I was going to write a blog about the strangest things that have happened to me when I’ve been out on a survey. Then it occurred to me – I can’t be the only one. This blog is therefore crowd-sourced from the experiences of colleagues past and present as well as my own adventures.
“I once got propositioned by a working girl then an hour later almost got arrested on suspicion of being a working boy!!!”
“I was stopped by the police at 3am as they thought I might be soliciting. I was wearing tights, thermals, a grotty tracksuit, fleece, gloves and a bobble hat. Apparently the standards in Ealing aren’t that high.”
“Had a tripod stolen but all of the rest of the equipment left in place!”
“Been stopped by police and told to be careful as they had reports of suspicious looking person in that location. I was the suspicious looking person.”
“I had agreed with a resident that I’d get into their garden by going over the wall, so that I wouldn’t disturb them for the night time measurements. The police arrived just as I was at the top of the ladder with one leg over the wall, dressed all in black with a hat and scarf on. I was quite surprised that when I said was doing a noise survey, they went away!”
“I got mobbed by seagulls on a rooftop in London and ended up in a&e.”
“Collected mic to find a slug sat on the diaphragm. Anyone know what the slug loading correction is?”
“I got trapped in a car in a field by horses gathering round the engine to keep warm.”
“I was stalked around a field by a herd of cows. Every time I stopped, they stopped too, but the ones at the back didn’t get the memo. Cow pile up.”
“A cow ate the windshield from the meter.”
“A horse ate the windshield from the meter.”
“I left the meter in a field with a goat. The windshield WASN’T eaten”
“The building had feral cats living in the walls. They were surprisingly noisy.”
“Have been cornered by a bull and had to escape over and fence and throw the equipment over a stream.”
“Measuring noise in a field in Suffolk, I noticed something round that looked like a rock in my measurement position (It was night so quite dark). So I gently hooked my foot under it and gave it a good kicked it out of the way. It travelled a good 12 feet, then after a while uncurled itself and waddled off. I had no idea it was a hedgehog. Sorry Mr hedgehog.”
“I had to call the fire brigade to have them put out a burning car in the middle of the fens at about 2am”
“I had a man offer me ‘special interest’ material”
“Saw a man taking his dog for a walk/run whilst he was driving alongside it, again, in the fens”
“Tried to measure outside a nightclub door way in Blackpool but there was a couple having sex in it. “I’ll come back later.””
“I got the meter on its tripod kicked down the street by a lady who was convinced I was filming her house.”
“A site security guard made me a ‘sexy’ mix tape and handed it to me when I was leaving site…then followed up by working out where I worked and calling me to ask me out. Extra creepy points.”
“I spent a night surveying in Kings Cross. One guy entertained himself for a long time by throwing chips at my head. I also picked up a hanger on who had missed the last train and was scared to spend the night alone.”
“Had builders sing the complete works of Neil Diamond into mic.”
“a) Found I was measuring in a cottaging hotspot and was propositioned several times.
b) One bored guy struck up a long conversation about my job while he was waiting to find someone to have sex with.
c) Retold above story at company internal conference only to find out the MD, who was present, lived on that street.”
“SI test in an occupied retirement home, using starting pistol for RT. Spent cartridge set fire to a rug.”
“Left a logger running in a timber framed furniture warehouse. double checked on it before leaving and found the power supply on fire.”
“I spent many hours sat in a car in the area north of Kings Cross from midnight waiting for a goods train to come through. The only one that night. Had accelerometers tied to a paper trace running almost continually. It was too long ago for digital recorders. After three and a half hours, paper needed changing. As we reached over to flick it over, train goes past! Doh.”
“I got a bit annoyed with some kids one night, and told them I was there finding ghosts. That got rid of them.”
“I’ve perfected a look now which stops people coming over to ask what I’m doing. Sometimes you can actually see them bounce off the glare and change path.”
Thanks and big love to Dan Pope, Paul Malpas, Dan Boote, Adrian Popplewell, Chris Clayden, Phil Mudge and Tracy Thompson for sharing their experiences!