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 Do I need to borrow a kid to do the Santa Mystery Shop
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Heather86
Star Contributor

Bourbonnais (S. of Chicago), IL
USA
2015 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  4:48:59 PM  Visit Heather86's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
There is a shop available to take a picture with Santa that is paying a nice bonus and giving you money for pictures. It is minutes away from my house. But, I don't have any children. I am almost tempted to call a friend and borrow her kid, but then she would know I MS and I don't want any more competition. Any suggestions on how to ask without blowing my cover? I usually don't go out and voluntarily babsit.

SJones
Star Contributor

USA
3121 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  4:53:02 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Well, you could suggest that you could watch the child for her while she is Christmas shopping for the kid. Or suggest to go to where this shop is (without mentioning Santa, lOL) and once there just innocently suggest that the child sit with Santa, offer to pay for the picture, because you think it's sooooo cute (something along the line).

Susanne
MSPA Silver Certified!
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JoyB
Valued Contributor

Cherry Hill, NJ
USA
212 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  5:14:43 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Personally as a Mom I think it would be irresponsible to use a child on a money making scheme without full disclosure to the parent. I know you mean well but a parent has the right and need to protect their children and should know exactly what and why you are planning to do that involves the child. My opinion... but I would be irritated if I found out someone took my child to see Santa under false pretenses. If you want to do it let the Mom know the reason behind the trip.... she probably would be happy for the free pictures.

Gold Certified Shopper in South Jersey - Cherry Hill, Marlton, Voorhees, Moorestown, Mt. Laurel, Berlin, Medford and other neighboring towns.
joy.bennett@verizon.net
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Karen_H
Member

NY
USA
42 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  5:17:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Just make sure the kid likes Santa and would want to sit on his lap. I'd hate for you borrow a kid and then find out they are stubborn and scared of the old man.

Karen
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Barbara N.CA
Star Contributor

San Francisco, CA
USA
2397 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  5:24:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Joy <--- What she said.

Thou shalt not borrow someone's kids under false pretenses. Bad karma. Don't mess with mamas. Danger. Danger.

Barbara
MSPA Gold Shopper since June, 2003.
MSPA 2005 "Go To" Shopper
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NatalieH
Contributor

USA
8291 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  5:40:54 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I agree with Joy as well. And Barbara is right. The nicest, most demure mother can turn into a Tasmanian Devil if someone messes with her babies without her full knowledge.

Why would you want to do this job anyway, if you don't have a child?

Maybe you could see if Santa would allow you to have your picture made with him. If you do, please put in a good word for me. I would like a new bread machine, and a trip to Bali.
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DanInSK
Star Contributor

Canada
484 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  5:47:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
This may not be a good suggestion but here goes. Is there any kind of a home around there for mothers who are getting away from abusive relationships and the mother and her child could go with you if you offered to take them. It might be more work than you want to take on but some mother and child in distress would at least have a chance to visit Santa.
Okay you lovely, charming, beautiful, serene, sweet, demure ladies dont beat me up too bad if this idea stinks.

Dan
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Nora
Star Contributor

PA
USA
6341 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  5:52:57 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Dan, that is a win-win situation and the most logical solution. Most moms would be PO'd in varying degrees if their child was taken to visit Santa, even with the best of intentions, without express permission.
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VBruss
Member

Florida
USA
40 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  6:12:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I'm a Mom, and I completely agree with the other posts that "borrowing" your neighbor's kid is just not a good idea! If you are not used to babysitting, too, you might be surprised at how much is involved in taking care of a child--believe me, you might rethink how generous the reimbursement is! Besides, wouldn't it be much more rewarding, during the holiday season, to take your neighbor into your confidence and let her benefit from the shop?

Happily Shopping All of East/Central Florida!
Vivien
MSPA Silver Certified 8qd4pv
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.Kenthe Sub
Inactive

WI
USA
658 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  6:23:27 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Karen_H

Just make sure the kid likes Santa and would want to sit on his lap. I'd hate for you borrow a kid and then find out they are stubborn and scared of the old man.
Karen-H,

How true! Some kids are scared to sit on Santa's lap. I also agree with making sure the plans for using the child are fully disclosed. I'd not be too concerned with the mom knowing about the secret shopping; I say go for it, seek mom's permission and have fun!

Ho, Ho, Ho, Santa
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AdAora
Star Contributor

Deep in the heart of, TX
USA
3770 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  7:32:29 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Heather,

If you are close enough to the friend, you can tell her you want to give her and her child an Xmas gift by taking the child to have his/her picture taken with Santa, with Mom accompanying. If you do that, you don't have to tell her about mystery shopping.

If you cannot do that, then please, please, please let this shop go. I know it's painful to pass up the opportunity to make what looks like easy money but other opportunities that you fully qualify for will come along.

I passed up on the Easter Bunny one because I would have had to take my son out of school to do it. Having him miss an hour or more of school wasn't worth it to me, so I let it go.

Gold certified in TX
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Cath
Star Contributor

USA
703 Posts

Posted - 12/05/2004 :  9:12:13 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
How about nieces or nephews? Any nearby? As the others have mentioned, some kids are afraid of Santa and will scream and cry and refuse to sit on his lap. Sometimes there are jobs that we just can't take, even if they pay good. Maybe next year?

MSPA "Go To Shopper" 2006
MSPA Gold Certified, July 2003.
MSPA Gold Certified Shoppers Panel, Washington, DC, November 7, 2003.
Specializing in hotels, resorts and restaurants since 2002.
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Terra
Star Contributor

USA
443 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  07:18:41 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Man... I wish we had these shops! I had to pay for pictures for Santa for my son. Hey Heather... if you ever need a kid, you can borrow mine.. for a week or two!!! I mean, we have to make it worth your while since you'd have to get him from Louisiana!

MSPA Silver Certified #ectp6r
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Cchrissyy
Valued Contributor

CA
USA
170 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  09:06:57 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
so you think that realistically, if she knew you were a shopper, she'd have the initiative to go out and beocme one too and materially effect your income?

I just don't see it. I support my family by MS and so my family and friends know about it. Everybody thnks it sounds cool and asks for help getting started, which I give- and yet nobody among my firends or family has follwoed through to actaully perform any MS work. Turns out, our job isn't as glamorous as it sounds!

Chrissy
Northern CA full-time shopper
Proudly MSPA gold certified!
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Kimmme
Star Contributor

Costa Mesa, CA
USA
399 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  09:28:24 AM  Send Kimmme an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Some parents don't have the same views on Santa either... I agree with the ones who say no-no. I'd be really angry for various reasons if it wasn't disclosed to me. Last year I took my friends kids and the mom came along. It was fun! She doesn't need to know that you do this for a living, for all she knows this could be a one-time special job. Maybe you work for Santa... hehe

Although I suggest letting it go to someone with a child who wants to visit Santa, this shop used to have some alternate scenario if you didn't have a child to bring, you might want to inquire.

Kim
MSPA Gold 8/2004
Shopping in Orange County, CA
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6557 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  09:29:03 AM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just put mine on the plane!

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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JuneRMacK22
Valued Contributor

WI
USA
230 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  10:25:19 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I had to borrow a kid to do this shop as well. At first it seemed hard to find someone as my children are in their 20's and in college. I talked to my mom and she knew a child, but it was Sunday and they were in church all day. When I was talking to her I remembered some friends that I knew since their children were little. I called and unfortunately told them that I dod mystery shopping and being good German's I knew they would take a free picture of their kid. So then I had to explain that I don't want it out what I did for some of my employment. They promised they wouldn't. I had a young couple who was so overjoyed with getting a picture of their little girl with Santa. I took them with me as I didn't know the child. It was a win-win situation for both of us. The bonus made the job pay for me to do it and the parents got a beautiful picture of their little girl. They even paid a few dollars extra to get pictures for the grandmas. I guess living in middle America people aren't quite so suspicious of one another. But would I ask someone I didn't know to do this? I don't think so.

June
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Andrea P
Star Contributor

Wheatley Heights, New York
USA
556 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  10:31:14 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Other things to think about here:

Does your friend even believe in Santa or celebrate Christmas?

Would your friend allow you to take her child along? (Do you have a close enough relationship with her to even ask?)

Does the child have any behavioral problems that might make it more difficult for you to complete the assignment?

When in doubt... just say no!

MSPA Gold Shopper # 63irfm
Shopping Suffolk & Nassau Counties; Manhattan; Queens; Brooklyn, New York and Bergen County, New Jersey
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.NYAngel
Inactive

New York City, New York
USA
15 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  12:28:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I haven't seen this shop, but do the instructions say you HAVE to bring a child? If not, then take a picture of you on Santa's lap! Lots of people have their picture taken with Santa for Christmas cards or just for fun.
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Michelle1975
Star Contributor

Newton, NJ
USA
549 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  12:40:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I saw this bonused shop at my favorite mall as well and was about to click "apply" when I remembered I don't have children. Oh well. I figured it's just something to look forward to, I guess. I did briefly consider borrowing my acquaitance's daughter, but then I remembered that she is only an acquaitance, not a family member.

Michelle
MSPA Gold 3knuvj
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LauraB
Star Contributor

Frederick, MD
USA
921 Posts

Posted - 12/06/2004 :  1:18:11 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Hey Michelle - You are welcome to bring mine! You'll just have to take all three. I'll drop them off at twelve tomorrow. Have them back before Christmas, okay?

MSPA Gold Certified #4xgoix
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