Over on Money Saving Expert there is a huge thread about mystery shopping that begins with a very helpful introduction to the various agencies that offer crap jobs to perform undercover tasks along with easy to follow information about the implications of becoming self employed – with simple details about calculating profits made on payments for each job done and income tax rules and regulations.
Amazon has a book – image on right for those who want to read about many other crap jobs.
Just how crap are these crap jobs?
Some years ago I signed up for work with a Mystery Shopping Agency – Grass Roots (who coincidentally headed the list of Mystery Shopping UK Job Sites and was thrilled when an e mail arrived detailing my first assignment.
The jolly message was along the lines of “Your mission – if you were to accept – is to visit a branch of the [highstreet bank] and simply ask for information about opening an account. Pretty straightforward so far – money for old rope – so I pressed the accept link.
Then came the crap
Next day a bulky A4 envelope arrived packed with forms and detailed instructions. What was a simple job of popping into a bank for a couple of minutes had suddenly become a major review of the branches and its staff.
A strict script had to be adhered to and specific questions asked, the answers noted along with the names of who you had dealt with.
It Gets Worse – Double Trouble
Not only was the sheer volume of paperwork off putting but the job required visiting two branches in different villages. I planned to do them both in the same afternoon but imagine my surprise to find that rural branches don’t open through the week and only one could be visited on this occasion. I performed the duties as requested and completed the paperwork and checked the opening times of the second branch in order to return another day. Two days later I made my second journey and having had a dress rehearsal stepped into0 the bank and asked at the counter if I could talk to someone about opening a new account at the branch. “Yes of course Mr errr Muncher” replied the Tiller ” please take a seat and someone will be with you presently”
When the solid wooden door opened and the same woman I had talked to early that week entered I almost evacuated my bowels – which would have been a truly crap job. She greeted me as though nothing was amiss but did apologetically and politely enquire if I had been at another branch previously. Such a professional.
“Nah – that’ll be my brother – that’s why I’m here he was really excited about opening his first bank account. He said he was made to feel really important buy [high street bank] at [other village] but they aren’t open today”
“That’s right my team and I run both branches” she explained and we continued.
Anyhoos – the same questions and surprise surprise the same answers but it all still had to be recorded on the second job sheet.
After posting all the paperwork for both jobs I calculated the rate of pay. I spent a total of five hours traveling 40 miles, visiting the two branches and writing up reports and for this I received a cheque for twenty pounds. Now I’m no book keeper – accountancy jobs are for sandwich nibblers – but four pounds per hour less petrol is crap. I still receive occasional emails with the latest vacancies.
Mystery Shopping – CRAP JOBS!