Richard Gumshoe wakes up at 7:00AM. He quietly slips on a pair of nondescript jeans and a black t-shirt. He jealously looks at his wife, who gets to sleep in. He attempts to sneak out slowly, ninja-style, without waking her—but before he's able to make it out the door, he hears her voice call out from the bedroom.
"Don't forget it's your turn to make dinner tonight," she says.
He winces. He's a terrible ninja. He's also a horrible cook. He'll have to get creative.
As he gets into his car, Richard recalls the late-night call from work. An insurance company is pretty sure that their claimant is making a fraudulent claim, and they want his company to check it out. Richard's boss needs him to get over to the guy's house by 8:00AM to trail him.
Checking his watch, he sees he has ten minutes to grab a box of donuts and head across town. Awesome.
Richard parks down the street from the house of the claimant (someone who makes a claim to try to collect from their insurance company). He gets his camera and video camera ready. According to the insurance company, Mr. Lee Tigious is suing for workman's comp.
Lee claims that he slipped in the hallway and can no longer work or use his neck. It's a classic whiplash case, and whiplash is one of those injuries that's difficult to prove because muscles and ligaments don't show up in x-rays.
He sees Lee walk out of the house wearing a neck brace and snaps a couple of photos. Lee gently lowers himself into his car and pulls out of the driveway. Richard follows at a safe distance. He doesn't want to blow his cover.
At 8:45AM, the end of the journey brings them both to a beauty salon.
"Weird," Richard thinks as he snaps pictures. He gets out of his car so he can take pictures from across the street, ducking down behind a bush to remain invisible. Lee sits down at a chair as a stylist cuts away at his hair.
The smell of pastrami drifts from a deli. Richard figures that he can run in for a minute to grab a sandwich. When he gets back to the car, he can't seem to find the guy. He looks for Lee and sees him way down at the light.
Richard throws the half sandwich onto the passenger seat and gets the engine going. Lee's car starts to turn out of his line of sight. Richard quickly drives after him with one mustard-covered hand on the wheel and the other holding the camera.
Lee is gone by the time he gets to the light. Not to worry; using the web browser on his phone, Richard looks at the traffic report and figures his target will get stuck a couple of blocks ahead. Sure enough, he sees Lee rocking out to Bon Jovi in his car in a way that can't possibly be good for his neck. Richard snaps some photos.
Lee drives to the mall. Richard is hoping he'll do something stupid like go to a batting cage, so he can get back to the office and look up some healthy recipes for tonight. No such luck. Lee goes into a department store. As the suspect mills around the men's department, Richard pretends to browse in the women's.
He sees Lee leave through the front door as he's buying socks. Richard sprints out the front door. He notices Lee is looking through the passenger-side window of his car, presumably at his camera bag.
Hoping he's not busted, Richard walks over casually. "Can I help you with anything?" he asks. Sometimes the best way to handle confrontation is to get it out of the way. And if things turn violent, screaming like a little kid and curling up in the fetal position is always an option.
"Yeah, where did you get your sandwich? It looks delicious," Lee asks while pointing at the half-eaten sandwich on the passenger seat. His cover is still intact. Richard gives him directions to the deli and almost a hug, too, before he checks himself.
He then waits about two minutes after Lee takes off and follows him over there.
He pulls the car up a small distance from the deli. From across the street he's able to see Lee sitting down with the sandwich. Lee is unable to get enough mobility to bring the huge pastrami sandwich up to his face. He takes off the neck brace, and Richard starts videotaping. The owner of the deli walks up to Lee. He sees Lee grin, shake his head vigorously, give a thumbs-up, and throw his arms around the owner.
I don't blame the guy. That deli makes some good sandwiches. Not worth blowing your case over, though, Richard thinks. Stakeout complete for the day, he drives back to the office, getting there at 11:30AM.
Richard's boss sees him walk through the door. Ardie Ardmore is an ex-police officer with a no-nonsense policy around the office. He wants every case done by the book and only hires private detectives with a degree in criminal law.
"What did you get?" he asks Richard.
"A really good sandwich," he says while walking into his office. With Richard, Ardie got a degree and a sense of humor.
He spends the next couple of hours working on an adopted kid case. A nineteen-year-old is looking to track down his biological parents. Richard goes through the information he's accumulated thus far—a series of old addresses and phone numbers.
Lacking the latest software (it's expensive), he has a simple computer program he got a grad student to write for a couple hundred bucks that reads out phone numbers so that he doesn't have to manually search spreadsheets.
Richard hates spreadsheets.
Finally, around 1:00PM, he's successful in his efforts to find the boy's father. It turns out he's passed away, but the good news is that he died rescuing six people from a burning building. That should fill the kid with inestimable pride and take some of the sting out of the news. Not every day in the PD world is about solving crimes and rescuing kittens.
Richard glances at his daily calendar to make sure he has time to grab some shut eye. He notices that he has an interview with a witness for another insurance workman's comp claim at 2:00PM. Ardie's agency primarily handles the needs of small insurance companies.
Richard interviews the witness at her place of work, which happens to be a bakery. He figures that scarfing a couple of pastries couldn't hurt. He's already ruined his diet today anyway.
Stopping by the office at 4:00PM to check in for the last time, he tries not to see Ardie. He fails the moment he walks in. Ardie gives him some paperwork to fill out for a court case. Richard has to make sure all of his findings are carefully organized for the lawyer. The receptionist pokes her head into his office.
"I have to leave early today. My boyfriend is out of town and I need to go find a rat or something to feed his iguana." she explains.
It gives Richard and idea, "Hey, did you bring in lunch today?"
"Yeah, but I didn't eat it. You want it?"
Richard grabs her lunch out of the refrigerator and checks the time. He's got enough time to race home to throw her lunch into some bowls before his wife comes home. In this line of work, it pays to be resourceful.