Editing is a thankless job - ask me anything

Yeah, it may be a waste of time. However, I’m required to point out what the problems are with each report. It’s almost as time consuming as the original report. What bothers me is when I write specific things that need to be fixed (a time, a description or name, or anything that they left out) and it gets ignored. Then I have to send it out again. I can’t make up answers for the shopper.

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@Book wrote:

As recently indicated by a scheduler in another thread, many assignments get 5 or 6 people applying for them. Do you expect them to give the assignment to someone asking for a $10 bonus or one of the other 5 guys?

Asking for bonuses is feasible in only a small percentage of assignments. If you live in a market with few rival shoppers you have more bonus opportunities. Or if you don’t mind doing unpopular assignments which nobody else wants to do.

Some people don’t have the luxury of turning down work. They have a choice - do the shop at the advertised rate or not at all. I guess you are a part time shopper so you can easily refuse work. The reality is that full time shoppers have less scope for rejecting work even if they believe that the assignment warrants a higher fee.

I disagree that asking for a bonus isn't feasible in many cases. I'm not disagreeing that some shoppers aren't in a position to turn jobs down. I guess you didn't read the part where I wrote: "But if the shopper needs the base fee, regardless of the "worth" question, then the shopper should take the job."

Everybody's situation is different. I usually, but not always, do have the luxury of taking or not taking a shop because I have other sources of income that pay more.

I do have an issue when people say they need to take work at base fees (and I "get" that) and then complain about the fee and about being expected to turn in a report with correct grammar and spelling. Not saying you do that, but there are some shoppers who seem to.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
@BirdyC wrote:


I disagree that asking for a bonus isn't feasible in many cases.

In which cases would you ask for a bonus?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/31/2019 10:54PM by Book.
Reading through your comments and especially the original poster's, now I wish I'd replied to an editor who edited three of my reports in a row when I first started out, who wrote me some personalised response, including one in which he advised me to, more frankly than I think I'd have dared to do if I were in his position, to only look for and answer the question in a direct way, focussing on the positive, so I wouldn't have to spend so much time with my detailed responses that included both the positive and negative (I spent 2 hours at a few of those "audit and reveal" shops at a gas station). I wasn't sure if I were supposed to reply to the emails he sent, which I noticed were copied to some quality control cyber email depot. I appreciated his tactfulness and in my view, he was an effective communicator, getting his point across without sacrificing the editor-shopper relationship.

P.S. The dude's name is Patrick.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2019 03:36AM by tripovermercy.
Book,
Sunnydays is correct and there is plenty of evidence to support the existence of shoppers who will "cubrstone" shops. (i.e., sit at the curb and create a false report, instead of traveling to do the shop.) Also, many who try to use pix off the Internet to show that they were at a location, when they were not. (Hence, Geoverify) Alter receipts and time/date stamps. I have been to 10+ shopper conferences. The after hours chats in the bar with editors, schedulers and MSC managers include some pretty hair-raising account of people who think they can scam the MS system. Inventing ways to detect such scams and/or prevent them has become a whole sub-culture in MSC operations.

Oh, I left out the worst, IMHO, example. There were video shop scams, where the "shopper" would wait for the target to make a serious mistake and then stop the camera and shake them down for a payment. Then, they would redo the interaction, with the shopper re-entering the location and the target having a chance to save their job by not putting a foot wrong. No, I am not going to provide examples of where this became "profitable." for the scammers.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
@Book wrote:

@BirdyC wrote:


I disagree that asking for a bonus isn't feasible in many cases.

In which cases would you ask for a bonus?

I ask for a bonus, for example, when: I've done the shop before and I know it's more time-consuming than we're led to believe; it's toward the end of the month and there are still many of the same shops still on the board (leading me to believe they're not "fun & easy" ), without bonuses or with paltry ones; when the shop is out of my normal geographical area; when MarketForce calls and needs a shop done; when it's a bank inquiry and base pay is less than $20 or $25; when it's the last day or two before the deadline, and I can do the shop but have to re-arrange my schedule; and so on.

Sometimes I get them, sometimes I don't. Never any hard feelings on my part, and to the best of my knowledge, no hard feelings on the part of schedulers. I don't think my asking for bonuses has prevented me from getting jobs in the future, either.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2019 02:21PM by BirdyC.
Among the occasions where I ask for a bonus:
1. Distance or travel time justify it (In the DMV, 10 miles is a 45 minute drive, minimum, most times of the day. Most schedulers do not realize that.

2. There are not other jobs along the route that would make the trip profitable;

3. I am aware that many other shoppers mistakenly think that they would not be safe there;

4. It is EOM or EOQ "crazy-time" for schedulers;

5. Tolls and/or parking costs will be involved;

6. I know, from experience, that the particular project has bonus funds allotted to it;

7. I would avoid the job at the price offered., just because I do not care for the type of work or the deadline.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Beyond bonuses for the normal deadline, distance/drive time, and otherwise hard-to-fill shops: if I am picking up several assignments for the scheduler I will ask for a bonus on each. They usually say yes. If it's a scheduler who knows my work and trusts me, and needs the assignment done without any issues (perhaps it's for a new client) I will ask for a bonus, because I don't flake and the shop gets done correctly and submitted on time (I do this frequently with success). There are types shops I will not do for under a certain amount, and some MSC schedulers know this, so I will send in an offer of what I can do it for (I get accepted pretty regularly).

If you build a great relationship with MSCs over time and they know they can count on you, MOST of them will give you the shop with a bonus, even if other shoppers are available that can do it for less. It happens pretty regularly for many full-time shoppers. Now this does depend on the MSC, as Marketforce is known to be stingy with bonuses (as of late, anyway), ACL doesn't often give bonuses, and Trendsource has to be pretty desperate to give out any decent PAD.
@BirdyC wrote:


I ask for a bonus, for example, when: I've done the shop before and I know it's more time-consuming than we're led to believe; it's toward the end of the month and there are still many of the same shops still on the board (leading me to believe they're not "fun & easy" ), without bonuses or with paltry ones; when the shop is out of my normal geographical area; when MarketForce calls and needs a shop done; when it's a bank inquiry and base pay is less than $20 or $25; when it's the last day or two before the deadline, and I can do the shop but have to re-arrange my schedule; and so on.
.

The scenarios listed would make up a very small percentage of shops for most shoppers. Although I agree that bonuses should be paid in the cases you mention.
@walesmaven wrote:

Book,
Sunnydays is correct and there is plenty of evidence to support the existence of shoppers who will "cubrstone" shops. (i.e., sit at the curb and create a false report, instead of traveling to do the shop.) .
.

People engaging in illegal or morally suspect behavior usually get caught out in the end as they become more careless.

Also I suspect information about crooked shoppers is shared along the MS grapevine so their activities can be curtailed to a degree at least.
Thank you for the proper use of the term "queen's English".

@Kol16 wrote:

I fail to understand one thing, for peanut money, the companies want excellent report and queen's English. Stop nit picking on the English, not everyone will have a fluent English. If the shopper is good and you got all the required info. Move on... cant believe the perfect English fuss these companies do. The pay is peanuts and they want audits to be done like real auditors?
This reminds me of long-ago school days. Teachers were giving good grades equally to papers that were written well and those from which they could glean the gist of what the student was saying. Fast forward to volunteer gig and more of the same. I was told not to work with a student who did not utilize the English language well. I was informed that the student would never get anywhere because of their language skills. Fast forward to 'Hmm'. The student was given a sports scholarship (they actually participated in the sport prior to college) and obtained a college degree from a respected school.

I am not saying anything, really. I was expressing the early morning, pre-caffeinated free association of ideas in a thread.

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber
@Shop-et-al wrote:

Teachers were giving good grades equally to papers that were written well and those from which they could glean the gist of what the student was saying. ... I was told not to work with a student who did not utilize the English language well. I was informed that the student would never get anywhere because of their language skills. Fast forward to 'Hmm'. The student was given a sports scholarship (they actually participated in the sport prior to college) and obtained a college degree from a respected school. .

The educational system did ZERO favors to kids who couldn't use language properly by giving them grades equal to those who could. How were they supposed to learn anything that way? And to be told, in effect, to not bother with a student who couldn't (and about whom the assumption was that he never would) is reprehensible. I wonder how that student got through a respected school without good language skills (said sarcastically).

The ability to read and write competently, if not excellently, is valuable in any endeavor. All of the teachers I know, regardless of what subject(s) they teach, say that reading is key to learning. And that a student's reading skills are a predictor of academic success in all areas. One could assume that academic success generally (not always) leads to success later on.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
BirdyC,

I do not know what happened on that college campus. I lost track of the kid a few months after I met them. I was stunned by the cavalier dismissal of the current condition or status of that language learner. Where was any belief in change or any hope that something would click, sooner or later, within this student? The person who told me what to do and what not to do had a career which revolved around shepherding challenged students to and through their educations.

Some of the days in November carry the whole memory of summer as a fire opal carries the color of moon rise. - Gladys Taber
The client only wants the pictures they requested so if you take 10 shots of something from different angles only the best picture will be sent to the client. Now if there is something notable that the client would want to know then an additional photo would be included, but it mostly up to the client and what they prefer.
I don’t understand either, shoppers that get bent out of shape for the following when I either ask them to correct or just remind them for future shops:
1. They leave off a picture and I ask for one
2. They take a picture of their drink instead of their food
3. They include themselves in the picture (happens more than you’d think)
4. They don’t fully answer the questions. If it says you need 500 characters, 498 won’t do. It gets kicked back as incomplete.
5. If you are going to use direct quotes, learn the proper punctuation. And if there is only a summary asked for, don’t stress yourself out typing dialogue. It’s more work than you need to do.
6. Please run spell check
7. Even better, use something like Grammarly to edit as you type. It can be invaluable.
8. Keep your one line answers simple and to the point and in complete sentences with periods at the end.
9. Submit no receipt or receipts that you cannot actually read.
10. Remember, I get paid only $3 to read and correct your report. I have to verify location, time, shop instructions, the pictures facing the right direction and being clear, check and see if you have listed everything you ordered, make sure that in your narrative you have answered all the “negative” responses and make certain your timings match up with all of your other answers. This is on top of general editing for spelling, the sentences making sense and proper punctuation checks. If there’s a problem, it can take me another 2-3 minutes to write that up for you so you can fix it if I return it or for you to know for future shops (if I’m able to fix it without your input). In addition, I have to record anything I’ve set to be fixed so I can follow up on when it is completed by the shopper. And, finally, I also have to alert the editor in charge what’s going on with anything else I or the shopper cannot fix. Some shops have taken me over an hour when all this is counted.

Editing is a thankless job, but I’m doing it to get practice and have something more recent on my resume to be able to jump into something a lot more profitable for my time spent. Plus, it was a great gig while I was housebound for a period of time.
Honestly, until I became an editor, I would not have believed 1-10 existed. Then, the reports came in for editing. I quickly realized that my reports were some of the best. It’s pretty sad. I often wondered how some of the shoppers even got a drivers license?
@SoCalMama wrote:

Honestly, until I became an editor, I would not have believed 1-10 existed. Then, the reports came in for editing. I quickly realized that my reports were some of the best. It’s pretty sad.

As someone who tried editing for awhile, I agree. Turned out I can write reports faster than I could edit them, so I was making the same amount or more shopping then I could editing poor reports.

I also got a good laugh yesterday when an editor told me it would save me time to not write in paragraphs! I can't do that and it makes it hard to proof. So instead, I keep writing the paragraphs and then backing up the spaces to keep them happy!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/11/2019 11:49PM by foodluvr.
That’s odd. We have to have all narratives converted to paragraphs-even the one line things that make sense not to. That’s time consuming for me. Example: “No manager seen” to: “I did not see a manager.” Or, “There was no manager visible during our shop.” Sometimes, a mix of writing is the clearest.
@wanderer wrote:

That’s odd. We have to have all narratives converted to paragraphs-even the one line things that make sense not to. That’s time consuming for me. Example: “No manager seen” to: “I did not see a manager.” Or, “There was no manager visible during our shop.” Sometimes, a mix of writing is the clearest.

Virtually all instructions that I've seen require us to write in full sentences. "No manager seen" is clear on meaning, but isn't a full sentence for narrative purposes. Phrasing is often fine for non-narrative parts of the report, i.e., personnel descriptions. "Female, blonde hair, about 5'6" tall...." goes in the "boxes," as would "No manager seen." But not in narrative.

Sometimes a single sentence is a paragraph of its own. For example, as a transition between key, but discrete, points of the report.. But I'm not sure how your example relates to that. Are you being asked to make each sentence a paragraph? Which would be unreasonable, I think.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
$3 per report? Why would you ever take a job like that?
We, shoppers have our beef too. What about waiting eight (8) days and checking emails with no response or complaint about a report. Then.....suddenly....URGENT! NEED RESPONSE BY END OF DAY TODAY! with 50 questions and complaints. Is this fair to the busy shopper? Many of us have a regular job and family.


@wanderer wrote:

I don’t understand either, shoppers that get bent out of shape for the following when I either ask them to correct or just remind them for future shops:
1. They leave off a picture and I ask for one
2. They take a picture of their drink instead of their food
3. They include themselves in the picture (happens more than you’d think)
4. They don’t fully answer the questions. If it says you need 500 characters, 498 won’t do. It gets kicked back as incomplete.
5. If you are going to use direct quotes, learn the proper punctuation. And if there is only a summary asked for, don’t stress yourself out typing dialogue. It’s more work than you need to do.
6. Please run spell check
7. Even better, use something like Grammarly to edit as you type. It can be invaluable.
8. Keep your one line answers simple and to the point and in complete sentences with periods at the end.
9. Submit no receipt or receipts that you cannot actually read.
10. Remember, I get paid only $3 to read and correct your report. I have to verify location, time, shop instructions, the pictures facing the right direction and being clear, check and see if you have listed everything you ordered, make sure that in your narrative you have answered all the “negative” responses and make certain your timings match up with all of your other answers. This is on top of general editing for spelling, the sentences making sense and proper punctuation checks. If there’s a problem, it can take me another 2-3 minutes to write that up for you so you can fix it if I return it or for you to know for future shops (if I’m able to fix it without your input). In addition, I have to record anything I’ve set to be fixed so I can follow up on when it is completed by the shopper. And, finally, I also have to alert the editor in charge what’s going on with anything else I or the shopper cannot fix. Some shops have taken me over an hour when all this is counted.

Editing is a thankless job, but I’m doing it to get practice and have something more recent on my resume to be able to jump into something a lot more profitable for my time spent. Plus, it was a great gig while I was housebound for a period of time.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2019 03:04PM by ShopperFun99.
@ShopperFun99 wrote:

$3 per report? Why would you ever take a job like that?
We, shoppers have our beef too. What about waiting eight (8) days and checking emails with no response or complaint about a report. Then.....suddenly....URGENT! NEED RESPONSE BY END OF DAY TODAY! with 50 questions and complaints. Is this fair to the busy shopper? Many of us have a regular job and family.

I could be wrong here, but I think the above requirements would come from the scheduler, and NOT the Editor. So the Editor would have no jurisdiction in this area. If I am wrong, I apologize.
I think that ShopperFun99 was referring to an editor having questions about the report 8 days after it was submitted, but 50 questions has got to be an exaggeration!!! But if not, and if you are getting 50 questions about your report, SF99, you definitely need to think your reporting strategy.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

...but 50 questions has got to be an exaggeration!!! But if not, and if you are getting 50 questions about your report, SF99, you definitely need to think your reporting strategy.

Hopefully that was hyperbole!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
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