Editors..(just a little vent)

Hi, everyone, this is just a little mini vent about editors. I have been doing a lot of calls for a company that shall remain nameless. I am not an English major, but I can use quotation marks correctly and I used to be a transcriptionist in a former life. Having said that I swear that I have come across some of the most nit picky editors dinging me for things like. No comma, minor typos, oops the radio button says AM it should be PM. I'm not a perfect person, but gee whiz, it almost makes me not want to shop with them. I know, I know I'm still getting paid but dang. Anyway, thanks for reading and have a great day!

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Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.

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I can sympathize with you however I expect, to my standards, to always get right the commas and am/pm. For me, I expect to get all the relevant grammatical things correct. If I was a client, I'd want to know that my shoppers are detailed, it flows and what they write makes sense.
I agree. However, if a person is telling you that you are making a mistake but won't tell you where or not give you an example then what is the point? I am neither perfect nor am I a mind reader. I can appreciate criticism and I value learning but if I am just being told that I have made a mistake but not told how to correct it or how to avoid making it in the future then what was the point? In addition, I expect to get things right as well but unfortunately because I am a human being and all, I sometimes make mistakes. I appreciate an opportunity to learn how to improve my skills but just telling me that I made a mistake does not allow for that opportunity imo.

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Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2019 10:08PM by pammie8223.
I did not see you state in your original post that they won't tell you what you did incorrectly. Your post read as that you didn't put commas and had minor typos.

If the editors are going to say you did something wrong, then they need to tell you specifically so that you can improve next time.

@pammie8223 wrote:

Hi, everyone, this is just a little mini vent about editors. I have been doing a lot of calls for a company that shall remain nameless. I am not an English major, but I can use quotation marks correctly and I used to be a transcriptionist in a former life. Having said that I swear that I have come across some of the most nit picky editors dinging me for things like. No comma, minor typos, oops the radio button says AM it should be PM. I'm not a perfect person, but gee whiz, it almost makes me not want to shop with them. I know, I know I'm still getting paid but dang. Anyway, thanks for reading and have a great day!
@7 star, I would like to add that the mistakes were not all in one narrative lol! I like getting 10's I admit it, just like when I was in school I liked getting A's. I try not to let it bother me though, like I said it was just my little mini vent.

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Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.
I'm guessing pammie is referring to when editors give a "9" rating and say something like "lowered due to minor grammatical errors" or something similar. This really doesn't bother me because it's such a small thing. If a shop were disallowed due to errors, I would say a specific reason should be given. If a report "grade" is lowered in a minor way for "minor errors," I think it's fine that editors do not communicate exactly what the errors were. It would be terribly time-consuming to train shoppers so they can write better reports. If the shoppers were employees who completed 10 shops a day, it might be worth it. The time expenditure to train a part-time shopper who works for multiple MSCs would not be worth it. AND, the editors at most MSCs are not paid any better than shoppers are, sometimes they are paid less. A couple of editors have posted that they were paid a flat $5 to edit a report. That's not much money, and, if you have to communicate back and forth with the shopper over minor issues, like "explain my grade," it would be appalling low pay.

My brother tried editing for a while and hated it. He started out all enthusiastic and he sent emails explaining to shoppers what he had to correct, hoping they would see it as a way to improve. Some did and they wanted to email back and forth with him. Others did NOT appreciate it and they emailed asking questions and arguing. What do you say when the shopper emails back and says "No, those 3 sentences do not need commas." ....?
Or, "No, those words were NOT misspelled. You are wrong" or. "Somebody changed my report." Very time-consuming. And over minor errors? The longtime editors laughed at him and told him "Told you, told you!" He very quickly stopped communicating with shoppers with minor issues and only contacted shoppers when he needed more information in order to approve the report or he had to explain why he couldn't approve it. Minor issues, to my mind, do not warrant discussion between shopper and editor. IMHO, it's a waste of the editor's AND the shopper's time.

Minor means minor. pammie is just venting. Me, I can think of much better things to vent about and better places to vent.
I understand the venting. To try and avoid the possible feedback from editors, I try to write all my msc reports 'coyle' style, if you know what that means.
Like I said I like A's lol!

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Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/02/2019 11:50PM by pammie8223.
So do I but as long as we get paid, that's what counts.


@pammie8223 wrote:

Like I said I like A's lol!
I try to be very careful but once in a while I see an AM where I am sure I just changed it to PM. There must be a little gremlin following me thru those reports and laughing every time. I do not know how many of those I do not catch during proofing. It is great to vent!!! thanks Pammie.
Ha! Yesterday I did a USPS shop. For those of you who do them, you know that you have to upload a VERY clear receipt, which shows the tracking number, etc. The editor sent it back to me today for not having a valid tracking number. Since I do the reports using the app on the fly, there is a chance I might make an error. Not very often, though. Since the editor sent the whole report back, I double checked it on my desktop and saw that I was missing one digit in the tracking number! I quickly corrected it and resubmitted. Now why in the world would the editor not just check the uploaded receipt for the tracking number and correct it?

I am a former editor for 2 different MSCs. When I was an editor, if there was something I could fix myself in the report, I NEVER sent the report back. I only did that if I had a ton of info that I needed and it was just too onerous to fill in after emailing the shopper for the missing information. Geeze.
IMHO, because they can (send it back, that is). A minor power trip.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

Now why in the world would the editor not just check the uploaded receipt for the tracking number and correct it?

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
I just had an editor tell me after SEVEN YEARS on a project and 100's of reports submitted, that I cannot use contractions. WTF? No, it is not Coyle either.

I used to edit. It was awful. Like JASFLALMT, I rarely sent anything back that I could fix myself.
I can definitely relate to you Pammie, I went back to school in my early 50's and took my first English class in many, many years. My professor kept marking down on my essays and would always give me Bs. He would never tell me what I had done wrong either. Finally after the fifth one he said that I needed to stop making the same mistake over and over again but he still didn't tell me what it was. This class was online and I was furious, I sent back an email and asked him to please let me know what the error was because I had no idea what I was doing wrong. His email was just as hostile as his grading and he said that I was not using the comma correctly. Evidently, now you use a comma before the word and. This was not done when I went to school and I let him know this. Come to find out that he was just out of college and I was his first older student. He finally apologized and changed my grade for the course from a B to an A because he didn't realize this and should have let me know what my error was after the first essay.
I need advice on different evaluations and edits. I have learned the Coyle way and a shop just marked me down for putting the exact minutes for service. The note was just write 5 minutes later instead of 4:33:22.
Oh well you live and learn.
Still love doing this!!!!
The only advice is to read the guidelines and hope they tell you what their preferences are.

The writing style required for a "perfect report" for one MSC can be totally unacceptable to another. I have found that I just don't worry about getting knocked down to a "9" or even an "8" for this - so long as I get paid. IF XYZ MSC (and five others) requires that I use gender-specific pronouns and ABC (plus five others) says that I must use gender-neutral pronouns, I'm not likely to keep it straight. The same can go for how I report wait times, separate paragraphs, highlight "no" answers, use commas, etc. Some MSC's seem to prefer a more flowery writing style with complex sentence structures. Others would rather that sentences remain short and choppy.

I will clearly and objectively report what happened during my shop. If writing preferences are clearly put in my directions, I will abide by them. If not, I just don't worry about it.

@Lucky nelson wrote:

I need advice on different evaluations and edits. I have learned the Coyle way and a shop just marked me down for putting the exact minutes for service. The note was just write 5 minutes later instead of 4:33:22.
Oh well you live and learn.
Still love doing this!!!!

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
Hi, Lucky. You've got the right attitude! This is a good example of "the next level" of MSing: adapting to meet the specific preferences of each client. By client, I mean not just the MS company but the specific business that is being shopped. Many have preferences for how they want you to name the people you are writing about (Associate, Employee, Agent, first name only, etc) or what they want you to call the business (e.g., for one client I was not supposed to refer to the casino as the casino). Some reports direct you to "round to the nearest minute" and others want minutes and seconds. The challenge is that the MSC doesn't always specify every detail that needs to be presented a certain way. I devour examples if they happen to be provided. I also capture data at the Coyle level for all shops just in case. Despite all that, I still sometimes get an editor that has his/her own preference and receive a note like you did. Cheers!
@aribacat wrote:

I can definitely relate to you Pammie, I went back to school in my early 50's and took my first English class in many, many years. My professor kept marking down on my essays and would always give me Bs. He would never tell me what I had done wrong either. Finally after the fifth one he said that I needed to stop making the same mistake over and over again but he still didn't tell me what it was. This class was online and I was furious, I sent back an email and asked him to please let me know what the error was because I had no idea what I was doing wrong. His email was just as hostile as his grading and he said that I was not using the comma correctly. Evidently, now you use a comma before the word and. This was not done when I went to school and I let him know this. Come to find out that he was just out of college and I was his first older student. He finally apologized and changed my grade for the course from a B to an A because he didn't realize this and should have let me know what my error was after the first essay.

See that is what I am talking about I would really appreciate it if they would just tell me where I have made a mistake or forward the rules of the mistake.

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Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.
I got an 8/10 on a report because I used 2 spaces after each sentence, just like I was taught in school. Apparently, the standard is one space now, but that's still a ridiculous reason to knock me down two points. Whatever, I got paid.
When I edit a new (and maybe not a 'new' shopper, but new to Servimer) survey I typically send them a copy/paste of one of their narratives and what the edited/client was sent. Some shoppers submit great narratives, but when I have to change quite a bit I'll do this. And it's typically not for grammatical issues, it is to show the shopper what information the client sees as a priority and what information is not needed.

Servimer Regional Manager- Nevada, Illinois, Wisconsin & Minnesota


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2019 05:46PM by luckygirl0100.
@luckygirl0100 wrote:

When I edit a new (and maybe not a 'new' shopper, but new to Servimer) survey I typically send them a copy/paste of one of their narratives and what the edited/client was sent. Some shoppers submit great narratives, but when I have to change quite a bit I'll do this. And it's typically not for grammatical issues, it is to show the shopper what information the client sees as a priority and what information is not needed.


As a mystery shopper I would really appreciate it if an editor would do this for me.

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Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.
After an 18 hour day yesterday (on the road at 6:30 AM, home after midnight), I had ONE report the company insisted HAD to be submitted before I could rest.

I put the wrong completion date.

It was Thursday when I completed the report. I was so tired, I couldn't figure out the date I did the shop. So I put 4/4.

Hit submit, and get a note that my geoverify doesn't match the date entered for the shop. But it's not an "OOOPS", so I can't correct it.

Texted the scheduler. This morning got a cheerful note from the editor that it was fixed -- and so was my visit ID, which I ALSO ENTERED WRONG.

But my feeling is: What do you expect, after DEMANDING a shopper input a report when you KNOW they drove over 500 miles that day, to do a shop that should have been completed by 3/30? And I texted the scheduler when I ran into snow, rain, and heavy fog on the way home, which made the drive 4 hours longer than normal.

Vent over.

LOL!!!.
Ceasesmith - They should have at least cut you some slack on the reporting due date given that it was overdue to begin with. At least your report was approved.
I actually think that's why they COULD NOT give me any slack -- the shop was way past due. Ha, it was assigned to me 5:23 PM Tuesday for Wednesday completion!

But in a way, they did cut me a LOT of slack. Wrong visit ID # (gotta write it on the business card/brochures, quote, etc., and I entered the wrong number on every one of them!), AND wrong date? LOL!!! I've known shoppers whose shops were totally denied because of such "minor" details, LOL!! I'm actually grateful to that editor.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/04/2019 08:28PM by ceasesmith.
I am actually very grateful for the corrections. It taught me to be a better writer! I smiling smiley had editors correcting me in the first 3 months (when I was a newbie shopper) quite a bit..... but now, fast forward years later, I think I have it! smiling smiley
WHAT? We don't use two spaces between sentences? I was taught that in typing back in the late 60's. I didn't know it changed.
I welcome corrections and suggestions to make me a better shopper as long as they are not being picky. It has to be constructive for both of us.
@SunnyDays2 wrote:

I am actually very grateful for the corrections. It taught me to be a better writer! I smiling smiley had editors correcting me in the first 3 months (when I was a newbie shopper) quite a bit..... but now, fast forward years later, I think I have it! smiling smiley

I would be grateful for corrections but what I was getting is you did this wrong somewhere in the report (paraphrasing).

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Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.
@MFJohnston wrote:

The only advice is to read the guidelines and hope they tell you what their preferences are.

The writing style required for a "perfect report" for one MSC can be totally unacceptable to another. I have found that I just don't worry about getting knocked down to a "9" or even an "8" for this - so long as I get paid. IF XYZ MSC (and five others) requires that I use gender-specific pronouns and ABC (plus five others) says that I must use gender-neutral pronouns, I'm not likely to keep it straight. The same can go for how I report wait times, separate paragraphs, highlight "no" answers, use commas, etc. Some MSC's seem to prefer a more flowery writing style with complex sentence structures. Others would rather that sentences remain short and choppy.

I will clearly and objectively report what happened during my shop. If writing preferences are clearly put in my directions, I will abide by them. If not, I just don't worry about it.

Quick question about editing...Is there an expected timeframe in which you hear back from them? Most seem to come back in 24 hrs., but I have a pricey one going on a week and it is making me nervous. Thanks for any help!
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