Thursday, February 19, 2009




I have worked all my life, high school, marriage and beyond.. With only two exceptions when I was going to college, I have never had a job I didn't really like. Some were made great by my fellow workers, some I really liked my function, while some were rewarding. One of my most interesting jobs was when I was part of a "Duck and Drake" duo while working for a Private Eye.

I went to work for Jack thinking I was a secretary/ receptionist at a plumbing company. That part of my job was incredibly boring for Jack (the owner) actually had little to no plumbing business. His avocation was as a private investigator.

Now Jack was right out of a romance or detective novel. He was much older than I was by about 15 years but very handsome. I was at the age to be turned on by graying temples, blazing blue eyes , a professional tan, and gleaming white teeth. Jack was a clothes horse that could wear a tux or jeans with the same ease. Oh yea, I was impressed.

After a week of arranging paper clips and vacant staring, Jack approached me about the Duck and Drake aspect of his second job. One day he asked me if I wanted to earn a little extra money. Since I hadn't "earned" any of the salary he had so far paid me, I jumped at it.

We were going to follow a woman that was cheating on her husband. We had to follow them out of town, eat in the same restaurant, go to the same night club or where ever they went. Jack explained that as part of a Duck and Drake ( male and female) team, we were less conspicuous than if he followed them by himself. All my expenses were paid plus a salary. Felt a little like a "call girl" only I didn't have to put out.

We would sit as close as possible to the subjects in bars or restaurants and dance close to them on the dance floor. Since the couples were either in love or in lust, we were never noticed. As this was before high tech days, the human ear was our main tool for eavesdropping. Jack did have a recorder but generally it was the written testimony in his reports that was relied on. I was the witness.

One interesting thing I did learn as we would sit in the car while the couple went into the motel. At that time in Florida, as long as you kept the light on in your room, you were not guilty of adultery. You could be just playing cards. When the lights went out, you were heading for divorce court. Jack would film them going in and then focus on the window. I always felt a bit sad when the lights went out, for life as they knew it was over.

Have to admit that I really liked the snooping part. The only bad part of the job was that sometimes felt sorry for the cheating spouse when I learned what a dilly the cuckolded spouse was. Sometimes they were even abusive. Also, what hurt my feelings was that Jack was all business. I was useful to him but he never showed a bit of romantic interest in me.

Now I have never been a "knock out"of a woman but at that stage of my life, I had "cute" pretty well nailed. He was attentive and affectionate on the dance floor, but I could tell it was an act for the benefit of the people we were trailing. I was just an employee and that was a shot to my ego. I really hoped he was gay. That would have made me feel less undesirable but I never found out. I later learned he married his 3rd wife so I guess it was just me. Darn.

I worked with Jack for several months but finally quit. The night part of my job was making the the "day" part of my job a constant struggle to stay awake. Still it was, though brief, an exciting and interesting phase of my work career.

The private eye chapter closed.

What job titillated your interest but maybe didn't fill your bank account??? Anything you wish you had tried??


  1. I never had an "exciting" job, certainly not one like this. My most favorite job was the last one I had, advising students who published the campus newspapers and journals at a California university. I was the first person people called when the students did something stupid, and possibly outside the limits of the First Amendment. I would say that happened every two weeks, when the "bad boy" newspaper came out. Oh it was fun!

  2. Robin
    Isn't it wonderful to look forward to every work day. You and I were lucky for a lot of people dread every morning. What an awful way to live. Do you miss it?

  3. I almost always enjoyed my work as a teacher. And lateron when I had to teach adults I really loved it.
    Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. I can see where teaching adults who seek an education would be easier and more rewarding than teaching those who are required to be there by law. Teaching is a wonderful profession no matter what the age. Thank you and all those who fill our minds with wonder.

  5. I don't really miss it. I have some very close friends who still work on campus. They remind me, quite hysterically sometimes, just how crazy college students can be. But even worse is the campus administration.

  6. Robin
    Then I guess it is best you are looking at that job in your rear view mirror.
    Enjoy the memories of the good times.

  7. What a interessing job you had.
    It's allways a plaisir to read your writing.

  8. Thank you Blue for your kind words. It was a fun job. I have like almost all my jobs but that one made me feel like a character in a book.