The Truth About “Mystery Shoppers”

“Mystery shopper” has to be one of the scummiest occupations. The mystery shopper is basically a low level informant, spying on underpaid retail employees and helping big corporations enforce compliance with all kinds of pointless rules and tedious protocol (which smart employees often ignore to maintain efficiency and prioritize the achievement of broader goals.)

A typical mystery shopper review would consist of something along the lines of the following:

“The employee failed to give the official FashionMart 4 point company greeting when I entered the store. The associate also took a sip of water while at the counter and leaned on it as well while sipping the drink.”

First off, almost no one follows company guidelines to the letter and the only people who fetishize them are overpaid executive do-nothings whose time is spent dreaming them up and perhaps a few overzealous cultist true believers in retail management. The only other employees that blindly adhere to them are the natural slaves of retail who never question anything and are easily exploited like pawns.

What mystery shoppers and their nefarious puppeteers do not realize, is that they are not entitled to what they have decreed as the ideal shopping experience. Why? Since they are not genuine customers, mystery shoppers do not deserve to be treated like them. By misleading the employee as to their intentions and ultimately wasting everyone’s time, the mystery shopper is not acting in good faith. If the company demands employees that employees make genuine personal connections with shoppers (a demand which is inherently oxymoronic in itself,) this is not possible with the mystery shopper, because everything about the mystery shopper’s interactions is phony. The entire premise they present for their visit is a facade. They are there to spy on you, to trick you, to watch you, and ultimately to catch you in violation of some sacred creedo on a technicality.

An employee can often sense when someone is not genuinely interested and there are all kinds of reasons why they will be inclined to be less helpful. The mystery shopper may have a resting bitch face. They may appear like too much of a busybody. It may creepily show in their eyes that they are sizing the employee up and judging their every move. Truth be told, there are plenty of shoppers which give off such an annoying vibe, that an employee will prefer the customer would just go away, concluding that the person’s business just may not be worth the potential hassle of future customer service issues, inevitable returned merchandise, arguments over warranty, etc.

The worst part about being preyed upon by a mystery shopper though, is the lack of recourse. The employee has no opportunity to face his/her accuser and refute the mystery shopper’s claims. The report is filed, and management accepts the account provided by the mystery shopper uncritically. It doesn’t matter if the mystery shopper was grossly exaggerating, failed to take into consideration possible context or misperceived the entire course of events.

In conclusion, mystery shoppers are among the lowest forms of humanity, right down there with people who eat chips loudly in public places. Employees do not owe them anything but scorn. Retail employees have enough to juggle with in the form of genuinely shitty and irritating customers: middle-aged women that ask to speak to the manager, aging suburban wiggers attempting to shoplift, fat white men with neck tattoos and Star Wars t-shirts that talk shit because they don’t understand purchasing etiquette in the 21st century. The last thing the retail employee needs is a fake customer, whose sole purpose is to tattletale and document behaviors from the perspective of those with dubious motives and a limited understanding of the situation on the ground.

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Belief in Protecting a Particular Society Can Protect a Particular Society

Ramzpaul has a video that’s worth responding to because it repeats one of the common mythological tropes in reactionary circles about how religion (specifically Christianity) functions as a kind of immune system for a nation, protecting it from outside invaders. I don’t want to resort to Reddit tier “correlation does not equal causation” cliches so I will simply say that it isn’t true, or that it isn’t necessarily true, meaning that religion isn’t a necessary component to the protection of a nation (and in many cases is counter productive.) I won’t waste a lot of time on this subject because I don’t have to.

People that use the argument Ramzpaul makes always use immigration restrictionist “Christian” countries like Hungary and Poland to illustrate how religion is useful in the context of keeping out migrant hordes and other unwelcome outsiders. However, they conveniently leave out the fact that the Czech Republic (a country which also is notably hostile to third world immigration) is one of the least religious countries in the world. In fact, Prague is one of the most “degenerate” cities in Europe (by prudish, American traditionalist standards anyway.) Young people in Hungary are not very religious at all, so the notion that their religious faith is the magic ingredient for opting to control their borders is pure fantasy. It’s worth also mentioning that China and Japan (unless you count Shinto) have a high percentage of “convinced atheists,” yet seem perfectly able to act in their own national interests. Meanwhile, America has a higher percentage of believing Christians than Hungary, as does Italy, but the Christians in these countries have done little to stem the tide of mass immigration from the third world. Indeed, many actively encourage it, (in addition to engaging in costly quixotic dogooder enterprises in many third world countries.) Outside of corporations looking for cheap labor, the churches are some of the most prominent advocates for mass immigration in the United States.

So the common denominator here isn’t really religion but rather, an interest in preserving a particular kind of society or way of life. This can mean pretty much any kind of society where the natives believe that the unimpeded admission of openly hostile outsiders would be detrimental to the quality of life of those already living there. A cohesive set of beliefs (mythological, spiritual, material or otherwise) harbored by the majority of people in a particular nation offers little to no intrinsic protective value in and of itself. It matters ultimately what those beliefs actually are and whether they explicitly include a collective belief in the preservation of the preferred form of a particular society’s existence.

People Don’t Think Universal Basic Income Be Like It Is but It Do

Zoltan Istvan was on The Stark Truth to discuss his plan for a California State Basic Income (to be paid for by developing and monetizing federal land.) While I like Zoltan and think he probably would have been the best choice in the last presidential election (among the candidates running,) it goes without saying that I think this is a terrible idea. Not that I oppose the idea of a basic income. I am sympathetic to UBI generally, but I oppose this particular scheme for the following reasons:

1. It would be a shame to see any more of California’s beautiful land be ruined by commercial development. Many people believe that much of what has been developed already has been a mistake. What are they going to develop anyway? More social media ad agencies, useless phone app startups and overpriced McModern apartments? Zoltan’s argument for why this all would be bad for the environment is a bizarre stipulation that the “land would be leased not sold and would have to be returned to it’s previous condition or better after the lease.” This might sound nice but makes very little practical sense. This isn’t going to be like when the Black Fortress disappears without a trace in Krull. If a company leases the land and later goes bankrupt or fails in some way, they’re not going to have the money to demolish all of their buildings and magically regenerate a fully mature forest overnight. This just isn’t realistic. It will be bad for the environment. The increased developments will require more natural resources to sustain, resources which California struggles to harness a sufficient amount of, even now.

2. California doesn’t even care to enforce borders of any kind currently. Most of the larger metropolitan hubs are basically sanctuary cities. A “basic income” can only be mathematically viable if strict population controls are kept on the number of of people residing in that particular area. It requires draconian measures like breeding restrictions and militarily enforced boundaries. Merely having strict residency requirements in order to qualify isn’t enough, because pretty much anyone who lives there can vote. Massive amounts of people who live in California but wouldn’t qualify, can still elect officials that will assert their electoral power to loosen requirements, cut deals or file legal challenges based on trumped up charges of discrimination, etc. Developing and leasing millions of acres of federal land might provide some limited revenue for a basic income, if we were dealing with a stagnant population, frozen in time at current levels. More than likely though, increased development will lead to more people flocking to the area for tech jobs and housing, more Indian programmers and wealthy foreign investors finagling their way here for jobs and real estate investment opportunities. A bigger pie but minimal to no increase in the size of the average slice. Basically, nothing leftover for a basic income.

3. California has frequently struggled with budget deficits in the past. If the projected revenues to fund the California universal basic income do not materialize through this land leasing scheme, the people who are expecting the money will be pissed. Which do you think is more likely, that politicians up for election will spend the state into massive deficits to attempt to deliver people the basic income they were promised, or that they will tell millions of voters “Oops sorry, looks like we can’t afford to give you each 25k a year after all” and face the wrath of betrayed angry mobs. Both of those gloomy scenarios seem highly plausible if this plan were to ever move forward. Those left to foot the bill for this tab will likely flee the area in droves.

4. There is a little too much Utopian optimism with this idea. It kind of reminds me of when you see stoners arguing that legalizing weed will solve nearly every social, economic and military problem in the world “just think, we could tax it, and it would pay off the national debt!” This strikes me as similar, wishful, pie in the sky thinking. There are just too many variables and wildcards involved here.

So anyway, everyone’s a critic right? After reading all that you might be thinking, “Okay, well what is your plan for universal basic income then?” My plan is extremely simple. You form a secluded micro state with a very tiny population and heavily fortify it. This microstate earns revenue through some kind of shared natural resource or industry (could be anything from genetically engineered crops to rubber band manufacturing to Scientology auditing classes.) People would receive a meager basic income by working in civil or community service. Pretty simple but only has a chance of working with a delicate population balance which must be maintained and understood by all participants. I have no clue whether my plan could be viable in practice (for one thing, people would have to actually be interested in my ideas.) That’s the rub with radical futurism. In our grand visions of the future, we often lose sight of the fact that we’re stuck dealing with people the way they are and the world the way it is.

Brandon Adamson is the author of Beatnik Fascism