Ethical or not?

I still relish the thought of getting into the standard social group discussions about what people do for a living and use the moments before it is my turn to decide how best to deliver my long since polished lines about being a Private Investigator. Whether this is because I still love what I do, or simply that I love people’s reactions to what I do, I am not sure.

One thing that I do know however, is that for every ten people that pat me on the back for offering our clients the truth and giving them moral ammunition etc, there will be one that despises the whole business and looks upon us as the scourge of their otherwise anonymously shrouded lives.

While this viewpoint is normally brushed off with the line “If what we do worries you, maybe we should be talking to your wife!” and the laughter and banter that normally follows, one still asks the question of oneself “Are they right?” and it is that that I would like to talk about for a moment.

There is of course no doubt that by the very nature of what we do, we are invading our target’s privacy (and anyone in the business that tells you otherwise is either delusional or lying) but the question is simply how much privacy should one be afforded if what they are suspected of doing is causing another person such extreme distress that they cant sleep, cant eat and cant work for worrying?

The privacy to cheat on their wife or husband? The privacy to lie to their children about why they couldn’t make it to their sports day? Or how about the privacy to hide a complete separate family that they are raising in parallel to another?

When we work, we have to look at what is justified and what isn’t. It is this search for justification that leads us to ask all of our new clients why they suspect their partner of cheating. The reasons will always vary to some degree, but the effect of these suspicions is always the same.

If we can help people get answers to questions that they have otherwise been unable to answer themselves, then I believe that that is all the justification we need to do what we do. Of course, the Target will always argue that we are underhand and devious but that simply raises the question: If you are innocent, what do you have to hide?

That one person in our social group discussion will argue against us to all who will listen, but the irony of them doing so is remarkably clear to all who they spill their pinot gregio over that evening: Why do you care so much?

The day after these events is always primed to take the call from their partners, and nine times out of ten, it always comes.

Long live the dinner party.

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