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The Less Glamorous Side of the Life of a PI

Private investigators do the work of a relatively small but very important niche. It is here and only here, within the venue of private investigations, that crucial information can be gleaned for the hiring clientele. The private investigator is the person behind this important task of information retrieval.

There is a lot of good inherently done by this profession. As such, there are plenty of rewarding experiences to be had by private investigators. Spouses are assured of loyalty, businesses can protect assets, the proper treatment of children can be verified, all by the means of private investigators.

The Grittier Side

Despite all of the rewarding experiences however, the work of a private investigator is not always the easiest or most comfortable. Specialists in this industry will get dirty, see dirty, and maybe even feel dirty at some point or another. Driven on by a passion for the work and the reward of positive impact, the professional private investigator carries on with the mission.

It is a common curiosity to want to know about those secretive goings-on of the private investigator. In discussing the grittier side to the profession, there is undoubtedly plenty to say. What are some of the toughest things you do? What are some of the most profound experiences you’ve had? Bound by confidentiality, we provide some basic answers to these questions on the less than glamorous side of private investigations.

Random Hours

Because of the nature of this line of work, the private investigator must be up for working at any time, day or night. Investigations can call for surveillance work anywhere and at anytime. Subsequently, no agency would survive a day in the industry if it restricted its investigation efforts to some strict, daylight hours time slot. Whether an associate just phoned in with an urgent tip, or the intended surveillance target is a night-time delivery driver, time of operation must be of no consequence to the private investigator.


Although it mainly just touches the surveillance end of investigation work, weather can really make things tough here. Following and documenting a target in the pouring rain is certainly no simple task. Acting as an up-and-back jogger in the mid-day heat of summer is not much better. Adverse weather means mud, water, low visibility, dangers to equipment, extreme temperatures, and a host of other difficulties bestowed upon the private investigator.

Navigating the Legalities

Everything that anyone does is governed by laws. This is immeasurably true in private investigation. Knowing where, when, and how to obtain documents, records, and surveillance is easy outside of the law. In this world though, every facet of these particular actions is overseen by law. The smart private investigator knows how the law applies to his or her every action and at all levels of jurisdiction: federal, state, and local. Although necessary, legal constraints can make certain jobs and applications of the work be very difficult and frustrating at times.

Personal Safety

Private investigators are often at risk with regard to personal safety. Following a target in the midst of a severe lightning storm has its risks. There are also associated risks when it comes to an angry target and the discovery of spying activities. By its nature, this line of work is based on being elusive, crafty, resourceful, and open to an array of risks. Considering the risks it is important for them to have insurance.  Failures and shortcomings are a quick way to experiencing these risks. The real pros here know this and work to eliminate risk as much as possible in all angles of methodology.

Mental Duress

Any seasoned investigator will be also be keenly aware of the strains that can be imparted upon one’s overall psychological state. Outcomes are not always the best and events of great emotion are sometimes witnessed. The investigator must remain impartial and professional in all levels of mental duress, continuing to document everything with professionalism. Stress encountered in surveillance can get very high and manifest through a multitude of situations. This is a big drawback to the life of a private investigator.

Difficult Assignments

As in all professions, some projects are infinitely easier than others. Use of the term “difficult assignment” typically denotes an assignment that displays many of the attributes listed above. Perhaps the assignment requires collecting intelligence during severe weather, in a highly stressful and legally frustrating situation. This combination would more than make for a difficult assignment.

Homage to the Pros

When all of the difficulties of private investigation are considered, one can further appreciate the place of the private investigator. The job is gritty and seldom easy, but there are those who have spent a lifetime dedicated to the art. To all those dedicated to this life, we offer our true respect and appreciation. These are the less than glamorous sides to the life of those selflessly dedicated to the industry of mystery and grit.

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