(Believe me, not nearly as exciting as it sounds!)
People not in ‘the business’ often get their ideas of private investigation from movies and television.
“I’m a P.I.”
“OH! Like MAGNUM!”
Oft times, it’s more like “Oh, like a bean counter-security guard!”
Case in point. I’m working out of a P.I. agency cum polygraph business. The owner is a retired Phoenix Police detective. My boss is Bob Hall (later of gun store fame). And Bob and I have done surveillance, security, security surveys, records checks, photography, interviews, taken statements, served legal papers, located missing persons, found hidden assets – all manner of private investigation related duties.
Then there was the tank farm.
Out on the South Central part of West Phoenix lies a tank farm. (51st Ave/Van Buren) Wherein pipelines of gasoline and related products arrive to the Valley for distribution to local gas stations.
Once a rural edge of town, it’s now more centrally located.
Fortunately for us, whose office is just by the State Police offices at 23rd Av. and Grand. (in 1986).
It seems a rural gasoline hauler has been filling up at the tank farm, and their numbers don’t match with the fuel taken. Hmmm.
SO, we as P.I.’s (keep thinking Magnum) get to monitor all fill-ups of these fuel trucks at the farm, compare the receipts with the pump readings, and note any discrepancies! Whenever these guy arrive to fill up. 4 PM, Midnight, 4 AM. Whenever. They call when they are about 45 minutes out…
And I think they had eight trucks.
Which kept three or four private investigators busy…
Over a period of like two months. Any day or night.
True, for the company, there was mileage + hourly for multiple investigators.
But, for the investigators, it was insanely boring, and tiresome. And much comp time was taken for driving from home to the tank farm, watching and monitoring some yahoo fill his tanker truck for 20 minutes, and driving home.
Three hours? Starting @ 0200.
Well, we were young and foolish. And hungry for money.
I’m not young, anymore.