What to Do When You Run Into Someone You Mystery Shopped

So, a while ago, I wrote about a certain leasing agent I had recently shopped. Let’s just say that calling his performance mediocre would be an understatement. And for the record, any leasing agent that gets me should consider themselves pretty lucky because I always try to mention the stuff they actually did well — whereas I imagine that some mystery shoppers just take the opportunity to pick apart every little thing.

what to do when you run into someone you mystery shoppedI gave this guy the evaluation I felt he deserved. I mean, his ID badge might as well have said “I hate my job” beneath his name. Even so, I still felt bad pressing the button to send the report, but I did it. Then, I decided it was time to do a little Facebook surfing and to my surprise, the poor guy had gone through the trouble of stalking me down on Facebook and asking me out on a date.

My stomach literally fell to the floor. I felt so bad. I felt less bad when he decided to argue my entire report, of course.

This is where the story gets very interesting. I was at a restaurant with some friends waiting on a table a few months later and guess who was sitting in the seat right next to me and decided to strike up a conversation. You got it. The leasing agent gone Facebook stalker. Awkward.

He said I looked familiar but I dismissed him saying I did not recognize him. I thought I had escaped the situation until he turned around and blurted out, “Wait, aren’t you that mystery shopper?”

Want to know what to do when you run into someone you mystery shopped? Here are a few things you can try.

mystery shopYou can always tell them that you’ve mystery shopped so many people you can’t possibly remember them all. That’s what I did in this case. He tried to remind me about the Facebook message and everything, but I stuck to my story like glue until I could get out of there.

Keeping the interaction short and sweet is the key. The chances of them trying to force you to talk at length with them are slim to none, but if they do, just tell them you don’t like to talk about work when you’re ‘off the clock’, or that you are not permitted to discuss your mystery shops with the people you shopped. And alert the mystery shopping company about any inappropriate contact by the leasing agent so they can get in touch with the management company who ordered the shop.

And if you want to avoid the Facebook stalking scenario, try giving a nickname or a different last name than the one you use for social media.  Clearly, I learned that lesson the hard way.

Lindley K