Monday, January 31, 2011

Message In A Bloggle.

Many investigators who have a successful PI. business work 14 hour days - which include field /scene work,  conducting interviews, writing up case notes, searching computer databases, generating backgrounds, diagrams, meeting with attorneys, the works.
I focus primarily on personal injury investigations, so most of the cases I handle are in civil, not criminal court.
I work for attorneys who represent injured people.
And when many of people are too injured to get the attorney,  I'm the one the attorney sends to the injured person's home, apartment, RV, campground, lean-to, place of business... or if they insist, a coffee shop.

I prefer their residences and so do the attorneys.
It's easier to get inside someone's head when you're inside the place they live.
That's when you get a better profile of your subject.
And it's the best way to see how the injury specifically affects their lives and the lives of those around them.

So here I live  across the water from Seattle,
doing my own private cases...
and doing others for attorneys who dispatch  me to new investigations daily.
Sometimes one case a day, sometimes several a day into the night.
And because my turf is all of Western Washington state....  all the way up north the Canadian border,  then south to Portland....  east the sea, and west to the mountains. I put more miles on my car in a week than some people put on in a year.

The travel suits me because this is one beautiful state, populated largely by fairly wonderful people and scenery that defies description.
Certainly there is a psycho around every bend, yet the trained eye can see them coming and prepare or counter accordingly.
The variety of this job is pleasing... the puzzles fascinating..... and the pay could be better considering it is all work and no play.

Spending hours in a surveillance vehicle in the mid-day sun is not fun.
Knocking on doors in very bad neighborhood, not sure you are in the right place,produces an instant shot of adrenalin.
Then add  a dog barking ferociously behind those doors to the mix...
and the shot of adrenalin steps up to a rush.

P.I.'s look carefully before they sit on strange sofas and chairs...
hypodermic needles are often quickly stuck in sofas before company arrives.
And when the P.I. enters a subject's residence, there's an ability/the savvy to recognize the look of instant disdain in the eyes of your subject.
Some people take an instant dislike to you because you are thinner, fatter, shorter, taller, whiter, younger, older, have some authority...  whatever the reason, they hate you instantly.
Therefore, establishing a rapport is the first order of business.

I'm good at that.
And by the end of the interview, not only do I leave with my investigation task accomplished,
my subject knows there are people in the justice system who care about two things:
what they have to say and the truth.
Everybody matters.
Every voice.
Every word.
Every observation.
Every feeling. Every mistake.
Every lesson learned. Or unlearned.
Every personal truth.

Here is something I have learned on this job:
There is not one of us who is better than another because of who they happened to be born to.
Or how much money they have.
Or what country they were born in.
Or what religion their parents to chose to bestow upon -- or burden them-- with.

In the course of my job recently, I've gone into  home of an Native American medicine man in the morning and in the afternoon, met with  a couple from Iran who just received their U.S. citizenship.
I sat in the living room of family from Afghanistan, just after I met with a Navy Seal in a Denny's near his military base.
I saw a couple of lily white wealthy folks who seem blissfully unaware the whole planet is in an economic/unemployment meltdown...
and  sat on the floor of a basement apartment with a translator and a Somalian family that had no furniture. Just patterned rugs covering the walls and floor.

I have longed for a moment to just step away and put some of these observations in words.
This... would be that moment.
At long last, a brief window in time has opened and allowed this P.I. to send some words into the cyber wind...
my message in a bottle.

Thank you for finding and reading it.

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