It's been a few weeks since I last posted.
What's new with me is that I've become a "mystery shopper." That means that I get paid to shop and eat! I do contract work with several companies. So far I've done a few jobs for a major fast-food chain, some local restaurants, a mattress store, a deli, a major retail store and an apartment building. It's been pretty interesting. Here some of the stuff I've done:
1. Go to a major retail store and blow up balloons for Mothers' Day (using a helium tank): I got there and no one in the store could even locate the three boxes of balloons. I stood around for an hour, left without blowing up balloons and still made $10.
2. Ate at a local restaurant: I got paid $5 plus a free meal. I had to comment on the server and the cleanliness of the restaurant. I brought a book to read and had a relaxing 30 minutes away from the kids and husband!
3. Ate at a local ice cream shop/bakery: this is the best bakery around and is known for their ice cream. In fact, Oprah has the ice cream shipped to her in Chicago. I brought Kylie and Sophie with me. We got ice cream and cupcakes. They paid for our food and we got $5 on top of that. The store is located on the way to dance class, so we didn't waste gas.
4. Counting the steps: I got hired to go to a local deli/convenient store 5 miles from my house. All I had to do was count how many steps it took me to walk from the front of the store to the back. It was a very, very tiny store and only took me 17 steps. I also had to count the # of cash registers....one! Got paid $4 for this. By far the easiest job.
5. Go to a mattress store: I had to go to a mattress store and pretend like I was looking for a king-sized mattress. I had to get the salesman to write me a quote. It took 30 minutes max and I made $13.
6. Check out an apartment: I went to a local apartment community and had to pretend I was looking for a 2-bedroom apartment. I took a tour of the apartments and had to write a report. I got paid $18 but it was an in-depth report which took a long time. In hindsight, it really wasn't worth the $18.
7. Grocery Store: On Saturday I went to the local grocery store. I had to buy at least $9 worth of groceries. I had to put a large item underneath the cart to see if the cashier would notice (she didn't). They paid me $9 for my groceries and an additional $5.
8. Electronics Store: I visited a large-chain electronics store. I had to inquire about purchasing a refrigerator and a gaming system. I was there for 30 minutes and made $13.
This week I have three more assignments, one involving a buffalo wing restaurant. I don't make a lot of money, but it's very interesting and (sometimes) fun!