Mystery Solved

, , , , , , | Working | December 19, 2017

(I am 18 years old but I have a job as a mystery shopper. The people who run the mystery shopping company like to use me because people do not expect 18-year-olds to be mystery shoppers. I go into a department store to evaluate them. I overhear some workers gossiping about a possible mystery shopper coming in the next few weeks, without realising it is me. None of them greet me as they are too busy gossiping, which I note in my phone as a strike against them. An older gentleman with a small notebook and pencil comes into the store, and all the employees rush to greet him, leaving me on the sidelines.)

Me: “Can I see this in a size eight?”

Employee #1: “Yeah, in a sec, hon.”

(She ushers the older man to a chair and basically waits on him hand and foot. I wander around the store waiting for another employee to notice me, but none of them do.)

Me: *to another employee* “Sorry, can I get this in a size eight?”

Employee #2: “Can’t you see I’m busy? I’m helping that gentleman. Shouldn’t you be in school, anyway? You can get in trouble for truancy.”

(I end up being able to pull an employee away by threatening — very loudly — to call corporate. They do not want the customer who they think is the mystery shopper to overhear me, so they send what seems like the youngest employee to help me.)

Me: “Finally. Can I see this in a size eight?”

Employee #3: “Are you sure you’re an eight?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee #3: “Let me measure you.”

(After I turn out to be an eight — go figure, but she gets points for going out of her way to help a guest find the right size — she goes to the back room for ten minutes — I time it — and comes back with the right shoe but the wrong colour.)

Me: “Um, I wanted this in blue.”

Employee: “Oh, yeah, we ran out of blue last week.”

Me: “Did you know that when you went into the back?”

(While I am talking, the employee is biting her lip and looking over my shoulder to view the older man. As part of my mystery shopper evaluation, I HAVE to buy something from the store. I do love the shoes, so I end up buying the colour she gave me. Once she hands me my shopping bag, she turns to leave, but I stop her.)

Me: “By the way, he’s not the mystery shopper.”

Employee: “How do you know?”

Me: “How do you think?”

(Her jaw dropped as I walked out of the store. Oh, and they failed the evaluation.)

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