A Smashing Crashing
By Kitty Hailey, FPA Storyteller
How do you get into a party at a posh hotel without being invited? You walk in. And that’s exactly what I had been hired to do.
People don’t always trust their spouses. As a licensed professional investigator, I’ve frequently been asked to check out where hubby is when the little woman is suspicious.
One such case was a work-related Christmas party a bunch of years ago. The wife wasn’t invited and she became very watchful. She presumed that she was intentionally not invited by her husband. She also informed me that it would not just be her husband’s male coworkers in attendance at the hotel holiday bash, but their cute little secretaries as well.
Now, I have never been described as cute, and I’m certainly not little, but in my day I’ve managed to put the package together quite well. So another investigator and I did what any team of sleuths would do; We dressed in our sexiest black cocktail dresses and highest heels, and decided to crash the party.
We knew in advance who we would be dealing with: a group of stock brokers and a company chauvinistic enough to not have a single woman on staff above the clerical wage. So we dressed for the part. Cleavage was obvious and we did the hair and makeup to the max.
When we arrived at the hotel, my fellow investigator and I feigned being so wrapped up in our conversation that we didn’t look at anyone except each other. And just like that, we were able to slip into the party under the noses of the unsuspecting hotel staff.
We could hear the hubbub of voices in full chatter, laughter, and the clinking of glasses as we made our way toward the ballroom. We kept walking until two things happened:
1. We were in the center of the dance floor with tables all around us.
2. All the voices stopped and the room became silent.
I had a most uncomfortable feeling that all eyes were on me. I looked right and my undercover partner looked left. The assembled businessmen, all in fine business attire and spiffy designer shoes, were staring in our direction. I looked left and she looked right, and we realized we had made a drastic mistake.
This was a stockbroker-only party. There wasn’t a woman in sight except the one beside me.
Oh my god! They thought we were the entertainment!
We both smiled in embarrassment and I loudly announced, “Oh no. I think we’re in the wrong room!” Fortunately, the man nearest me walked forward and thrust a glass of champagne in my hand. “No, you’re not,” he said. And for the next two hours almost 198 of the 200 assembled guests made moves on us.
I was giddy from all the wine, but the philodendron next to the bar was drunker. We flirted and acted amazingly inappropriate as we made our way around the room, looking for our subject. After all, that’s what we were being paid to do! And it was fun. Fantastic fun.
By the end of the evening my ego soared, but my investigator’s ethic was being challenged until I finally observed the errant husband.
I had nearly missed him. As I sat rather intoxicated on a bar stool, I looked passed the lothario staring at my boobs and saw the man I should have been following. He was holding hands with a male coworker in the corner of the bar where they had been drunkenly making out all night. The two had apparently chosen this party to “come out” about their relationship.
So much for the cute little secretaries! My subject never even noticed that I existed. And for good reason.
Our work was done. We made a less elegant exit–rather drunk, extremely tired, feeling a little sordid with very sore feet. In the end we were successful! Case closed.
Kitty Hailey is a professional investigator. She is also the author of dozens of short stories and articles related to her profession, as well as several books on investigation and ethics. www.kittyhailey.com