There's a spy among us.
I spied. A lot. I waited outside houses, often for hours at a time, waiting for him to leave. I followed him work, to his girlfriend’s house, to the dentist, to the grocery store, you name it.
Like a shadow, I followed him everywhere.
I was a Private Investigator.
You thought I meant FBI or CIA? Nope. Too crazy. (Me, not the government. Never the government.)
What? Oohhh, you thought I was a stalker?! No, not that either.
When you get paid to do it, it’s not called stalking.
Someone once described private investigation as 94% boredom and 6% pure adrenalin. They’re absolutely right. It’s the 6% adrenalin that makes up for standing in line all day at some courthouse waiting to pull court documents on the subject, then only to read how he got busted for being a loser (hitting his girlfriend, stealing, etc). Or for waiting for hours watching someone’s house and they never leave.
All day long. Not once do they go out. zzzzzzzz
But the 6% pure adrenalin makes up for all that. Like when you get the dirt on your subject: you get the photos of the suspected activity, you get the information the client was hoping wasn’t really there, you get to follow them somewhere. Anywhere, really. That’s fun.
About 60% of the cases were what we called “domestics”: a husband or wife wanting to know what the spouse was up to. I’m often asked the gender ratio of clients: Almost half and half, but weighted slightly towards women. While men were the slight majority of subjects, both genders were caught in the suspected activity equally. By the time you’ve decided to hire a P.I. and shell out $50-75 per hour, you’re pretty sure they’ll find something. Most of our clients just wanted proof.
The other 40% were a wide variety: local politicians wanting dirt on their opponent, employers wanting worker’s comp injury verification, employers wanting verification of citizenship, major injury cases, and even one major overseas car manufacturer who was losing massive amounts of merchandise on the black market.
There were also a lot of credit “skips” (skipped out on their credit or car payments) and all we had was old, or more often incorrect, data on the application forms. This was when pagers were still popular, and often the only viable piece information. Men were almost always the subjects in these cases.
But this was all we needed to find them. We had an 800 number service that would quickly fax us any phone number that called it. The thing about 800 numbers is while they are toll-free, they capture the number of the caller. My boss would use some line about being from some sort of sweepstakes clearing house, telling the subject he was a winner and needed to call the 800 number ASAP.
That worked ok, but mine worked every time…
I would call the pager/voicemail, and in my sexiest phone sex voice say: ‘Hi Big Boy. This is Roxanne and you’ve won 10 free minutes on my sex line. Just call me at 1-800-(rest of number) and enter code 1234 for your special time with me. I’m really horny and can’t wait to talk to you. Call me soon Sexy!’
They would keep calling, and calling hoping to reach the hot female. But there was no ‘Roxanne’ (or anyone) to answer, just the generic 800 number greeting. Poor horny saps. We’d get the number they were calling from, and the address from there.
It's called investigating, not stalking.
One client wanted her husband’s underwear analyzed for, um, female substances. We didn’t do that.
In another case, our client was the ex-boyfriend of a woman getting married. He wanted photos of her wedding. So I crashed the wedding, ate hors d’oeurvres, and took lots of pictures. He took the pictures and sent them to ex-girlfriend.
I thought someone’s ex wanting to know what the other one is up to now was going to be a “one-off” rarity. Oddly enough, we had several exes as clients.
A couple times we had someone’s mistress as a client. In both cases the “other woman” came to us to have photos taken of her with the married man, and then anonymously sent to the wife. I know one of the two women didn’t send the photos, bu instead confessed to the married man what she’d done. Very shortly after, he divorced his wife and married the mistress/girlfriend. They now have several kids.
My least favorite of cases was this: Since I was the only woman in the company, I got the “domestics” that involved staking out the local XXX parlor, or XXX book store. Even though I just sat in my car in the parking lot, a toe-headed white girl stands out like a sore thumb. Especially when there are a bunch of horny men near by. I was always getting hit on by the horny clientele. My boss thought it was funny. I did not. Let me just say: Eeeew.
Now you know the dirty details of spying. Kinda makes you not want to be one, huh?