Rescheduled shops due to tornado watch; now feeling overwhelmed!

I had 3 shops scheduled for today and one for tomorrow. I don't do routes; I historically max out at 3 shops/day. As I was getting ready to leave the house, storms and wind came up, and we were under a tornado watch until 7 p.m. I wasn't going on a nearly 60-mile R/T under threat of tornado.

I self-rescheduled my FG shop for tomorrow, requested a re-schedule from the scheduler on another shop, and saw that my window to shop on the third was open until tomorrow. So I'm doing the three "today" shops tomorrow.

I had a local shop for tomorrow that's not eligible for a self-reschedule. I had canceled two shops from this company a few months ago due to critical illness in the family, so I didn't want to ask the scheduler for the favor. I can do that shop on my way home tomorrow, but I'm getting anxiety over doing 4 shops in one afternoon.

Two of these aren't easy. One is a FG (so I'm not worried about that). I have the cellphone repair shop drop-off part. Seems like it'll be very straightforward if they'll put the logo glass on. But I don't want to have to get into the song and dance about insisting on it if they resist.

The third is a Super Shoes. I haven't done one in a long time, and I seem to remember it wasn't as easy as it sounded. The last is an ATV shop; those can go either way. I did one once where the saleswoman wouldn't shut up, I was there almost an hour, had trouble with my GPS verify, had to do contortions to get a photo of the building, etc. I was so stressed over that one! I did another one where they couldn't wait to get rid of me, and I was in and out in a flash.

I worry I won't be able to retain everything in my brain. Will I forget my Geo-Verify (which I've done before), forget to take the photo, etc.? I'm taking hard copies of the surveys with me so I can park somewhere and fill out what I can. But I've been known to forget something when it's right in front of my face.

How do you all do it? When I read about someone doing, say, 10 gas-station shops in a day, I shudder. I'd be a wreck over that.

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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I'm with you, Birdy. I had 4 shops Saturday (or was it Sunday? LOL! ), and managed to screw up two of them. Shops I had done literally hundreds of before. Ugh.

I much prefer two or 3. And I prefer doing the report on-site (app, if possible, but I can do them on the website in my car for SeeLevel, IPSOS, Intelli-shop, as they tend to be rather straightforward. Marketforce, I have to do the reports after I get home) .

Yes, I don't know how the "road warriors" do it. Kudos to them.

And kudos to we two, who just hang in there and manage to muddle through our 2 or 3 or 4!

smiling smiley

(Well, I'm definitely not accusing you of "muddling" through!!! )

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2022 04:27AM by ceasesmith.
Good luck tomorrow. It will probably turn out easier than you imagined. Maybe you can take a fun joy ride, I meant test ride, on the ATV shop and relieve some stress.
I use a notebook with each of my day's shops listed and what's needed. I then have spots to fill in vital info. I know it sounds simplified, but it works. I will say I have a great memory but even still do jot notes. Organization is key in this industry, and I do some things old school.

My day today was 2 Chevron Simple shops, a panda express (my 1st), a Verizon device recommendation, a best buy 75" TV recommendation, a 2 for 1 Lowes one the purchase return 2 dept shop and the other a oven recommendation shop but at same Lowes.

Pay chevron $8.50 per station plus 1 gallon of gas at $5.20 and $5.40 respectively and $1 inside purchase.

Panda Express $8 pay plus $8 food reimbursement cost of food with tax $8.49 so pay really $7.51
Note I did not care for Teriyaki Chicken will try steak next time and take extra $1.25 out of pay.

Verizon $16 Pay

Best Buy $20 Pay

Lowes $35 total pay ($18 and $17)

So my little day which was low for me I made $95.51 plus 2 gallons of gas that covered my travel and a drink and package of snack cookies.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
I make a checklist in a notes app on my phone of the major requirements of a shop. You can list the required pictures, geo verify, etc. I act like Im texting and mark them off as I complete each step so I know I haven't missed anything crucial before I leave the location.
Birdy, you are a seasoned shopper. You are going slightly over your maximum of 3 shops per day by adding ONE more. Your panic today will ensure you do your GVs tomorrow. Your reports will be flawless.

You got this!

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
My max day, 17 shops, was fortunate in that all were exactly the same. Same MSC,, Maritz, same client, blue bank, and finally, same scenario. I covered 437 miles in a loop, for $917. I have certainly missed Maritz.
99.999% of the time, I am good for up to three or four gigs on the few days when I work at this. On a few occasions, I completed twelve or thirteen merchandising gigs in one day. This required me to work out of town and not do anything else for awhile. (My back dictates what I will do and when, and where, and how much.) There are not enough locations for me to complete so many assignments in one day locally, so my seemingly impressive days involve travel, planning, and tremendous back care. For the big work days, I have to do whatever works. For merches, I only need to remember to bring the merchandise with me along with any tools or helpful things for the jobs. For shops, I do whatever fits the day. I might take notes on an app on my phone, take additional pics if it is not convenient to use that little keyboard, or do odd things like mentally numbering my fingers and thumbs and letting them be temporary digital memory banks for numbers or other descriptors of location conditions. I rarely work at gas stations and have no insights for how to complete large numbers of their revealed audits in one day.

The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off. - Joe Klaas, Twelve Steps to Happiness

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I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born. - Ronald Reagan
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Your notes are your friend when doing multiple shops in one day. Also, I use a voice recorder and it helps refresh any needed details later on if I've forgotten if they used my name etc.

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The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
Thanks, all, for the tips and encouragement!

For most shops, I print out the pertinent pages of the survey (sometimes part of the guidelines) and highlight key observations (especially if they're unusual) and write notes to myself at the top of the first page: take bldg photo, get GPS code, get written quote, etc. If it's a shop I haven't done before or haven't done in a long time, I'll park away from the location initially and re-read the survey. I did 3 shops on Tuesday, and this worked well.

I usually use my phone's recorder to make notes as I'm driving, but on Tuesday, for example, I lost my entire recording somehow. Good thing it was my last shop, and I reported it first while it was still fresh in my mind!

I generally have a good memory, but the older I get, the less I remember. Three shops seems to be my uppermost comfort level. And, actually, I just found out that my first shop has to be done much earlier than I thought because the place closes early today.. I thought it was at 4 p.m., but it's at 1.p.m.(good thing I double checked!). Way too early for me to tag on the other three shops because my FG shop is a dinner shop.

So I'm gonna do that one this morning, go home and report the shop, then head out later to do the other 3. It's not all that convenient to go there and back, but I think it'll reduce my stress level!

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 05/21/2022 04:25PM by BirdyC.
You can do it! Just take it one shop at a time. Take some deep breaths, and be good to yourself when you're done.

That said, I live in oklahoma. When work has to be done, I generally just dodge the tornadoes. I remember one time I was doing a route of truck stops in Western oklahoma. I was watching the tornado on the radar, and I pulled over for about 30 minutes to allow the tornado to pass about 10 mi north of me. Then I got full pay without having to work on my next two locations because they had to close due to a power outage.
I can drive over 400 miles in a day (in the summer, not in the winter), but I'm talking back roads and 70-135 miles between shops. Ugh. I could never get 17 close enough to one another to get them all done in one day. I'm lucky if I get 5-7 in 400 miles!

I will drive close to 400 miles today, into WY, for 3 shops for a total of $200 plus reimbursements.

Since I work my regular job M-F, that's about all I can manage on my "day off".

smiling smiley



@shopperbob wrote:

My max day, 17 shops, was fortunate in that all were exactly the same. Same MSC,, Maritz, same client, blue bank, and finally, same scenario. I covered 437 miles in a loop, for $917. I have certainly missed Maritz.
Whew! Glad that's over.... Fortunately, one of the four shop reports wasn't due until this morning, so I just finished it. It's a good thing, too, because I was really tired after finishing the third one last night. The first shop I did has a very long report, with lots of short narratives, and it took awhile to finish. I normally like narrative reports, but this one is long under normal circumstances and felt longer yesterday!

The cell-phone repair shop was quick and easy, but they wouldn't repair it, so I'll get half the fee (there's one fee for the inquiry portion, then a second one if the place repairs the phone).

If all four get accepted, I will have had a pretty good day of shopping. All fees met or exceeded my new minimum and were worth it time-wise. But I don't think I'll attempt 4 in one day again! LOL.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
I sometimes do routes of very similar shops for different companies that have slight variances in the requirements. Something that helps me is taking a screen shot of the required photos section of a report. In rural areas the internet is slow sometimes so I don't want to log back on to the company website, and then I don't have to dig through a lengthy requirements doc.
If they are shops that require a lot of photos, like gas stations, I'll take a "blank" shot of something like my leg between shops so that helps me see where the last shop ended and the new one started when I'm doing the reports. I prefer typing on my computer but when it comes to shops, I much prefer doing it from my phone since I can upload the pics right from there.
I've actually gotten to a point where I enjoy doing 5 or 6 shops of different types on a Saturday or Sunday. I've never done gas stations or official routes from one company, but instead find a bunch of jobs from different companies in the same general area. I enjoy driving so it's kind of fun for me to pick a place about an hour away and do a bunch of shops there that I wouldn't normally do often.

That said, I completely understand why you are stressed!

When I put together a complex schedule, I google map everything in advance, and add at least 10-20 minutes for each part of the route on top of what google maps says. I build in a little more time for each assignment even if I've done it several times before. Basically, my goal is to never be panicked about making it from one job to another in time. I then write out the schedule in big bold print with a Sharpie on paper, including the shop name and its physical address.

I've hit some snags. But it usually goes fairly smoothly!
As much of a pain as it can be, I have a hard rule. I complete the report on my phone and submit it before I move on to the next shop. I find this to be much easier because I don't have as many details to remember for long periods. It makes sure I don't get any details or photos mixed up between shops. It also helps limit my total working time, because I never have any work to do at the end of the day. Even though I can type about 50 wpm, I still find that dictating text into my phone for narratives is easier. I simply talk my narratives into my phone and then do a quick proof-read. I have done up to 20 shops in one day doing this. (this took me about 16 hours, and these were rank-and-file type shops). I had my best day on 12/23/22 doing this, where I grossed $1150 in one day. That was a bit of an outlier.
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