I spent five days and four nights on the road last week. I evaluated the customer experience (spied on hard-working lowly-paid people and photographed toilets) in Philip, Kadoka, Belvidere, Presho, Winner, Gregory, Reliance, Oacoma, Chamberlain, Plankinton, Stickney, Corsica, Armour, Parkston, Huron, Miller, Wessington, Redfield, Doland, Mellette, Aberdeen, Faulkton, Gettysburg, Hoven, Mobridge, Buffalo, Eagle Butte, Dupree, Faith and Union Center.
I made my first stop each morning at 8 AM, and drove and played customer until 6 PM. Then I spent five hours uploading photos and making reports. As I mentioned in a post the day before I left, I stood to make a few hundred dollars after fronting myself about $400 in expense money for the trip. More could have gone wrong than did, but what did go wrong was particularly grating.
Part of my job was to photograph credit card displays on counters. In three cases, there were none, so I didn't photograph them. I was 120 miles down the road when I learned I wasn't going to get paid for those jobs, because the corporate morons wanted photos of the absence of the displays. I then had to backtrack that 120 miles, adding 240 miles and a day to my trip. To photograph... nothing. To salvage $120 of pay.
I spent a couple nights in motels and tented in Faulkton (the Carousel City) and Buffalo (mostly empty stores and Tipperary forever). I really appreciated the guy in Buffalo who came up to me outside the cafe and said he enjoyed reading the Decorum Forum. Foruminants are everywhere!