Random Thoughts On A Sunny Afternoon

I suppose it could be considered a question too. For gas station shops like BP, there is a quiz that is very difficult to pass. I remember when the old MSC required a quiz before allowing assigning of shops. That old MSC allowed the shopper 3 tries at taking the quiz. Then, for me anyway, I would often get a telephone call from one of the reps who would help me take the quiz again, correcting my wrong answer(s) while explaining why my answer was wrong. Then, after reviewing the quiz, they would pass me - I was allowed to assign the shops. In so many ways, they were so helpful.
So now, with this newer MSC, I note that there is a maximum amount of quiz tries. What does happen when a shopper fails multiple times until they hit the wall - failure to pass the quiz. How does the shopper move forward? Does the new MSC help them, or are they shut out of doing those shops?

On another note, I noticed this week, the last week of July, that there were many, many E/M shops available. They were mostly quarterly shops, not monthlies and they weren't bonused very well and, it is my belief, that shoppers (like me) were awaiting further bonusing in order to make those shops financially feasible to do. But, then on Friday of this week, almost all of the E/M shops disappeared! Because there were so many and they were so very far apart from each other, I think it is safe to assume that they were not self-assigned by a single shopper, nor by multiple shoppers. More likely, it appears that the MSC simply pulled them.

It leaves me shaking my head. If this is true (the MSC simply pulled them), is this, their method of saving money?
Actually, I've noticed the same behavior of pulling shops by this MSC on the Shell shops. Again, the shops were so disparate in location that I could not assume that suddenly shoppers grabbed them.

I have other random thoughts about this particular MSC, but I'll hold them for now.

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Here's more not so random questions...

Why do so many people ask questions about things that don't matter?

Who cares why mystery shops do things?

Why can't people put a relevant title in a discussion?

Why can't a thread be about a single topic?

Do people post random questions just to get attention?
FF,
Some systems (certainly including Shopmetrics) actually charge the MSC a monetary penalty if the job board is mot "cleared" my midnight on the last day of each month. Thus, the MSC sweeps away those "leftover" shop listings shortly before the deadline and relists them with new end dates, in the new month, shortly after midnight.

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.
Jasper,
Why can't people understand that part of the reason for the forum is so that we can discuss the mysteries of this industry as well as "just the facts, m'am." FF's post title lets us know that this is the former sort of post rather than fact-checking, warning or asking for assistance.

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.
Reply deleted.
It was relevant to the OP, not the later bickering. So, my apologies for staying on topic.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2022 10:21PM by KA047.
Is it really? It just gets in the way of people wanting to have a real conversation. If the poster actually wanted a discussion, they would have asked clear questions with a title to match. There are two different topics posted.

Do they really need to know how many times a test allows you to take it? Why not print or download the questions before taking the test and pass it on the first try? Why not get a real answer and email the company?

If they wanted to discuss gas station shops, put it in the title.

Did they even look at other threads before posting their "random thoughts?" I'm pretty sure there are already threads on the topic.

People come to here to get REAL information not read random thoughts. Is there a Facebook page or something for that type of thing?
\
@walesmaven wrote:

Jasper,
Why can't people understand that part of the reason for the forum is so that we can discuss the mysteries of this industry as well as "just the facts, m'am." FF's post title lets us know that this is the former sort of post rather than fact-checking, warning or asking for assistance.
Criticizing posters for asking an MS-related question about tests is not a very collegial thing to do. Let's cool down before the mods shut this down.

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.
"People come to here to get REAL information not read random thoughts. Is there a Facebook page or something for that type of thing? "

Dear Mr Johnson, I apologize if you found my post threatening or tiresome to you.
However, in my defense, the title of my post was of random thoughts. This was a warning to those (like you) who feel their time is invaluable and must not be wasted upon such tedium and monotony.

Yet, you indulged yourself anyway and then found the need to complain about something you could have just passed by. I suggest if you really are disturbed by my post to file a complaint with the moderator.

Once again, I apologize, especially to you, Mr Johnson.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/31/2022 07:22PM by French Farmer.
There are many forums, one is general chat. Perhaps random thoughts could go there rather than mystery shop discussions??

You seem to make a lot of assumptions. Assumptions are easy to make. I can assume because you automatically think someone who disagrees with you is a man, you must be a woman.

@French Farmer wrote:

"People come to here to get REAL information not read random thoughts. Is there a Facebook page or something for that type of thing? "

Dear Mr Johnson, I apologize if you found my post threatening or tiresome to you.
However, in my defense, the title of my post was of random thoughts. This was a warning to those (like you) who feel their time is invaluable and must not be wasted upon such tedium and monotony.

Yet, you indulged yourself anyway and then found the need to complain about something you could have just passed by. I suggest if you really are disturbed by my post to file a complaint with the moderator.

Once again, I apologize, especially to you, Mr Johnson.
I was just adding my own "random thoughts" as the title suggests.

I did not criticize the poster; I was questioning the post. If you can read my mind than I am guilty.

Why ask a question about a test that sounds like they have not even attempted? How about read the directions, print or download them and then take the test? If you pass great. If not, then ask.

@walesmaven wrote:

Criticizing posters for asking an MS-related question about tests is not a very collegial thing to do. Let's cool down before the mods shut this down.
Just in case people haven't noticed, there are many forums:

This is the discussion under the Mystery Shopping Discussion -
Talk to other mystery shoppers: Ask questions, learn about mystery shopping and have fun!

Maybe it would be better received under General Chat or New Mystery Shoppers?
_______________________________________________________________________

Member Introductions
This is the place to introduce yourself to the community--tell us a little about yourself. Share your story. Or just say hi to let us know you're here.

New Mystery Shoppers
New to mystery shopping? Get your questions answered here! There is no such thing as a 'bad' questions -- we are here to help!

Mystery Shopping Company Discussion
Discuss the good and bad of mystery shopping companies. Which ones treat you well? Which ones have burned you? Give your feedback here.

Kudos, Compliments, & Shout-Outs
Compliment super helpful schedulers, review your favorite companies, or give a shout-out to another forum member who has helped you out.

Merchandising Assignments and Companies
Discuss merchandising assignments and companies.

General Chat
Chat about anything you want. This is for anything other than mystery shopping.
General Chat: "This is about anything other than mystery shopping." The OP's post is most certainly about mystery shopping, but obviously just not a part of it that interests you, Jasper. So, it is up to you to simply walk away and allow those of us who wish to pursue the OP to do so.

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.
The original poster claims that it doesn't belong here because of the title.

"However, in my defense, the title of my post was of random thoughts. This was a warning to those (like you) who feel their time is invaluable and must not be wasted upon such tedium and monotony."


@walesmaven wrote:

General Chat: "This is about anything other than mystery shopping." The OP's post is most certainly about mystery shopping, but obviously just not a part of it that interests you, Jasper. So, it is up to you to simply walk away and allow those of us who wish to pursue the OP to do so.
I can't help but notice the only individual annoyed by the post is a relative newcomer to the forum. Not all posts are going to be relevant. Just like the inbox of my email. A lot of them I ignore.
I've been doing this since 2008 and only came on here to find information since COVID disrupted some of my regular work. One company is now with several other MSCs and was looking for info before wasting my time.

It's just like weeds. First you ignore a few, then next thing you know, the entire garden is weeds and there are no more flowers. I guess this site will eventually go the way of NARMS, Volition, etc.

Funny you bring up time, because if someone has been on here 8 years, shouldn't they know how to post?

The poster was already discussing the test on another thread:
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

@lcubed3 wrote:

I can't help but notice the only individual annoyed by the post is a relative newcomer to the forum. Not all posts are going to be relevant. Just like the inbox of my email. A lot of them I ignore.
@JasperJohnson wrote:

The original poster claims that it doesn't belong here because of the title.

They didn't claim that, they said they titled it 'random thoughts' so that people who didn't want to read such a thread wouldn't click on it.

@JasperJohnson wrote:

Maybe it would be better received under General Chat

As the previous poster pointed out, General Chat is not an appropriate place for MS discussions, and if you go to that forum, you'll find such threads get moved here. The MS discussion forum is for discussions about mystery shopping... both general and specific. No foul here, IMO.
You know, never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that someone, anyone would take exception to my post.
Sigh.
Simply put, it was a beautiful, sunny day and I was done with my gardening chores. While doing them, I have wondered about certain issues concerning mystery shopping and this particular MSC.
Yes, there are issues that have been asked and answered over and over by helpful contributors of this forum. I see no harm, no foul in a rehashing, reasking of the same question or comment.
I appreciate the explanation of the E/M shops removal at month's end made by Walesmaven and, indeed, she is and was correct.
Thank you Walesmaven!
My other comment regarding the quiz by BP has left me wondering and, therefore, I commented in the belief that others might comment regarding their observation.
I am sorry if 2 different comments in the same post made anyone feel it was wrong.
Let's face it, the BP quiz is difficult. It has been mentioned before about the difficulties. I used it as an example - what exactly happens when the or any quiz' limit has been reached without a pass? I explained how the former MSC handled it. How does the new one do it?
As it says in the posting guidelines, "be honest, be positive, no personal insults".
If you want to admonish me for a title not to your liking or an original posting you feel is out of place, would not the better place be to report it to the moderator?
I was just looking for a bit of commentary and cameraderie, an esprit de corps, nothing more.
FF, you did nothing wrong at all. The objector appears to be someone who desires far more rules than Jacob envisioned, or probably would tolerate, for this forum. As many here remember, volition was tightly wrapped in rile after rule, some of which were never divulged to most (any?) members. This forum was/is a very welcome change and has long thrived due to that. It was a sad day when you were attacked as you were.

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.
@whatwhatdb wrote:

The MS discussion forum is for discussions about mystery shopping.

I don't know why people come here, but I am here to gain useful information because some of my regular jobs are no longer being done and I'm looking to find new jobs to replace that income. I have not found much useful information other than how to keep credit cards from getting blocked on gas routes. I figured that out on my own but never considered using contactless pay options, which may or may not be allowed.

I would just like to point out that there was only 1 comment by walesmaven that even responded to French Farmers stream of conscience post. That is a FAIL in my book, there is no DISCUSSION. Everything in the post is being discussed in other posts.

The only reason I am wasting my time on this post is in the hope that moderators will do a better job of keeping topics grouped together rather than have 10 different posts about the same gas stations. When you look at "latest" post, you can't find real post through rants, games, and useless posts.



Here's more examples of post in Mystery Shop Discussions that don't provide useful information or ask for advice. They are just clutter.

This one is just "let me tell you a story":
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

Just an oberservation about a how many people in a store:
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

More random thoughts. There is a relevant discussion about digital cameras vs. smart phones in there that people could benefit but it is burried in useless stories.
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]

More useless questions unless you are starting your own MS compnay:
[www.mysteryshopforum.com]
Why have this as a forum if not to use basic forum guidelines? I don't know how well this forum is thriving being that I didn't bother coming back for 2 years after my last visit. Thriving would be a large group of people sharing information. I see the same dozen names over and over again.

[blogs.onlineeducation.touro.edu]

@walesmaven wrote:

FF, you did nothing wrong at all. The objector appears to be someone who desires far more rules than Jacob envisioned, or probably would tolerate, for this forum. As many here remember, volition was tightly wrapped in rile after rule, some of which were never divulged to most (any?) members. This forum was/is a very welcome change and has long thrived due to that. It was a sad day when you were attacked as you were.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2022 04:16PM by JasperJohnson.
@Jasper, why not just read those threads you are interested in and simply stay away from those you feel are not helpful to you??? This is a lightly moderated forum. If you think you can do better, why not try to start a MS forum of your own?
for guysmom

Ina Garten's Meatloaf

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 onions)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup canned chicken stock or broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 1/2 pounds ground chuck (81 percent lean)
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs (recommended: Progresso)
2 extra-large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup ketchup (recommended: Heinz)

Directions:

1Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
2Heat the olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the onions, thyme, salt, and pepper and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent but not brown. Off the heat, add the Worcestershire sauce, chicken stock, and tomato paste. Allow to cool slightly.
3In a large bowl, combine the ground chuck, onion mixture, bread crumbs, and eggs, and mix lightly with a fork. Don't mash or the meat loaf will be dense. Shape the mixture into a rectangular loaf on a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Spread the ketchup evenly on top. Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F and the meat loaf is cooked through. (A pan of hot water in the oven, under the meat loaf, will keep the top from cracking.) Serve hot.
Sure...I'd like to believe I can intelligently talk about any of those subjects, unlike a large swath of the public. How's that for a random thought? smiling smiley

@JasperJohnson wrote:

Anyone want to talk about ...

Trump?
Biden?
Abortions?
Sex?
Religion?
Jasper,
There is a long, long agreement here that we DO NOT discuss politics or political views. Since you have been here just a year, perhaps no occasion has come to your attention when members reminded one another of this and everyone stood down. Just because one "can" intelligently discuss something does not mean that such discussion is appropriate everywhere. Political "stuff" drove many, many former Volition member to this forum. Let's not go down that road here, please.

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.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2022 02:54AM by walesmaven.
I don't know why I keep coming back to check on this and read this drivel. Guess I don't have enough shops to do....yet.
@JasperJohnson wrote:

Why have this as a forum if not to use basic forum guidelines?

Again, the MS forum is for the discussion of mystery shopping... both general and specific. No guidelines have been violated, this is how the forum is designed.

IMO, splitting the MS forum into "General" and "Specific" isn't really necessary on a forum that moves as slow as this one.

Also, as to your suggestion that people should search for and post in existing threads, the threads here are locked after about 4 months, and the instructions say to start a new thread.

@JasperJohnson wrote:

Here's more examples of post in Mystery Shop Discussions that don't provide useful information or ask for advice.

All of those threads have a good deal of discussion in them, and several of the threads/posts of FF that you linked received quite a few likes, which indicates the community is fine with the current design/behavior.

I understand your frustration, but frankly, I think you are overreacting a bit here.

Your concerns about how the forum functions really belong on the Meta forum.
So the new rules for this forum is that we can only talk about subjects that Jasper Johnson wants to talk about. We can't have any thoughts or opinions about the jobs that we do or choose not to not to do, because it doesn't benefit Mr. Johnson. You can't have any random thoughts about the certifications that we have to take for the jobs we do because it doesn't benefit Mr. Johnson.

Mr. Johnson, all of the things that you say that you are looking for are available on this forum, but you have to look for them. And you may have to actually read something that you don't agree with, it doesn't mean that you get to berate the other people on this forum simply because you have another opinion.

There is a list of MSCs at the bottom of every page. So you can find more work, if that is the real reason you're here. But I don't think that's the case, I think that you came to start trouble. And you have proven it by what you have said and done on this thread.
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