In this week's post we hear from Jodie Haspey, a Case Manager at LocalPI, recounting a normal (for her) day at work.
Once every quarter we are sent out into the field to assist our Agents. Sometimes the field is a little more literal than we would like, but it’s a valuable experience which helps us see the Private Investigation industry from both sides of the coin.
My first lot of surveillance was a fairly laid back affair - none of the high speed car chases and acrobatic manoeuvres that I had dreams of the night before – which was somewhat relieving, as I have all of the acrobatic skill and grace of a drunken hippo. In reality most of surveillance was spent in a car behind a tinted window, trying to stop my long cricket legs from cramping up.
Prior to surveillance I had approached the Agent and asked for a list of everything he needed me to bring:
Phone, charger, headphones with built in microphone, cash/change and (as stressed by the Agent) most importantly, chicken sandwiches.
So I diligently complied. The night before I even purchased chicken specifically to cook for the sandwiches, and ended up getting carried away and making three different options.
Life lesson: never ask a subconscious feeder for food.
On the day itself I was transported from the office to the starting location in what has been termed the “misery bus”. The misery bus is the stuff of LocalPI legend, it’s seen many an Agent through many a task, and from doing so, now has a scent as unique as its name. I spent most of the car ride there with my head out of the window in a winter breeze - refreshing.
We arrived 45 minutes early, chose a prime location to set up obs and awaited the action to start. We were waiting a long time.
The subject did not move from the Home Address for three hours. In that time I think we covered every topic of conversation there was to be had - and then some. Just as we were about to start googling the top ten youtube videos of paint drying, the subject appeared and entered her vehicle. Seat belt on and I was ready to roll, or so I thought….
The subject was a less than serene driver, so naturally the Agent followed suit. Down side roads, round corners at speed, U turns with little to no-warning. I sent a situation report to the other Case Managers:
“Sit Rep: Subject on move, as is my stomach with Agent W’s driving.”
Thank PI for trackers. For someone who didn’t move for three hours, she certainly made up for it in the space of 30minutes. Eventually my stomach subsided back into its rightful position as the subjects car slowed near a shopping precinct. But my relief was short lived .
“Get ready you may have to jump out and conduct a foot follow” The Agent said,
At this point I was wondering if I was about to be hurled from a moving vehicle, into a crowd of unsuspecting shoppers – I was debating how Agent W was planning on telling my mother why I ended up in a full body cast… but all these thoughts never came to fruition as the subject made yet another sporadic U-turn (goodbye stomach), and sped on to her work address.
This is where we spent the remainder of observations, my cricket legs still cramped into the car.
We took the closing shot, and began to head back to the office. After four hours of sitting in a car drinking water (not a smart move) nature began to call, so we high-tailed it to the nearest pub.
I use the term pub very liberally. It was more of a ghetto saloon, with peeling paint and graffiti adorning its outer walls, and a half-cut man, taking a long drag on his half-bent cigarette as he stumbled around the entrance.
As we entered, the pub went silent and everyone turned to look at us. I moved on from wondering about the body-cast, to wondering how much the Office would cough up in ransom money. Needless to say we made it a very brief call to Mother Nature and headed back to the safety of the misery bus. I wound down the window ready for the drive back…
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