You felt fine last night, but this morning you have a sore throat, your nose is running and you have a headache. In fact, your whole body aches. And, you have several mystery shops scheduled for the next couple of days. You don’t have time to be sick!
No matter how well you take care of yourself, sooner or later you are going to get sick. With many jobs, you may be able to call in sick for a couple of days and rest in bed until you feel better while your co-workers fill in for you. As a mystery shopper, though, there aren’t any co-workers to pick up the slack. So what can you do when you are too sick to do a shop?
First look at the shops you have scheduled and check the deadlines. Perhaps some of the shops you were planning to do in the next couple of days are not really due until next week, but you were planning to get them done well in advance of the deadline. You have some breathing room for those mystery shops. Take care of yourself and get some rest so that you recover quickly and can get back to your life–and your mystery shops!
How many shops are you committed to doing in the next day or two? What do these shops involve? If you only have a couple of shops that must be done, they are nearby and not very complicated, maybe you can go ahead and do them. Of course, you do not want to infect a bunch of other people, so consider whether what you are ill with is contagious before venturing out. You also do not want to push yourself to the point of exhaustion so that you get sicker and take longer to recover.
When you are just too ill to do anything, let your scheduler know immediately. You may be able to reschedule the shops and get them done when you are feeling better, or your scheduler may need to find another shopper to fill in.
What about getting someone else to do the shop for you? Most companies specify in their Independent Contractor Agreements (ICA) that you may not get someone else to do a shop for you. One reason for this is that you may have been selected for the assignment based on your demographics or experience. The person you get to fill in may not fit the profile desired by the client.
You certainly may ask the mystery shopping company about having someone take the assignment for you. For example, my first assignment with one company came when another shopper was ill. She called me, gave me some basic information about the shop and asked if I would do it if the company wanted me to. I said yes, so she called her scheduler and explained that she was ill and could not do the shop that was due that day, but she knew someone who could. The scheduler got in touch with me and gave me the shop. That worked out for everyone involved. The shopper got to stay home in bed, the scheduler got the assignment completed on time, and I started a relationship with a new company. Win-win-win.
The most important thing to remember is that when anything will interfere with getting your assignments completed on time you should notify your scheduler as soon as you possibly can. Communication is vital, so keep your scheduler informed whenever you have an emergency that could cause you to miss a deadline.
And, hey, get well soon!