Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Interview with Johnny Corcoran, PI

I’ve been interviewing people in different occupations just to see what sorts of daily stressors they encounter, and how they manage them.

Today I had the opportunity to interview Johnny Corcoran. Johnny is a great guy who I met at the coffee shop across the street from where I live. He is full of stories. He loves to talk about his interesting experiences as a Private Investigator. His stories have led me to the conclusion that I have nowhere near the stress tolerance that it takes to be a PI. So I sat down with him to ask him how he does it.

I asked him what sorts of stressors he encounters as a Private Investigator.

He says it’s very much a results-based job. However, the results depend on many variables. He is under a lot of pressure to come up with evidence, just as the police are. He can produce the evidence, but it’s useless when you can’t get it in.

He says, “Sometimes evidence can’t be admitted into court. Sometimes clients don’t understand that, but it’s not my fault.”

He can produce all of the evidence, but it’s ultimately up to the judge/jury how to they interpret that evidence.

• There are so many things outside of your control, how do you handle disappointments?

Very matter-of-factly, he said, “I have a contract, which is the only way to do it. Getting money out of them can be tough.”

• Describe some stress responses you’ve seen from the people you’ve been investigating.

“One guy chased me, some people will deny that it is them in the video.” Laughing wryly, he says, “Well it sure looks like you…”

• In a job where stress is pretty much expected, what, in particular stresses you out about the job?

“When the money doesn’t come in, when the jobs aren’t coming in, that is stressful.
The long hours were stressful to my wife because I was always working. The long hours drained my marriage. When you love someone, you don’t want to leave them on their birthday. She got over it, but it adds up over a long time.”

Freelancing is stressful, coping with the highs & lows of a paycheck

He says, in a field where most people either die early or retire early. “I’ve been at it for 20 years, which I think is pretty good.”

• I think that is incredible. How do you do it?

“I ride my motorcycle, for one. Talking about the cases with other people, other PIs, cops, relieves stress. I come to the coffeeshop, go to parties; basically it’s interaction with other people.

And if anyone ever bugs you, you can always say, ‘I know people who know people who rob people.’”

c. 2010

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