The Less Than Glamorous Parts Of Being A PI
1. Baiting Catfishers
The world of online dating has been a great opportunity for millions of people around the world who are looking for love. However, it’s also a great opportunity for catfishing. Scammers make use of these networks to lie their way to what can be tremendous amounts of money. Their actions cause not only financial damages to their target, but can also cause a long-lasting emotional distress to the victim. Oftentimes when someone begins to suspect that their online conversation partner isn’t telling them the truth or if they suddenly begin asking for money they will hire a private investigator to determine whether the romance is legit or a part of a much darker plot. If it happens to be the latter, it’s their job to deliver the news to the heart-broken victim while the perpetrator will more likely than not escape punishment.
2. No bathroom breaks
A large part of a private investigator’s job includes surveillance. An inevitable part of conducting surveillance is staying in a parked vehicle for long periods of time. A typical shift lasts about 12 hours, and often times more, especially if things start unfolding towards the end of the day or night.
The key to a successful stake-out is consistency and not being detected. If the subject of the investigation begins to suspect that they’re being watched they may alter their behavior. If the investigator leaves their post for any amount of time, they risk missing a key moment. Therefore, there are no bathroom breaks included when conducting surveillance. The best the investigator can do is make sure to use the bathroom before starting their shift and many of them choose to bring along a ‘pee bottle.’ Not quite what we picture when we think of the suave Private Eye!
3. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure
It’s amazing what some people will throw away. In many cases that private investigators take on, the garbage can be their biggest source of evidence. Even though public records and online resources are great places to find information about their subjects, they just can’t compare to everything that can be found at the bottom of a trash can.
You would be surprised by how many people tend to ‘dispose’ of incriminating objects by simply throwing it out. And in most municipalities, once something has been thrown away, anyone is free to collect it and it’s admissible in court. It’s one of the more disgusting parts of a private investigators job, but if it gets them results, it’s all worth it in the end.
4. Private… Ghostbusters?
Even though there is a plethora of paranormal investigators available, it’s not uncommon for people to try to hire a regular private eye to investigate paranormal happenings. Everyone’s level belief in ghosts, spirits and other paranormal apparitions differs, however most private investigators don’t take kindly to being asked to keep a look-out for Casper as it can be seen as belittling towards the very real work they do.
5. Harmful Stereotypes
Stereotypes exist for pretty much every profession in the world. However, for private investigators the misconceptions that surround their job can be harmful as they tend to be negative. Public misconceptions about the ‘shady’ PI who is willing to break the law can severely damage their interpersonal relationships. In fact, the negative stereotypes can be so pervasive that many detectives try to distance themselves from this perception and legitimize their work in the eyes of others by instead using titles such as ‘legal investigator.’