It’s a mystery to me. Actually I hope it was a mystery to them since I was the mystery shopper. I signed up for this gig about a month ago to make some pocket-money. It seemed like the kind of job that would be easy to fit around the hours I normally work, as you tend to get a date to have completed by so it’s simple enough to do it before/after work and the feedback is done online. The online form to apply was extremely detailed though – they asked questions about who I banked with and what was my level of income and did I drive and which supermarket did I use and whether I put my right or my left sock on first and lots of other important things.

The game commences – today was my first time. I had literally just got home when I got a call from one of the Mystery organisers asking could I possibly do a job at short notice. As it happened it was to visit a branch of my bank and make a couple of enquiries. And there was me just pondering whether to go to my local branch today cos there were a couple of things I needed to ask. Although they wanted me to go to a different branch it wasn’t too far away and dovetailed perfectly with what I needed to do anyway. And it was kinda fun trying to remember all the things I needed to check and doing so unobtrusively. I don’t think I’m quite MI5 material yet but it was interesting to think up a plausible sounding question and get that answered and then have to immediately queue again because I had ‘just happened to notice’ something on one of their leaflets and needed to check out the details.

For the usual fee (£10) you don’t really have to do much. Ask a couple of questions, rate friendliness, knowledge and professionalism and say if the place is clean and tidy. Some jobs offer quite a bit more money though. I’m going to open a current account later this week with one bank and go discuss mortgages with another in a few weeks and there is going to be a decent chunk of change as reward. Oddly, both fit in with things I was thinking of doing anyway so there are definite benefits here!

Plus expenses are good I think. If you have to buy something you get that refunded and get to keep the item. Nice if I need it and if not then I could always whack it on ebay. I’m just hoping that they ask me to book a 2 week Clipper Ship cruise to Greece sometime soon – and let me go on it – I could enjoy a job that pays me to do stuff like that.

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