Still alive, for those of you who read my Journal-- it's been about 5 months since I last updated.
Since I'm half-way through the course, I thought I might fill in one-and-all as to my mad scheme; I've made no secret of it, having shared the info with my immediate social circle and family, but I think it's about time to spread the word around to all my acquaintances. After all, some of you might be future clients.
I am currently studying at Boston University's Metropolitan College, in the Center for Professional Education. It's a certificate program, as opposed to a degree, and the course I am studying is Certification in Professional Investigation. In short, I'm studying to be a PI.
Now, I know most of you are saying to yourselves the same thing one of my friends said to me when I told her what I was doing: "But Dennis--you look nothing like a private detective!" Well, that's mostly true--I look nothing like the stereotype
of private detective, which is what most think of when "PI" is mentioned; I look nothing like Phillip Marlowe or Mike Hammer, or like most of the characters that have graced the pages of detective novels down through the years.
I do bear an unfortunate similarity to the circumference of Nero Wolfe; on the other hand, I have a better mustache than Thomas Magnum.
The truth of the matter is the modern professional investigator looks nothing like the stereotypes we're all familiar with--it's more important for a PI to be smart and skilled than tough and physically aggressive. Smarts I have, and I'm working on the skills.
Mind you, it's not quite as easy as taking a class--in Massachusetts, you must either work for a licensed PI, or for an attorney (or legal firm) that employs PIs for at least 3 years before you can apply for your own license (that's the broad outline of the license requirement; there's a slightly different set of requirements if you come from a law enforcement background). After that, it's another set of hurdles
before I reach my long term goal, of becoming a Certified Criminal Defense Investigator (CCDI). Along the way, it's constantly keeping up with new techniques and new laws, new practices and new information. You can't sit on your ass on this kind of job--well, maybe during surveillance...
So, why am I doing this? A lot of reasons--some practical, some emotional/psychological, and at least one spiritual.
The practical reason is the easiest to explain: our economy has taken a severe hit, and I'm worried about layoffs. I wanted a skill-set that made me "untouchable"-- that is, gave me employment that can't be outsourced, digitized, or automated. I'm a little old (and a bit too clumsy) to become a plumber's apprentice, so when I saw the add for this course, I jumped at it.
The emotional/psychological reason...well, I think anyone who has read any of my journal knows about the mid-life crisis I've been experiencing. Some guys deal with it by buying a car--I chose a change in career.
The spiritual reason I'm not really sure I'm ready to discuss yet. Maybe in a later post.
And now, you know. I'll be writing more later--including a post about an ethical right hook the chief instructor threw the class about two weeks back. It's a nail-chewer.