I was heading to an interview; not the “change your life” kind. No, alas. It was just a regular interview, for a case I was working on.

Obviously, the second most important tool is a good voice recorder; first most important being, ahem, your questions.

Questions, check. Good questions, if I am allowed to say so myself. Voice recorder, check. Good machine, modern, digital, and so forth.

Batteries? Check. Good batteries, well known brand. Used just once, for a couple of minutes. “Checked” actually was done only bu looking inside the battery compartment, to see if the things were in there. They were. Good enough for me (or so I thought).

Packed and ready to go? Check. Beautiful morning, breakfast great, full of life.

Arriving at interviewee address, I prepare everything and start the voice recorder thingy; a brief red light, and then silence. No, I really mean silence. My interviewee was staring at me, not understanding why my face turned purple in an instant; me, silent for lack of anything human to say, and the machine silent because, well, batteries were dead.

Did I mention the interview was taking place in a remote area, some 20 kms from the city, basically a manufacturing unit in the middle of a large field. No shops, no spare batteries in my backpack, therefore no way to get a couple of AA’s in time (decent time) for redressing the situation.

Long story short: interview was canceled. Interviewee had a good laugh, me not. Two hours after my arrival back in the office I was still purple.

That was a lesson learned the hard way. Prepare everything to the smallest detail, and then, after you checked everything, check again. And this is true for any case I handle, and for any (and I mean any) job I undertake on behalf of my clients. True for the last 25 years of professional investigations, my main, sole, and only occupation.

And I hate purple, for what is worth.