#6. Our work is really boring.
I don't necessarily agree with Brian and suspect he is talking about surveillance and that indeed can be boring, but not always.
A long time ago when I first started out in my career as a PI surveillance was one of the first things I learned how to do. I was taking on a new position with a PI firm as manager and head investigator and although I knew how to make the bread and butter for the company I had other areas to study and surveillance was one of them. Anybody could follow someone to see where they are going and what they are doing but if you lose your subject do you know how to find them again?
Here is an example: I was hired by a husband to follow his wife. He suspected she was cheating on him. I said to him what I said to all of my cheating spouse clients, "if you suspect it then it is probably happening. What are you going to do with the information if you find out you are right?" I am not going to risk my life and that of my partner for the sake of someone else' infidelity.
This case took place in the city where there were one way streets and parallel parked cars on the neighborhood streets that had rows of houses with little room for side yards. My client was desperate to find out if his wife was cheating on him. He said she was coming home late at night telling him she was working late which he learned was not true. He had an idea of where she might be going after work but did not know the address and if there was anything going on that shouldn't have been. Short of entering the house and seeing with our own eyes she was doing the deed with someone other than her husband our abilities were limited. Our efforts were handicapped by the surroundings such as trees, cars, other buildings, etc.
Now, there are certain things I will not divulge for the sake of giving away too much information. I assure you that no laws were broken and nobody ever got hurt during any of the investigations I had anything to do with not to mention we always contacted the police in the jurisdiction we were in and they were always made aware of our purpose and were most likely familiar with our activities. If any of the neighbors called the police due to 'suspicious activity' they were told that they were aware of our being there.
Our client gave us a starting point. We picked up our subject at her place of employment and started to follow her. There were a lot of turns at stop signs and if we did not stay close enough, due to rush hour traffic, we would lose her but we also had to keep a short distance away so she would not feel as if she was being followed. That could be disastrous.
Once we were hired to follow a young woman from her job one night after she got off work and we lost her in the process. We learned that later that night while on her way home from a party, drunk, she hit a brick wall and was seriously injured. Had we been following her naturally we could would have thought she was trying to get away from us and as a result slammed into a brick wall. It was meant to be that we lost her. Thankfully she survived in the end and as I recall we found out she was not cheating on her husband that night. Out of all the surveillance jobs I had worked on this is the only subject I had ever lost.
Due to the continuous stops we did eventually lose our subject but we managed to pick her back up at another cross street. When we lost her we felt our hearts drop down to our feet. We failed but we didn't give up. We used our skills to navigate ourselves around the neighborhoods in order to catch up with her again. Speeding through neighborhoods, hitting more stop signs, and keeping our eyes open as wide as can be we found our subject at a stop sign. It was a sigh of relief. Once we had her in our sights we followed her to a house where she parallel parked her car. Of course we kept going down the street but came back around and parked our car within eye shot of the house we thought she entered. First, we had to verify she was in the house and once we did we sat and waited. This is where the boring part comes in. You sit and take turns keeping your eye on the subject and any movements made. While we waited we did our computer searches to find out who owned the property and then did a background on the resident of the home. He was a single man that she worked with. They appeared to be the only ones in the home at that time. There was only one light on that was visible from the outside. You have to have the guts to get out and walk around to the back of the house to see if there were any activities or areas that were more visible. To be successful at surveillance you have to have the guts to do pretty much anything that needs to be done but as long as nobody gets hurt.
In the end we concurred that our subject was in deed cheating on her husband. Their marriage ended in divorce down the road.
An exciting surveillance job I did was a highway speed chase. We were following a subject from one state to another and it became very dangerous. It ended with successful results and nobody got hurt.
After putting in two years of surveillance training I decided it was not the area of investigation I wanted to work in. The only time I ever needed to use the skills I acquired was years later on a criminal investigation. I have not had the need to use it since and I hope I never do. -The end
"There is no hole big enough in this world to hide from a PI."
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