In my “free” time, I have become a mystery shopper. Getting paid for going shopping—why didn’t I think of this before?!?
It’s actually a lot of work. You have to follow a scenario to the letter, answer a complicated and detailed questionnaire, and write up a report about the entire experience according to their standards. And then you get graded. On my first assignment, I got a 6 out of 6 possible points for “punctuality and consistency with the assignment,” “content,” “extent and precision of comments,” and “grammar, spelling, and punctuation.” Super! But I only got a 2 out of 6 points for “completeness of the attachments.”
“What??” said my ego, “how could they only give me two points!? I deserve the full point score.”
“Oh come on!” said the slacker, “It’s not on your résumé. You’re just doing it for fun.”
“I need to check what I missed,” said my ego, leafing through the instructions.
“Yes, I knew I included everything they wanted!” (appalled)
“What the heck does it matter?”
“I should call them.”
“You’re not serious, are you?”
“Yes, I am. They have some nerve giving me a 2!”
“You’re kidding, right?”
The ego won. And I called. Apparently, I had included the attachment as a .pdf instead of a .jpg.
“WTF?! A four-point deduction for THAT! Where were those instructions? I don’t see that anywhere.”
“Oh, shut up.”
So, anyway, I got over myself and went on my next assignment. It was to go grocery shopping at a “Club” store, usually reserved for those in the restaurant and food business. I studied up, made my list, then, when I got there was totally overwhelmed. I had no idea what to buy and ended up spending twice as much as I had planned because 1) the shopping calculator in my brain completely overheated and 2) everything was in XXL packages.
I ended up getting what I thought was 6 lbs of pork—it ended up being 10 lbs because I hadn’t read correctly. That didn’t matter. It was exactly the right amount for the sausages we had planned to make with it. And it was super quality and very lean.
So today we made sausages! Hot and sweet Italian sausages—partially sponsored by my agency.
Delicious! I must say, being a mystery shopper is not the “wurst” thing in the world.
- 5 lbs pork (pork shoulder, ground)
- 1 cup cold red wine
- 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 5 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp garlic powder or-4 to 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
- 2 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 5 tbsp fennel seed
- 2 1/2 tsp crushed chili peppers
- 5 tbsp paprika
- Combine all, mix well & stuff into hog casing.
P.S. You can find step-by-step sausage-making instructions, as well as an equipment list and helpful tips at The Spicy Sausage.com.