha! I'm not sure which sentence you are referring to. The one saying I don't mind photos of dogs? It's because sometimes instead of a receipt photo people upload photos of their families, or dogs, or one time gay porn. That last one made for a good laugh.

Want to edit my edits? I'm all for it.
The sentence was
“The numbers do get run on it, though, and I ended up realizing that my view is very skewed because I spend all day working on the projects with problems.”

I was confused by “the numbers do not get run on it”. If I was an editor I think I would change it to “we do not record the percentage of shops that have problems”, if I understand what you were saying. What’s clear in the writer’s mind is not always clear to the reader.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/06/2019 10:46PM by kenasch.
@kenasch wrote:

The sentence was
“The numbers do get run on it, though, and I ended up realizing that my view is very skewed because I spend all day working on the projects with problems.”

I was confused by “the numbers do not get run on it”. If I was an editor I think I would change it to “we do not record the percentage of shops that have problems”, if. understand what you were saying. What’s clear in the writer’s mind is not also always clear to the reader.

But you read a "not" into her sentence that is not there in the original. Yes, if the editor is one of the editors that get assigned mostly problem reports perhaps due to the fact that she/he is willing to tackle them or is a specialist than the op cannot see the big picture. As an employee most people do not get all the info their employer might see or know.
@kenasch wrote:

@sandyf wrote:

@kenasch wrote:

The sentence was
“The numbers do get run on it, though, and I ended up realizing that my view is very skewed because I spend all day working on the projects with problems.”

I was confused by “the numbers do not get run on it”. If I was an editor I think I would change it to “we do not record the percentage of shops that have problems”, if. understand what you were saying. What’s clear in the writer’s mind is not also always clear to the reader.

But you read a "not" into her sentence that is not there in the original. Yes, if the editor is one of the editors that get assigned mostly problem reports perhaps due to the fact that she/he is willing to tackle them or is a specialist than the op cannot see the big picture. As an employee most people do not get all the info their employer might see or know.

You are correct. I totally misread the last sentence and I thought I did a copy and paste. I got very confused with the phrase “the numbers do get run on it”. Fortunately I’m definitely not a paid editor.
I don't envy editors. Best.

My input is the people half-assing it may just be incompetent, as I can brain fart too, or just having bad days. Not necessarily fraudulent. In primary education I got high marks but not most! I expect errors from others and it's hard to measure effort.
I would wager that probably 50% or more just gather employee descriptions and write up a good report. I know if I got paid $5 to do a shop I would do just that.
I did a grocery shop recently, and the editor made a couple of suggestions on how to report certain situations, differing from how I reported them. They were really, really, helpful ideas, and I wrote her back and thanked her for pointing out a couple of areas that will help me in the future.
@guysmom wrote:

I did a grocery shop recently, and the editor made a couple of suggestions on how to report certain situations, differing from how I reported them. They were really, really, helpful ideas, and I wrote her back and thanked her for pointing out a couple of areas that will help me in the future.

This is nice to hear. If I send feedback it's because I want to make my job easier by making things more clear for the shoppers. Unfortunate, mostly I just end up angering people because I'm sending them messages telling them we can't accept their project for whatever reason..
@Capurato wrote:

I would wager that probably 50% or more just gather employee descriptions and write up a good report. I know if I got paid $5 to do a shop I would do just that.

I'm pretty jaded at this point but I don't think it's that high for most programs. I would hope not because it really wastes everyone's time and erodes trust in the entire process.

If someone does a project, realize it pays way too little and quits doing them, I totally get that. If someone does a project, realize the pay is terrible, and then keeps lying to us for money... I mean, I get it, but it's unfortunate. It's harder to catch those people but definitely not impossible.

I much prefer the people who lie to us in the most obvious way and then try to deny everything. It truly brightens my day to see people being that silly.
And that is why, in my admittedly newbie opinion, the dominance of video in this industry is inevitable.

But what a great post, OP. You don't seem to let the frustrations get you down.


@anoryzae wrote:

Good shoppers and bad. Really bad. ...and of course the fraud attempts.
If I agree to do a shop, I do it properly. I sure hope you don’t take any $5 shops. Shoppers who cut corners hurt all of us.

@Capurato wrote:

I would wager that probably 50% or more just gather employee descriptions and write up a good report. I know if I got paid $5 to do a shop I would do just that.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
One of my bugaboos in life is poor grammar, spelling and punctuation. I aced all my English classes in college. For those of us who take great pride in our ability to read and write correctly I take exception to the comment that most people do not know how to read or write properly. I am sure there are many on this forum that also know how to read and write correctly. Granted, I see poor examples of incorrect grammar, spelling and punctuation all over Facebook. And it drives me crazy. This is my thing so I hope all that read this will not jump all over me. Thank you.
You missed a couple of commas.

@Clamchatter wrote:

One of my bugaboos in life is poor grammar, spelling and punctuation. I aced all my English classes in college. For those of us who take great pride in our ability to read and write correctly I take exception to the comment that most people do not know how to read or write properly. I am sure there are many on this forum that also know how to read and write correctly. Granted, I see poor examples of incorrect grammar, spelling and punctuation all over Facebook. And it drives me crazy. This is my thing so I hope all that read this will not jump all over me. Thank you.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
I did my first and only Chilis shop just before they went off the boards. I took a ton of photos, and submitted the ones I thought were best.

The editor told me that the photos needed to be from different angles or something, I don't remember.

I sent her all of my photos and asked her to let me know which one was best so that I would know what the MSC was looking for

She highlighted a couple of my photos and said that they were the ones that the MSC would like best and explained how to make them better.

I appreciated her so much for taking the time out to help me that way!
@anoryzae wrote:

@Capurato wrote:

I would wager that probably 50% or more just gather employee descriptions and write up a good report. I know if I got paid $5 to do a shop I would do just that.

I'm pretty jaded at this point but I don't think it's that high for most programs. I would hope not because it really wastes everyone's time and erodes trust in the entire process.

If someone does a project, realize it pays way too little and quits doing them, I totally get that. If someone does a project, realize the pay is terrible, and then keeps lying to us for money... I mean, I get it, but it's unfortunate. It's harder to catch those people but definitely not impossible.

I much prefer the people who lie to us in the most obvious way and then try to deny everything. It truly brightens my day to see people being that silly.

Thank you so much for your post. I appreciate the fact that you are letting us see into the world of editing. I've thought often of doing it, but I do NOT want to work every single day, so I never follow through in trying to find an editing gig.

I certainly hope that the shoppers out there are not gathering employee descriptions and then writing up a good report! That lack of responsibility and accountability is reprehensible! If I take a $5.00 shop, I do it to the very best of my ability; and I remember that I have $5.00 more than I had yesterday. If I think it was not worth $5.00, I just never do it again.

Speaking of money, one of my pet peeves is when people write 5$ instead of $5....argh!

Remember subject/verb agreement: Someone realizes (someone is the singular subject). Just editing, as you said to go ahead and edit your edits. winking smiley
I don’t take $5 shops for many reasons. In my experience (I employ people and I work on a contract basis) we generally get what we pay for. If I paid $5 for a job I totally would expect some BS from whoever did it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/2019 01:30PM by Capurato.
Hi anoryzae - Such a "well" written article! Question, can you share more of your funny instances?

Thanksgiving dinner approaches. Time to say thanks. Oh yeah, and then there's family to deal with. smiling smiley
I have had experience with a bully editor. I guess this gives me an idea of why editors are frustrated.
I will throw a thanks to an Editor if they point out something I did wrong and provide useful feedback.

I will thank an Editor when my report is edited within an hour of it being submitted.

I hope someone has done the same for you. I do not envy the job.
**this in response to MFJohnson's reference to $5 shops....

I'm still learning. I'd appreciate your insight. A local burger chain in my area does $5 shops with a $12 reimbursement. I've done these shops when I was already planning to stop for food. Am I being foolish? Am I compromising other shoppers?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/07/2019 07:38PM by Catregen.
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