（Contributed by Allie)
My Cool Job—Mystery Shopping
I love teaching at Virtual English, but there is one problem—the time difference between California and Japan. We are 16 hours behind. That means for some of the hours you are awake, I am asleep and vice versa. I am a bit of a workaholic, so I have a couple of other jobs to fill my day. One of them is that I am a mystery shopper.
I get paid to check the service and product quality at many establishments. I do this job about three or four times per week. I have been lucky enough to even have been flown to the Philippines to mystery shop a hotel in Manila!
My most recent mystery shopping assignment was at a Japanese restaurant in the city of Torrance, CA. It is a very popular chain restaurant. My son and I were able to enjoy a lovely dinner for free. We walked in, and I noted the name of the hostess and how she greeted us to write in my evaluations. We sat down and were told the “happy hour” specials.
We ordered some pork gyoza and fried bacon as appetizers. After that, we asked for garlic shrimp and Kobe beef. We were told how to cook it on the table grill. At the end of the meal, we were offered some mochi, but we were stuffed, so we declined.
My work continued when I got home. I logged into the company’s website and typed in the answers to the questions such as, “Did the food taste good?” I uploaded the receipt, so I will be reimbursed in a couple of weeks. It takes me about 20 minutes to type a report, but it is well worth it to get a free meal!