Being a Private Surveillance Investigator in the anti fraud arena actually defrauds you of what is most important;

Time.

For three years I sat watching.

8 – 10 hours a day. Parked in close proximity to a claimant’s house or apartment. In the beginning in the rear of the surveillance vehicle.

Mid way through as the follow vehicle. I worked in a team of two or by myself. The numbers and locations changed on a daily basis. The watching remained constant. 

As a Surveillance Investigator in the Personal injury fraud industry, it was my job to observe and obtain evidence. To gain as much recorded footage as possible of an individual in order to refute their claim. Or place their claim in doubt at the very least.

Our Private Investigation company was contracted to the biggest Insurers in Ireland and the UK. Personal injury claims and resulting surveillance operations were booming. I was constantly busy driving the length and breadth of the Country. 

On the weekend before a new week I would receive “the weekly plan” from the Area Manager. The plan often lasted less than Monday before it was changed due to new client instructions and urgent cases. Without fail though the surveillance operations started at 6 am or 7 am and ran a minimum of 8 hours. Doesn’t sound that bad on the face of it, but if I thought the afternoon was mine to enjoy with an early finish, that notion soon disappeared into the asphalt. A two hour return trip home awaited (if I was lucky.) Add that onto the two hour drive to reach the job location in the cold dark of morning, and you find yourself practically living in your car.

The Office

Remember the scene in Training Day when they hop into his car and Alonzo says to Jake that they’ll be in the office all day? Jake asks if the office is back at the Division, and Alonzo responds – sitting in his car – that they were already in “the office”

Well ditto. 

In the Private Surveillance industry ” the Office” really is your car. More so than in a Police surveillance team. They at least deploy into a surveillance vehicle from the station or a location, whereas in the private industry once you get into that drivers seat from home, that’s your office for the next 12 -14 hours. Leave from home, get to work location, move where the surveillance takes you, return home. Repeat the next day, week, month, year. This was my working life. For almost 3 years.

On many occasions the end of shift would be approaching, fatigue setting in, and low and behold the claimant would leave home. And keep on going. Towing a caravan to a mobile home park across the Country. Driving to the airport in rush hour traffic. Any and all types of scenario. Keep following. In a vehicle, on public transport, on foot.

During a working day, if I was lucky I could drive to a petrol station to grab coffee and use the facilities. I was really at the mercy of the location though and what could happen at an given moment.

In the early days the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, a completely different Country had the grand total of two investigators working for our company. Myself and one other. He was based in Northern Ireland. For the first five months all the work was North of the border. Fine for him. Not so great for me.

I left home on Sunday evening/Monday morning to reach a location 4/5 hours away. Spent the entire week moving around different hotels and returned home late on Friday evening. Now anyone with a young family will know the agony of that. Believe me I was ready to leave the job. Things settled down somewhat a few months later, where an 8 hour round trip to work would become a 4/5 hour round trip.

Three years of excessive driving, journeys, Office time and lost time became too much though and the change was necessary. Not only necessary but needed. The work had served a purpose, but now it was time to live life rather than have life live me. The so called “time” had never seemed right to start an online business and move into digital marketing, but it’s never the “right time” is it?

Unless we make the decision to go for it the fear and procrastination will win out.

Good experience for an entrepreneur

Patience. Persistent. Decision making. During my time in surveillance I experienced these daily.

These traits and experiences necessary for successful surveillance operations, are also very useful for shifting into the online business space. Especially if working for yourself as a digital solopreneur.

It’s a much better feeling to be able to dictate time now rather than have it dictated to me.

Time for family, quality time without squeezing it in on a weekend. The freedom to take a trip without requesting authorization weeks in advance.  The ability to work on creative projects and enhance skill sets you never had the chance to use.

This is conscious living.

It all started for me when I made that conscious decision for change, and viewed the free series of workshop videos offered through the SFM.

Available for you to Start Here

Sometimes the safe option, a job and salary doesn’t always serve you long term.

Depending on where you would like to be in life.

What new opportunities does your life journey have for you?

 

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