Was Anyone Watching?

@paigea (22453)
Canada
February 14, 2016 7:39pm CST
As soon as I gassed up my car I drove across the street to another gas station and asked the attendant to fill it up. I even went into the bathroom at each station. Then I went uptown and did the same thing at two grocery stores and at two hardware type stores. I guess that is more normal to go from shop to shop in that case. I did visit 6 bathrooms in a short time though. That was my mystery shopping day yesterday. I am always hoping no one notices the slightly odd things things I do while mystery shopping. When I stepped out of one of the grocery stores I saw a man taking photos of the outside of the store. That is another task I sometimes have to do so I was wondering about him. Would you think it was odd to see someone taking a picture of the outside of the grocery store?
27 people like this
31 responses
@PainsOnSlate (20419)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
I don't think I notice other people while getting gas or shopping. I think the majority of us just live in our own heads....
3 people like this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
That is exactly what I usually tell myself to try and not feel self conscious.
3 people like this
• United States
15 Feb 16
I would not think so anymore. I know that you can also do tasks like that through apps on your phone. I imagine more and more people are starting to use these apps and would guess why someone was taking a picture of a store front, or even store tag.
2 people like this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
hmmm, now that is worrisome to me.
• United States
15 Feb 16
@paigea Worried that this will me the end to mystery shopping? I've seen apps where people can go in, answer questions about prices, shelf quantity, friendliness of service, etc.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
@ScribbledAdNauseum No, worried that someone knows what I am doing when I take pictures.
1 person likes this
@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
15 Feb 16
Interesting experience, I haven't been a mystery shopper before. I feel that it's essential for the shopper to take a picture to prove that they've been there at least.
2 people like this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
My receipt shows that I've been there. Sometimes I don't buy anything and yes then a picture is often required. And sometimes the picture is just part of the observation. But I always feel self conscious when I have to take these pictures in public.
2 people like this
@Ladypeace (2047)
• Singapore
15 Feb 16
@paigea It's certainly a less desirable part of the job.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (101763)
• United States
16 Feb 16
Then of course there are the cable or communications companies. You have to get a business card and brochure and take a picture on the outside.
2 people like this
@lokisdad (4264)
• United States
15 Feb 16
As soon as I read that you went across the street to the other gas station and used the bathroom Mystery shopper came to mind. It is strange because you think Tourist,Blogger or whats wrong? I want to give it a try but that will hae to be when i have transportation and when i have time.
2 people like this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
So, it is obvious to some. Even worse when I cross the street to go to a second or third fast food place. If you are interested just start with the odd mystery shop that fits right in with errands you need to do anyway. That is actually what I mostly do. Find a mystery shop that is near work and just do that one.
1 person likes this
@BellaDoc (774)
• San Diego, California
15 Feb 16
@paigea I couldnt do a second or third fast food place lol
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
@BellaDoc One has to learn not to do more than taste the food!
@Lucky15 (33719)
• Philippines
15 Feb 16
maybe i will have think of not really usual, but maybe he is a blogger who loves to take photos for his blog
2 people like this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
I could think of myself that way just in case anyone asked me what I was doing.
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (101763)
• United States
16 Feb 16
@paigea Always have a story.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
16 Feb 16
@GardenGerty I do try to. I am going to think of mural painting. lol
@LadyDuck (171121)
• Switzerland
15 Feb 16
It seems odd, unless he writes for a site like this one and he wanted to write a post about that store.
2 people like this
@BellaDoc (774)
• San Diego, California
15 Feb 16
Nah - some sites pay $1-$5 for photos of specific stores. he could have been a Yelper too.
2 people like this
• Midland, Michigan
17 Feb 16
@BellaDoc Yelper? I've not heard that term before. Is that another name for a mystery shopper?
2 people like this
@BellaDoc (774)
• San Diego, California
21 Feb 16
@MarshaMusselman Someone who contributes to Yelp :) Best wishes
2 people like this
@salonga (27957)
• Philippines
15 Feb 16
Why do you take time to visit the bathrooms? Is it because nature was calling you or you just want to see how they look and if they are clean enough?
2 people like this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
@salonga it is in my instructions to check the bathrooms basically for cleanliness.
2 people like this
@salonga (27957)
• Philippines
15 Feb 16
@paigea now i understand. I have not experienced mystery shopping so I am really quite ignorant about this.
2 people like this
@andriaperry (56471)
• United States
15 Feb 16
No not if you write as I do because I have photos of store fronts for my blogs. But to other people, Yes we are weird :)
2 people like this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
This was the side of the store - a blank concrete wall!
@jaboUK (54871)
• United Kingdom
15 Feb 16
I think if I had seen you doing the same thing at two gas stations close to each other I would have realised what you were doing. But I wouldn't have realised about the photo.
2 people like this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
That is exactly what I worry about. I try not to do that, but sometimes my schedule isn't flexible.
2 people like this
@Kboy26 (145)
• Columbia, South Carolina
15 Feb 16
No. There are apps that pay member to do things like this, so I am going to say no.
2 people like this
@Shavkat (65113)
• Philippines
15 Feb 16
I don't think it is an odd situation.
2 people like this
@AnneEJ (4985)
• Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Quebec
19 Feb 16
That sounds like an interesting job. Maybe that man had a similar job to yours.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
19 Feb 16
Seems odd that he would be at the store at the same time as me.
1 person likes this
@AnneEJ (4985)
• Dollard-Des-Ormeaux, Quebec
19 Feb 16
@paigea Maybe he was checking to make sure you were doing your job right
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
19 Feb 16
@AnneEJ that must happen too.
1 person likes this
@JESSY3236 (7075)
• United States
16 Feb 16
Years ago I probably would think it would be odd, but now not really. Maybe he was taking the picture because he was putting up tasks on Mturk. I know on there you have tasks where you have put boxes around certain things. Or maybe he was a P.I.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
16 Feb 16
Are those tasks on Mturk useful tasks?
@JESSY3236 (7075)
• United States
18 Feb 16
@paigea The tasks on MTurk are surveys, getting items from reciepts, putting boxes on objects, etc. I don't know if they would be considered useful.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
18 Feb 16
@JESSY3236 well I can see how the survey data is useful, but putting boxes on objects has me stumped as to how it could be useful. ?
@just4him (124234)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
16 Feb 16
Not really. He might have been a tourist and wanted to take some souvenir shots of where he's been.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
16 Feb 16
True, it was just a blank concrete wall though!
1 person likes this
@just4him (124234)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
16 Feb 16
@paigea It's hard to say why people do what they do. When you do mystery shopping I'm sure you see people who look like they are doing the same thing.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
16 Feb 16
@just4him I am always hoping to spot another mystery shopper!
1 person likes this
@DianneN (82236)
• United States
15 Feb 16
I probably wouldn't notice someone taking a photo of a grocery store. Everyone seems to be taking photos of everything these days.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
That is what I try to tell myself. No one will notice or if they do they will think nothing of it.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (82236)
• United States
15 Feb 16
@paigea Nah, no one cares, and if so, tough! Just tell them you're a nut job! Lol!
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
@DianneN lol, I will just have to relax about it and say I need a picture for a blog or something.
1 person likes this
@biikiki (199)
• Nyeri, Kenya
15 Feb 16
yes at times you would coz you do not know what he is up to but again he could be a tourist
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
He was taking a picture of a plain concrete wall; there was no sign or anything on that wall. So, it seemed like an odd picture to be taking.
1 person likes this
@biikiki (199)
• Nyeri, Kenya
15 Feb 16
@paigea actually thats weird
2 people like this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
@biikiki it made me wonder. And it made we worry that people notice me taking pictures and suspect I am the mystery shopper.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Feb 16
I would think it was a store inspection activity of some kind - when I take photos of pubs I get strange looks from customers and staff
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
18 Feb 16
Well I don't want any staff to realize I am doing any sort of store inspection; that is what worries me.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
18 Feb 16
@paigea yes indeed - mystery shoppers are supposed to be discreet
1 person likes this
@BellaDoc (774)
• San Diego, California
15 Feb 16
SOunds like a fantastic mystery shop day. I was discussing you with my husband yesterday :) I am lucky to do two shops a month lol.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
Lately I have mainly been doing one after work. But I decided to put together a full day of mystery shopping. It didn't quite come together as I'd hoped but I had to do the ones I was committed to. I had hoped to make it worth while with one quite higher paid job. Oh well.
1 person likes this
@BellaDoc (774)
• San Diego, California
21 Feb 16
@paigea It can take a fair amount of juggling and organization to get it right. Best wishes
1 person likes this
@simone10 (21647)
• Louisville, Kentucky
15 Feb 16
At first glance, I probably would think it was odd but then I would have thought that the owner had a reason for it and wouldn't have thought about it again.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
15 Feb 16
That is helpful. I can remind myself that people might just think the owner wants the picture.
1 person likes this
@simone10 (21647)
• Louisville, Kentucky
16 Feb 16
@paigea That's true. You just never really know why someone is taking a picture. They could be tourists or someone wanting to do an article on the place or it could be for insurance purposes or the owner might want to sell. I guess that is why I wouldn't have thought about it again because the possibilities are endless.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (49883)
• United States
1 Mar 16
I've never been to a gas station that had the option of someone else putting the gas in your car. Would be nice not to have to get out in cold weather.
1 person likes this
@paigea (22453)
• Canada
1 Mar 16
We mostly have self serve gas stations too. But lucky for me there are two of this chain in the small city where I shop. But if it weren't a mystery shop I wouldn't go to them as I go to the cheapest place in town when I am paying.