If you are an avid fan of watching CSI Miami then you probably have this impression that we all run around looking really glamorous and solve every crime we come across? But what is it really like to be a CSI in 'Reality'? Is being a CSI glamorous in real life as they portray it to be on the TV? Do I go around in high heels and a skirt (I wish) finding evidence with numerous lasers and sprays. Or do I just get given a 'unisex' (just read mans) uniform and a fingerprint brush? Ive put together a few examples of what I really get up to, it may not be girly or glamorous but it can be fun.
One of my least favourite items of terrible uniform I am provided with are my wellies. It doesn’t matter what size you order, they are always two sizes too big which leads you to walk like a clown. Not a good look and is definitely not glamorous in any way shape or form. Would they wear these on CSI Miami?
Then there is the reason you are wearing the wellies in the first place, you are clearly going somewhere muddy or so disgusting an overshoe/standard boot just won’t do. My latest adventures in these hideous items of footwear took me to a sticky mud flat where a body had very inconveniently washed up. (As inconvenient as this story though? For me yes this is worse!) If you trod one step too far towards the water your welly would sink and you would need to be rescued by another welly wearer!
I’ve been lucky enough to go up in a few cherry pickers in my career and thankfully I’m not scared of heights. Have you looked at the little cage on top of an extending ladder and thought that it would be great to have a go in that? I have, and I can confirm it is fuuuuunnnn!!! But you have to look like a right idiot to go up in one due to ‘Health & Safety’. Boooo! It doesn’t matter who you are, a hard hat is never a good look, very unglamorous in my opinion, but needs must! If the ‘Illustrious Leader’ of the day wishes to have an aerial photograph of a burnt house roof, or an overview of how overloaded a lorry is, I'm your girl. I imagine CSI Miami would make this superbly glamorous; I need to get me on to that CSI scene set!
I seem to spend a lot of time in bushes or tree lined hedgerows with decomposing corpses. This isn’t how I thought my career being a CSI would be as this is most definitely not glamorous is it! When it’s been hot and a body isn’t discovered for a while it is thoroughly unpleasant to go even slightly near it, let alone how close I have to be. If I’m lucky I only need to photograph the scene. However if luck is not on my side I have to touch them, slime, maggots and all. This is definitely ‘CSI Reality’ rather than ‘CSI Miami’; you dont see them in a bush next to maggots do you?
Never in a million years did I think my job could get this low and grim, but it did and it still makes me gag thinking of it! I’m sure you are wondering what on earth this is all about. While I was in this situation I was definitely asking myself “when did my life get this bad?” One of the ways that CSI Miami is slightly true, is that they have several colours of torch light to search with. We have one light that specifically searched for semen and whilst you are wearing the sexy green goggles that come with the light, it will fluoresce, but so will all manner of things!
A lot of other things will appear with the light too that once were nicely invisible. You literally wouldn’t touch anything if you went around wearing these goggles, shining the blue light on things. What was the location chosen for me to search on this particular day? It was…….a males’ urinal stall! Oh my life!!!! So much shone out at me I didn’t even know where to begin! Potentially one of the least glamorous situations I have ever been in!
Yes this is real, sometimes the items we have to touch and pick up are the unglamorous element. On this occasion I had to scrape sick off of a pavement in the middle of a road as it was deemed by my ‘Illustrious Leader’ as ‘Evidence’! If by some chance I can actually complete this task without flicking it all in my face it will be placed in a freezer and forgotten forever. (Read 9 things I hate to pick up if you want to read about what else I have had to touch in my glamorous career!)
What is this all about I hear you ask? Well, when people have been assaulted we will take photographs of their injuries for court. It ranges from black eyes, grazes, the odd stab wound etc etc. Some of the injured areas are not just on the face and arms, they can be anywhere and we need to try and capture it. Most people are usually traumatised due to the event; so inevitably needing to be photographed can be overwhelming and embarrassing.
Today however, my ‘customer’ was not body shy. For our safety and theirs we will always leave the door open or have a chaperone. This guy wasn’t bothered about being photographed by a male, he was very happy to have me it seems. He told me he had bruising on his chest, so off came his top, but whilst I had my back turned he mumbled something about his legs. What happened next? Obviously I turned around to be confronted with a man in just his pants, doing some kind of pose! Instead of photographing him in his manly pose I popped next door to my office. He now had a burly man with a beard behind the camera, and this it seems was not quite what my customer had in mind. Suddenly his trousers were back on and there was nothing that needed photographing, what a surprise!
I do this on a weekly basis and although its not the most pleasant of settings I’m not particularly troubled by it. One unglamorous part of it is the extra hideous 'uniform' you are given on top of your mans uniform! You are required to wear a plastic apron, overshoes, plastic arms sleeves on occasions and gloves. If the deceased has certain diseases you need to also wear a tight fitting mask, sometimes for many many hours! Hot!
Today I am very grateful to be wearing all of the above! This particular dead body has a very large abscess which was straining under the pressure of the fluid within. My job requires me to get up close at times to photograph tiny details the pathologist points out. I had just finished doing this near the large growth and had turned away just in time it seems. It chose that moment to explode under the light pressure from the knife and had sprayed all over the floor & wall where I had just been standing! Would this happen on CSI Miami? I don’t think so!
Unpleasant. Not glamorous. Just read 9 things I hate to pick up as I cant bear to type it all again!
I think everyone would agree that this is not a glamorous role for anyone, let alone a CSI. Bodies are fingerprinted when they cannot be visually identified. Either because no-one knows who they are or they are so badly decomposed/injured they are not suitable to be viewed by family or friends. The latter is why I can’t stand this. Because I have to touch the decomposing hand which is either covered in maggots, slime or the skin is beginning to come off. Technique required; pull back the fingers with yours, try to cover it in ink, stick a sticker on a finger and hope that you get a good mark. Muck it up? Repeat!
Crawling through anything small, in the dark on your hands and knees is never going to be top of the glamour list is it! Imagine several shipping containers welded together to make a cannabis cultivation and guess whose job it is to photograph it? I’m quite petite so off I went to photograph the set-up before they took the sides of the containers off! It was very hot, dusty, stank of weed and was pitch black. Im sure the people who grew stuff in here turned on the lights but for safety reasons we had to turn the electric off! So its dark, and I mean really dark! When I eventually crawled back out of the hole obviously I was filthy! Oh what a glamorous job being a CSI is!
Don’t u agree? Just
like on TV!
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