Have you ever heard of a job called Mystery Shopping ?
Nope its not a Sherlock Holmes type whodunnit mystery solving work that might first come to your mind.
As its name implies , you pose as a shopper or diner ( in other words as a customer ) to a store or shop mysteriously as you start to look for clue details around you.
I first started to work as a mystery shopper for a research company in Pasig City to pose as a regular customer for a leading pizza chain in the country.
The job entails you to go to the assigned store branch and pose as a customer never ever revealing your true identity to all the store personnel.
That is where all the adventure begins.
Its an adventure in the making .
First is you need to be oriented on what you should do once you are assigned to this store branch.
First remember that you must bring all the necessary gadgets to accomplish the work.
First and most important of all is the camera because you need to record in photos some details about the store such as the food you purchased and the store’s interiors and also the store facade and also its staff and personnel.
You need a durable and efficient camera to record all of this in one sitting.
First you gotta do is to find all the necessary information about the store branch that you are going to visit.
Because sometimes you are assigned to go to the province for their branch in the rural area that you are not familiar with.
So you need to use the service of Googlemap and use some applications like Waze for you to be able to find your way to the area.
And of course there will be times that you will lose your way.
It happened to me many times.
Sometimes I have to walk for some kilometers because I have missed looking for the assigned branch along the road.
That is in the middle of the night huh.
There are times that I have to traverse a dark and forested route because there is no efficient transportation system going to that place.
That is true and that happens in Cagayan .
Now once you have found the assigned branch to you , get your acting lesson ready .
The rule is that you will pose decently as a customer of that store.
Enter the store as if you are looking for a seat.
When someone assists you that’s where all the action begins.
You have to surreptitiously look at your watch for the timer for you have to time the exact moment you were assisted professionally.
When you are already seated, politely ask for a menu.
What you have to order are only the foods assigned to you.
Never order foods that are not on your list of assigned items for it will not be properly reimbursed.
So the thing is that you will tell your preferred orders to the waiter and say that those are what you want in a very refined manner as if you are one of their regular customer ( but the truth is that you will taste it first time because you cannot afford its price he he )
Once the waiter had confirmed your order and by the time the first of the set of food you ordered had came in , you must record the time it all happens , minutes and seconds and all , with the help of your cellphone timer.
You discreetly and stealthily all do it as if you are just browsing your cellphone and acting as if you have some texting and calling going on with your friend whereas the truth is you are actually recording the time details of every food delivery.
Now that’s what I call acting to the highest level.
You also have to act accordingly as if you like the looks of the food and taste it as if you are truly enjoying what you are eating , even if not because sometimes its not !
After all of the timing and recording please don’t forget to take a snap of the food , a quick click of the shutter button will do.
You don’t have to be a professional photographer to do the image clicking.
At this time you need the help of an efficient cellphone camera like the Huawei P9.
It is very clear and precise with its camera co-engineered with Leica.
I am lucky to have my Huawei P9 nearby and always ready to submit to my indulgence of food photography. It has dual lenses that produces high quality photos and allow users to take amazing monochrome, slo-mo, colored, light painting photos among others.
And don’t forget to take a snap also of the stores interiors.
Now after all the brouhahas of food tasting and savoring, ask the store personnel of their restroom and act as if you are already peeing in your pants .
Well the real reason is you have to rate their restroom of its cleanliness and hygiene and sanitary disposition.
Now you go back to your seat and modestly look for the stores minute details like the surroundings , the temperature inside , the cleanliness of the area , the lighting , the orderliness of the service area , the noise inside the store and the tidiness and grooming of all the staff and personnel.
You will have to do all this in one seating.
With the help of your Academy Award winning performance as a Mysterious Shopper.
And now time for the billing.
Gently ask for the bill.
And when you were handed the bill try not to looked as shocked when you have seen the bill amounting to a thousand pesos.
You have to pay it and politely ask for a receipt for proper reimbursement.
Now you are all ready to go , stand in a proper posture and immediately walk out of the store but don’t forget to listen for the farewell remark of the staff and if they ask you to come back again.
Now you are ready for your ride back home.
But that's not all .
You have to go back again to the office for proper reporting and then translate into the computer all that you have seen and investigated and rated in the questionnaire forms.
Now that’s an adventure to the highest level.
Isn’t that an Adventure to tell ?
By the next day or week be ready for your next adventure assignment in the next province.
With this kind of work I have I am really enjoying every minute of it.
I have visited provinces that I rarely know of as far north of Cagayan and as far south of Bicol and also in Visayas.
I ate food for free.
And sometimes given a gadget for free.
I am properly compensated for it.
I am working , acting and at the same time developing my hobby of taking a photograph of the places I am travelling.
With the efficiency and reliability of my Huawei camera I am able to make my work fun , classy and adventurous in every way.
Will you come with me to my next adventure of Mystery Shopping ?
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