(Written by Not Your Average Al, on behalf of her amazing son who hates to write.)
My name is Brock, but anyone who reads my mom’s blog knows me as “The Beetle.” Why am I “The Beetle?” I really have no idea. My mom and dad don’t really know either. They have just always called me, “The Beetle.” I don’t mind it, except when we’re in public. Or when anyone is listening. Or when they are saying it out loud. Okay. The truth is, I don’t love being called, “The Beetle,” but since I’ve been called that my whole life, I’m kind of used to it. My family can continue to call me that, if they want. You can too. Of course, I won’t answer, but you can still call me that.
I am 18 years old, and I have already learned that being an adult stinks. I remember even a year ago, I was so excited to be an adult. I just knew that after graduation, I would get a job and live happily ever after. (Okay. Actually, boys don’t expect, “Happily ever after.” That’s a Disney princess thing, but you get the idea.) Instead, I instantly got a “grown up” job at Amazon warehouse, where I was working 10 hour shifts from 6:00 PM to 5:00 AM. It was torture, and I realized right away that I did not want to do that forever!
I got another job, and I left the warehouse, never to turn back. I found myself questioning what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I had no idea. Then, my mother suggested being a farrier, since I love to work with horses. She got me set up to volunteer with a really nice guy who is a farrier, and I was instantly hooked. I decided maybe being an adult wouldn’t be so bad if I actually liked my job.
I was homeschooled all the way through school. I went to preschool once, for 8 days. I don’t want to talk about it. I also went to 7th grade once, for 8 days. Again, not a good subject. There was just something about that 9th day of school that I couldn’t get past.
My parents say I have always been an “out of the box” kind of kid. From the time I was born, I did not do anything the traditional way. I never really crawled. I just went straight to running. I never really potty trained. I just woke up one day and wore underwear. I didn’t learn to read, really read, until I was almost 9. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it. I just had better things to do.
When I got sick, I got really sick. For instance, my first illness ever was a horrible case of strep throat. I ran a 103 degree fever. I just happened to develop this fever right when I was in a room full of about 10 other babies. (Hey, I figured I might as well share!) I never had normal childhood ailments, like splinters or stubbed toes, but I had a growth on my back that kept bleeding and had to be surgically removed. I never busted my lip or broke a finger, like a “normal” child. Instead, I bit through my tongue and had to get stitches in it. (We’ll talk about my phobia of doctors and needles another day…) No, “average” certainly would not describe me.
When I was 2, my friends were dressed as cows, butterflies and Hershey’s kisses for Halloween. This was my costume:
My whole life, I’ve just sort of marched to the beat of my own drum. I’m strong willed, and when I decide I’m going to do something (or not do it), there is no changing my mind.
Being a farrier is sort of an “out of the box” job. I mean, most people don’t even know what a farrier is! However, I am convinced it is the right career for me. I’m pretty sure I’m just odd enough to make this lifestyle work.
Now that I’ve decided to be a farrier, there is no stopping me. I’m a homebody and really don’t want to leave my comfortable bed to live in Oklahoma for 6 months. However, it doesn’t matter. I’ll do it, because I have set my mind to it.
I have also set my mind to the fact that I will get my education as a farrier without making my parents (or myself) go into debt over it. Watch me. If it’s God’s will, He and I together will make it happen.
My mom has helped by starting this “Fund the Farrier” website for me. I’m pretty sure she’s my biggest fan. I’m expecting her, any day now, to have a t-shirt with my face and “Future Farrier” on it. As long as she doesn’t put “The Beetle” on it, we’re good.
I hope you’ll watch my progress. Whether you contribute financially or just support me through prayers and encouragement, I appreciate your love and consideration. I am so excited to go to farrier school. The countdown has started. -Brock, AKA The Beetle
Recently, Mr. E and I launched a Facebook page and web page called, “Fund the Farrier,” to help us pay for our son’s education. The Beetle plans to go to farrier school.
I’ve discovered that many people do not know what a farrier is. Contrary to what the Goose has been telling people, a farrier is not someone who puts wings on a fairy. (But that would be a cool job, wouldn’t it?)
My child, the Beetle, has decided he wants to be a farrier. We are trying hard to come up with as much money as we can to put toward tuition. Whatever we can raise through fundraisers and extra jobs is less we’ll have to take out a loan on. Since launching the Facebook page, I’ve been asked a lot of questions. To answer the hundred questions I heard this morning at church, I’m writing this explanation. (Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite 100. I exaggerate sometimes. A little bit.)
What is a farrier?
One person said it was someone who worked on boats. One person said it was someone who worked in a forest. Of course, the Goose has her theory. But, no, y’all aren’t even close. A farrier is someone who puts shoes on horses. I’ve heard them called, “Horseshoers,” but I’m not sure that’s an actual term. (My spellchecker doesn’t think it is. Of course, my spell checker doesn’t recognize “y’all” either, so what does it know?) All farriers are blacksmiths, but not all blacksmiths are farriers. I saw one website that called it an, “Equine Podiatrist.” I like the ring of that. My child is a doctor. ;-)
Why does the Beetle want to do this?
The short answer to this question is, “Because his mother told him to.” I suggested this career path to him, because, in short, I am a genius. Okay, maybe I’m not. (And maybe humility is not one of my strong points either.)
The Beetle graduated high school this year. He was homeschooled, so he’s never really done things the traditional way. (No shock there…he’s related to yours truly.) After graduation, he just really did not know what he wanted to be when he grew up. He landed a job at Amazon’s warehouse, and we thought it was going to be great for him. However, he quickly learned that he hated warehouse work. Being on his feet for 10 hours straight during the overnight shift did not help his feelings towards the job. We told him he should not leave one job without first having another, so he found another job and left Amazon.
Somewhere along the way, I got it in my head that the boy should be a farrier. This was based on the fact that the happiest I have ever seen him was when he was working with horses. It was also based on the fact that he is somewhat of a loner and tends to do things in an out-of-the-box kind of way. I could not picture him going to work and punching a clock every day and being happy doing it. I think there is great value in liking what you do for a living, and I thought he would love being a farrier. Though I made this suggestion multiple times, the Beetle’s response was typically a rolling of the eyes right before he walked away from me.
I had finally somewhat dropped the idea of being a farrier. (I say “somewhat,” because I am not so good at letting go of things easily. What I lack in humility, I make up for in tenacity.) The Beetle was going to his dead-end job where he got a small paycheck for a large amount of work. Finally, he told me he would consider being a farrier. I told him I was glad he would consider it and that if he hated it, I would let it go.
I Googled the names of farriers in my town and found a list. I tried emailing a few, but they did not respond. Then, I called a local equine vet’s office and asked for suggestions. The lady who answered the phone gave me the name of her farrier and said he would definitely be able to help.
This is where I got bold. (Okay. Bolder. I really have no shame most of the time…)
I called The Farrier. (Notice the caps… I figured he deserves a title, since he’s helping us.) I left a message and said I wanted to get some information. The Farrier called me back, and I basically said, “Hello, perfect stranger. You don’t know me or my child, but I would like for you to help me.” And guess what? He DID!
After asking me several questions about the Beetle, including whether he was strong enough to handle horses (“Yes, he’s a giant.”), if he had been around horses (“Well, some…”) and whether or not he had an arrest record (“Thank goodness, no.”), The Farrier said the Beetle was welcome to come shadow him at work. He said if the Beetle liked what he saw, The Farrier could help him know how to get started and which schools would be the best. He said he wanted the boy to first see if it was something he liked to do, and then, we would go from there.
How does he know this is right for him?
The Beetle went to shadow The Farrier. Halfway through the first day, I texted him with, “Well? Do you hate it?” His response was, “No.” That was a start anyway!
The Beetle came home that night exhausted. He said they had put shoes on 50 horses. I thought he said 15 and was impressed with that. Then, he told me it was Five Zero. Holy cow. I asked if he liked it, and he tried to be nonchalant. He said, “It was okay,” and gave a shrug. I said, “Really? Just okay?” Then, his face lit up, and he said, “No. I LOVED IT!”
The Beetle went the next day and shadowed The Farrier again. He came home dirty and exhausted and grinning from ear to ear. I almost did not recognize him with that happy look on his face. It had been so long since I had seen it, that I forgot what his smile looked like.
The Beetle confessed that he absolutely loved the job. Then, he said the four most magical words I’ve ever heard: “You were right, mother.” (The “mother” was said in sarcasm, but hey, I’ll still take it.)
It took two days, and my boy was hooked. In fact, he is so hooked, that he is willing to live 20 hours away from home for 6 months to make this happen. He is my homebody, so this will be quite a feat for him. We have selected a school, and now we just have to figure out how to pay for it.
Why Oklahoma and why 6 months?
The Beetle was given the names of three farrier schools. These three are the best in the country. I called and spoke to the owners of the schools, and based on the information we got, we selected the one in Oklahoma.
The six month program is a Journeyman Farrier program. This is a course of study that teaches him not only about the anatomy of a horse’s hoof but also how to go about starting and running a farrier business. There are other schools which are shorter and cheaper. However, I have read where their programs were called, “Farrier Kindergarten,” compared to the Journeyman program.
If the Beetle is going to do this, we want to be sure to help him be as prepared as possible for his future.
Are you freaking out?
Am I freaking out that this man-child, my first baby is going to leave me for 6 months to go halfway across the country? Oh, no. I’m just fine. (Said no mother, ever…) I am nervous. I keep having thoughts of panic. (“What if he gets sick? He’s afraid of doctors!” “What if he gets trampled to death?” “What if he forgets to use sunscreen?”) However, more than nervous, I am thrilled for my boy! The Beetle needs a path, and I believe this is it. Confucius was quoted as saying, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I’m sure there will be days that shoeing horses will feel a whole lot like work. However, I think this is a career choice that can and will bring the Beetle great joy and fulfillment. I want him to be happy, and if going to the middle of the country for 6 months makes him happy, then by all means, I’ll help him pack.
I want to thank all of you who have already expressed your excitement for the Beetle. I think he is about to start the biggest adventure of his life. I don’t know where this will take him, but I know God is in control. I just look forward to seeing my Beetle happy and successful. -Al
Click the photo to go to Amber and Julio's GoFundMe page!
I don't know about you, but I love it when people come up with creative solutions to everyday problems. Take this couple, for instance. They want to adopt, but as we all know, adoption is crazy-expensive. These two could have just given up. They could have heard the price and said, "Oh well. We weren't meant to have a baby." They could have mourned for their situation and wished and wanted.
Instead, they have come up with a fun and creative solution, and I am impressed!
Most of you have probably heard of GoFundMe. It's a website where you can set up a fundraiser for just about any cause. It's a way to ask people to donate to your worthy cause.
Amber and Julio set up a GoFundMe page, but wait, that's not the creative part. No, no, no... Amber and Julio decided to use their talents to motivate people to donate. They have set goals for donations, and when those goals are met, they will perform.
For each $1000, Julio and Amber plan to make a video.
Here are the videos they plan to make, so far:
$1000 Do the "Whip/Nae Nae" dance
$2000 Chubby Bunny Challenge
$3000 Julio does Amber's Make-up
$4000 Amber does Julio's makeup
$5000 Julio cleans our floors in an ostrich jockey costume
$6000 Find out how double jointed Amber's elbows are
$7000 Julio will post 3 embarrassing childhood photos of Amber (she has no say)
$8000 Help Amber get Julio back (see above)
They are still coming up with ideas for the high thousands. If you want to see anything in particular, put in your request! Maybe they'll make it happen....
Now, how smart is that? And how sweet is that? These two want to be parents, and they are willing to do anything to get there, even if it means embarrassing themselves in front of the millions (Okay....probably thousands) who will watch their videos.
I think these two are pretty brilliant. They are brilliant for two reasons...
First, they used their brains and abilities to find a viable solution to meet their need.
Second, and most importantly, they realized they might as well put it all out there for this baby. The truth is (as known by anyone who already has kids), nothing they can do to embarrass themselves will match the various and sundry ways this child will find to embarrass them! Ha! (C'mon. You know it's true. Just take a toddler/preschooler in public and watch what happens...)
For your entertainment, click here for Julio and Amber's first video:
I don't know about you, but I want to see what they'll do next! If you can contribute to this Dynamic Duo, please do so. If not, you can still say a prayer for them!
To learn more about Julio and Amber's adoption story by, visit their blog:
I have no doubt Amber and Julio will have their baby in the very near future, and, I am pretty sure when they do, that child is going to know how to Whip and Nae Nae. -Al
I wear my pajamas to work.
I don’t have to leave my house.
I love my job.
You could too.
Have you ever considered working from home? Do you need extra income that you can earn but still be home for your kids? Are you good at spelling, grammar and punctuation? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you should consider becoming an editor for A Closer Look!
A Closer Look, an awesome mystery shopping company, is currently hiring from-home editors. You could work for us, in your pajamas.
If you are not familiar with mystery shopping, you can read more about it HERE
. To learn how to be a mystery shopper, go HERE
. Although there are many scams involving mystery shopping, mystery shopping in itself is a legitimate and large industry. A Closer Look is one of the premier companies in that industry. Editor Position:
The editor role for ACL is vital in that it is the final check of the information submitted by the shopper before reports are sent on to our clients. This position would be an 'at-home' position (not at the ACL offices) with the editing of shops possibly being done during non-traditional hours.
Requirements for becoming an editor:
1. You must have on-line capability AND have at least a DSL or Broadband connection to the Internet. Connections that are less than DSL or Broadband quality are too slow for this position. As compensation is based on the number of shops edited online, a slow connection is not desirable.
2. The applicant for this position must possess great attention to detail, the ability to read and follow precise directions, the ability to identify and correct inconsistencies in information, the ability to proactively obtain information from shoppers by phone daily, and a strong command of the English language, including spelling, grammar, and the ability to alter sentence structure.
3. You must have a minimum availability of 4 to 5 consecutive hours a day (and more hours as needed) to commit to editing. We have seven day editing week, with a 4 on/2 off schedule for editing that rotates throughout the year.
This is a great position for someone who is looking for a work from home opportunity. We offer preferred shopping status to all of our editors.
The editing workload cannot be predicted, as it is based on when shoppers complete their shops and submit their reports. As such, we are seeking editors who are flexible and have the availability to work as many hours as are needed on any given day. Generally, editors average around $10/hour, but as this is a production system, many editors make more or less than this amount/hour.
Applicants should first register as a mystery shopper at www.a-closer-look.com
and complete 3 mystery shopping assignments. If you are accepted as a shopper and cannot find 3 shops in your area, please contact email@example.com . Once you have completed 3 shops, please also contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to apply for an editing position. -Al
I work from home, and I love my job. I wear my slippers, and I sit on my couch while I work. I'm an editor. You can read about my job HERE
. It's a great job, but it's not for everyone.
Fortunately, there is another position offered by A Closer Look that is a better fit for some. If grammar isn't your thing, maybe organization is.
A Closer Look, an awesome mystery shopping company, is currently hiring from-home schedulers. You could work for us, in your pajamas.
If you are not familiar with mystery shopping, you can read more about it HERE
. Although there are many scams involving mystery shopping, mystery shopping in itself is a legitimate and large industry. A Closer Look is one of the premier companies in that industry.
A scheduler for our company organizes the calendar of mystery shopping assignments and gets shoppers to complete those assignments. This isn't the right job for me, but it might be for you.
I asked a scheduler what her favorite part of the job was, and she said she loved the flexibility of being able to set her own hours. She said the scheduling job was fun because she got to meet new people and she got to work with a great group of schedulers and editors. (I'm in the editing group, and I can say, we are all pretty terrific!) ;0) The scheduler said applicants needed to be aware of the fact that they would have to be able to commit time to getting the assignments scheduled. However, she said there was a great sense of accomplishment when all her shops were scheduled.
Here is more information about the scheduling position:
The scheduler role for ACL is vital. This position would be an 'at-home' position (not at the ACL offices) with the scheduling of shops possibly being done during non-traditional hours.
1. You must have on-line capability AND have at least a DSL or Broadband connection to the Internet. Connections that are less than DSL or Broadband quality are too slow for this position. As compensation is based on the number of scheduled shops that are completed, a slow connection is not desirable.
2. The applicant for this position must be an outgoing, people person who possess great attention to detail, the ability to read and follow precise directions, excellent phone skills, the ability to proactively contact shoppers or potential shoppers by phone daily, creative writing skills and a good working knowledge of Excel, texting, Google Voice, Outlook, the ACL website, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other shopper recruiter resources. The candidate must be someone who likes to “think outside the box” in order to meet goals and deadlines.
3. You must have a minimum of 4 to 5 consecutive hours per day (and more hours as needed) to commit to scheduling. We schedule 7 days/week.
This is a great position for someone who is looking a work from home opportunity. We also offer preferred shopping status to all of our schedulers. We are seeking applicants who are comfortable calling shoppers to promote our open assignments. The pay schedule is per completed shop, and it might average somewhere around $10/hour as an estimate. Some schedulers may make more than this and some may make less.
Applicants should first register as a mystery shopper at www.a-closer-look.com
and complete 3 mystery shopping assignments. If you are accepted as a shopper and cannot find 3 shops in your area, please contact email@example.com . Once you have completed 3 shops, please also contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to apply for a scheduling position. -Al
I've been working for Ellis Property Management (EPMS) for a while now. I like them, and I have found that they are a great company to work for.
If you've only done restaurants and retail mystery shops, working for Ellis may be a nice change for you. They focus on apartment communities. When working for them, you will go into an apartment leasing office and act like someone who is looking for a new apartment. You will let the agent take you on a tour, and you will evaluate the agent's sales techniques.
I enjoy doing these assignments. It's fun to go see what apartment complexes have to offer. Sometimes, I make up a whole different life for myself just to make it interesting. (I'm a single career woman with no kids....I can fantasize, right?) The company pays well, and they pay quickly. I've always found Ellis to be an easy company to work for, and they have great communication if you ever have questions or problems.
One great thing about shopping for Ellis is that there is no out-of-pocket expense. If you're broke (like I normally am), this is a great way to make some money without having to use any of your own!
To sign up with Ellis Property Management, go HERE
. Give Ellis a try - you'll like them! -Al
I have been shopping for Bare International for a few years. They usually have a lot of assignments available throughout the country.
I have found Bare to be pleasant to work for. They have a self-assign job board which makes getting assignments easy. The editors give clear feedback which helps shoppers know how to improve their shops. They grade their shoppers on a 1 to 10 scale.
Bare does fine dining, hotels, casual dining, retail, shipping and more. They have a wide variety of assignments. Any time I have contacted them with questions, they responded quickly. I have not had a bad experience with Bare, and they pay fairly quickly.
To sign up with Bare International, click HERE
Another great company to work for is Shoppers' Critique. They are based near Orlando, FL.
I have worked for SC for many, many years. I think they were one of the first companies I started shopping for, back in the day. They have always been pleasant and friendly. Their forms are easy to navigate, and their expectations of shoppers are reasonable and fair. I have never had a problem getting paid by them, and they pay quickly. They provide feedback to their shoppers on their website through a star system (5 stars means you did everything correctly).
Shoppers' Critique shops mainly retail stores near me, but nationwide, they do automotive, retail, fine dining, casual dining, apartments, attractions, hotels, casinos, banks and libraries. They offer video shops and lots of phone shops. There are many opportunities to work for this great company. They have a job board on their website. Once you are registered to shop for them, you can visit their job board and self-assign some shops and request others. The scheduling system is easy to navigate.
To sign up as a shopper with Shoppers' Critique, visit HERE
Shoppers' Critique is also currently hiring editors, and I have heard they are great to work for. To be eligible, you must live in Florida and be available a minimum of 20 hours a week. To apply, go HERE
They are also hiring schedulers. To qualify, you must be available to work in their Longwood, FL office a minimum of 30 hours a week. To apply, go HERE
If you aren't registered as a shopper for Shoppers' Critique, you are missing out! I love working for this friendly company who treats their shoppers well. If you apply with them, be sure to tell them notyouraverageal sent you!
Service With Style is a great company to shop for. I guess they are relatively small compared to some others, but that smaller size actually works to their benefit. (Mystery shopping is only one part of their business, so they actually are not all that small.) If you work for Service with Style, you will find very quickly that they are friendly and they get to know you. They refer to their shoppers by first name and know many of them well. This gives the shopping experience with them a very homey feeling, and it’s nice to be known when you call.
If you call the office, you are likely to reach Rhonda, Amy, Ellen or Taryn. All four ladies are super-nice and will help you in any way they can. You are not just a number when you work for this company. It’s a refreshing change from some other companies that are not personalized.
Service With Style was started in 1998. They are based in Brandon, Florida, and many of their shops are in the greater Tampa Bay area. They also have shops throughout Florida and some in various parts of the country. They offer casual dining, fine dining, retail, hotels and resorts.
To sign up as a shopper with Service With Style, go to www.servicewithstyle.com
. Click on, “Become a shopper”
and apply. You can tell them you heard about them from notyouraverageal.com. I won’t get anything for it, but maybe I’ll win some brownie points!
You will need to fill out a shopper agreement with this company. It’s basically a little “test” that you take after you’ve read their information. Once you sign up, Amy will send you information about this agreement. If there are shops in your area, you should hear from Amy pretty quickly after you apply. If there aren’t, she may just save your name until they have work for you.
Shoppers at Service With Style are expected to submit quality reports with good comments. Be prepared to use full sentences and punctuation when writing for them. As you start out, you will see the easier shops available on their job board. As you gain experience with them, you should start to see the nicer assignments (assuming you do a good job on your reports). You will not be eligible for resorts and hotels until you have completed several quality reports for them. If you ever wonder if your reports are good quality, it is okay to ask. The ladies in the office can give you feedback on improvements you can make on your reports. If you want feedback from the editors, you can request that too by asking Amy or Rhonda. They can pass a message on to the editors that you would like constructive criticism.
One down side to this company is the fact that they do not pay quickly. Their shopper payments average about 60 days. For instance, if you did a shop in December for them, you could expect to be paid around February 15. A lot of companies work this way, but I thought I would warn you. Sometimes, especially when paying for fine dining, hotels and resorts, it is hard to wait that long for reimbursement. The good news, though, is that they are reliable about payments. You don’t have to wonder if they will try to not pay you, because they are honest and trustworthy. It might take a while, but you will get your money.
I hope you will consider signing up with Service With Style. I only found out about them about a year and a half ago. I enjoy working for them, and I think you will too. -Al
My favorite mystery shopping company, hands down, without a doubt, is A Closer Look. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Doesn’t she edit for them?” (See…I can read minds!) Yes, I do. The fact that this company pays me so I can have electricity in my home doesn’t hurt, but that’s not the only reason they are my favorite.
I have been a mystery shopper for A Closer Look for about 14 years. I have always loved working for them, and I have never had a problem being paid (even before I became an editor for them almost 3 years ago). They are a high-class company with high-class standards.
The good thing about ACL is that they treat everyone with respect. They bend over backwards to be fair to their shoppers and, in my case, their independent contractors. It is rare for them to deny payment to any shopper who has made an honest effort to complete their assignment. I’ve even occasionally seen them pay shoppers who really did not deserve to be paid. However, that’s how ACL works. They are genuinely nice, and they genuinely want to do the right thing even if it means extra expense for them sometimes.
This company shops many types of places. They do fast food, casual dining, fine dining and hotels. They are also branching into retail stores and professional services. The list just goes on and on. ACL is so large that they have thousands of assignments available every month. There have many opportunities throughout the country and even in Canada.
To register with A Closer Look, click here
and sign up!
There are a few things you should know about ACL before you sign up:
1. Pop quiz! There is a test that shoppers have to take to work for this company. When you take it, give your best effort as it may affect what types of assignments you will be allowed to complete when you start. Don’t worry. There’s no math involved.
2. A Closer Look expects quality reports. They want reports written in complete sentences and using good grammar. They want all the facts of the report to match and make sense. (This is actually true of every company in the industry.)
3. They have a quarterly drawing for a cash prize if you refer a friend. After you start with them, refer your friends. If they sign up, you and your friend will be entered in a quarterly drawing. If you win, you both get $50 cash! I have not included a link to enter me in the drawing if you sign up. Just getting to work for them is reward enough for me!
4. When you start working for them, you can expect to get feedback from the editors. This is not meant to be a criticism but a chance to help you improve. ACL is committed to helping shoppers be the best they can be. Just know that we (the editors) are only trying to help you get better assignments by improving your reports. The feedback will always be phrased positively. We won’t slap your hand with a ruler or tell you you’re fired. I suggest that you take the tips and put them to use, so your reports can be even better! The editors will love you, and you will get even more opportunities for awesome assignments.
So, that’s the low-down on this great company. I really could keep writing. I could pledge my undying love to them. I could beg you to join the team. I think you get the point. If you are thinking about being a mystery shopper and you skip the opportunity to work for A Closer Look, you are missing out! -Al