Tuesday, February 09, 2010

The Prostitute and the Private Eye - Not a Love Story

Is it just me or does it seem that if a job or client is dodgy, naturally it falls into my lap?

So there I was, minding my own business in my office - probably wondering where my next paycheck was coming from - when the phone rang.

"XYZ Investigations, how can we be of assistance?" I answered, trying not to sound too eager yet imagining that maybe I'll be eating steak tonight.

"I need help, my husband is missing and the police won't do anything" she said in a low husky voice that sent shivers down my spine. "I need you..." she breathed into the phone.

Okay, that's maybe not how it went exactly but about an hour later I was at her place, a room in a charming run down motel that even rats with any good sense had vacated. As I walked around the back to her unit, past the garden of dead plants and cracked concrete driveway, I wondered if this could even get dodgier than it appeared at face value?

Yes, it certainly could.

It seems our Damsel in Distress' husband wasn't home one morning when she got in from work. She explained that while they had their share of problems, there was nothing out of the ordinary that precipitated his disappearing act. She came home to find her daughter still asleep and a bag of her husband's clothes gone. Naturally she went to the police but as it wasn't a crime to leave your wife, and there was no foul play suspected, they were not able to provide any assistance. Could I help, she asked?

Why yes I could I said in my most professional voice, as I looked seriously earnest and took serious notes in my notebook. I interviewed her for an hour and a half regarding her husband, his activities, associates, and other information of importance.

And of course money was a problem. She was working nights at a job she wasn't very happy with and had limited funds. I tell you, the state of her accommodation did not give it away. She admitted she was a 'working girl', a cheeky misnomer that implies she should have some money to throw at a suitably serious Private Investigator but in actuality it probably was all going up her arm or nose or eyeball.

But we agreed on a mutually acceptable 'cash' solution. Now I've been around for a while, and I've learned my lessons. When I offer a cash price, it is strictly money up front. No money, no working on your case. She told me that she didn't have any money on her right now but was working that night and would be able to pay me half tomorrow and the remainder the following week. I thought that was an acceptable compromise, I'm not entirely heartless.

So after a few more questions and outlining a course for action, I left expecting a call the next day.

Well, I did get that call but instead of saying "hey, come get your money" it was "can we make it Friday instead?" Then Friday became Monday, Monday became Tuesday, Tuesday became Thursday and on Thursday she just wasn't there. I get an apologetic call where she tells me she left a message that she was out of town with family until the following Monday (she didn't).

Monday became Tuesday, Tuesday became Wednesday as she was still out of town, and finally on Thursday she was adamant she would meet me 4.30pm on Friday with the money and more information. At 2.30pm on Friday I call her to make sure she was ready and am told "it's all good".

It would have been good if she were home at 4.30pm but she wasn't. No, and neither did she respond to phone calls. Later she calls to say that she had to go out as there was an 'emergency' but she still wanted the investigation to go ahead as it was a 'priority'.


At what point in fucking me around for two weeks with constantly changing scheduled meetings, not to mention just not being there the two times a meeting hadn't been rescheduled, constitutes a priority in finding her fucking husband?

I'm starting to think I can understand why he left and, I have to admit, I'm now probably more sympathetic to his plight than hers.

Well, not one to miss an opportunity to flog a dead horse, I gave her one last chance. She wanted to meet the same time the following day. I told her that she had to call me at 4.30pm on the dot to state that she was home and ready to meet.

Did she call?

Of course not, and neither did she answer my call to her so I left an eloquent message stating that I just didn't feel that finding her husband was really a 'priority' and that I was unable to be of further assistance.

A waste of at least 5 hours of my time as not only did I meet her once and travel to her place on 2 other occasions, but I also did some preliminary work on the case.

Maybe she had a good excuse for wasting my time again and I can only hope that it had something to do with being dead in her room of an overdose, needle sticking in her cold, lifeless, arm.

Call me uncharitable but next time a prostitute wants me to do work on her behalf I better see the money before she even opens her mouth.

No comments:

Post a Comment