I use merchandising as a "filler" around my mystery shopping. Merchandising is where you are assigned a project at a specific store, usually involving setting up a display or setting an existing display to its planogram, which is the guide for how something should look. The work is rather mundane, but there's a lot of it out there.
So, what am I ranting about? Companies that treat their contractors like dirt. It's my own fault for taking the abuse, and I know there are other merchandising companies out there (I've only signed up for this one). I can't (or won't!) tell you which company I am talking about, but here are some things that really get under my skin:
- website issues. Last night while I was entering paperwork, the website went down. I kept getting server errors. I'm really not crazy about all the paperwork, anyway, so when you prevent me from getting it entered onto your site, you're really making me mad!
- pay below minimum wage. Seriously, you offer me $8 per hour, but from that I have to deduct self-employment taxes. I also spend almost as much time reading the guidelines as I do actually conducting the shop, but I am not paid for reading guidelines (or, for that matter, for data entry when entering the report).
- inefficient guidelines. Seriously, do I really need 67 pages of directions for a one hour assignment? And do you have to sprinkle in those pages I must print in random places just so I use as much ink and paper as is possible?
- not having one's act together. If you say there's going to be a link on your website confirming delivery of the store's fixtures or merchandise, how about posting that link before the day I am supposed to complete the assignment. Or, here's a novel idea: before shipping materials to me, make sure the assignment will actually take place during the date range I have contracted to do it. If there's a chance the client will be delaying the start date, there's also a chance I have found other work that conflicts with the new start date, so don't assume I can make it!
Thanks. I feel better now.