It was one thing to question me, it was another thing to threaten to steal my equipment. Throughly upset I was now in a position to be more defensive. Mr. Portly was not thinking clearly. I had explained by this point, and to his underling, who had hired me and where they were from. It took me a few minutes to find a phone number in the emails. I happily provided them with the number. Had Mr. Portly bothered to call the immediate property manager, the situation would not have gotten worse, and did it get worse. Mr. Portly grew more agitated that he couldn't into my emails, was told no to ceasing my equipment, and was upset that he was not informed that this was supposed to happen. I explained that I was hired to be there and everyone was to be notified. I tried to explain that it was out of my control if he was not notified and that was not something I was supposed to do. Mr. Portly then proceeded to boss his underling around, "take a picture of his car, take his license plate number, don't let him leave." Mr. Portly was getting nowhere with his demands and frustrations. "I WILL call the cops, you are trespassing." "Go ahead, call the cops, I already told you I was hired to be here." Mr. Portly's underling stood close by and watched as I stood against my car.
It must have been the 4th time he asked me, "well who hired you?" "I already told you, you can call them too." Within a few minutes my client called me back and asked, "are you being held hostage?" "Why yes I am," I said. They told me they were going to call Mr. Portly and get it taken care of. We hung up. Two minutes later a police officer arrived. I explained to him why I was there, willfully offered to show the emails and the list of properties I had in town as well as around the area. Satisfied with what I showed him he strode up to Mr. Portly and told him what he had seen. Sarcastically I overheard Mr. Portly say, "I asked him to see those."
After a few moments of speaking, the officer came back up to me and told me, "they do not own the property and are renters. Since they are renters and can control who comes on the property, they do not want you here." "That is fine. I was asked to be here and I understand they do not want me here and I will leave." "Alright, you are free to go." I turned around, swung open the door, got in, and backed out. The officer followed me out on to the main road and watched me disappear.
My client called me back and asked if I was still being held hostage. I had been let go by the police and explained how the rest of the situation had gone down. On their end they received a bit of backlash. While Mr. Portly was operating within his rights to inquire why someone was on the premise and their motives, he took a simple thing and erupted it into a much unneeded situation. My client was very apologetic. Mr. Portly and his underling are federal employees and did a great job of upsetting people over a very small and well explained matter. As I keep saying and keep thinking, if he had called the immediate property manager, they would have clearly explained why I was there. Had that happened, two federal employees would not have held me hostage and threatened to steal my property.
When you are out in the field, keep phone the contact information of the people who hired you on hand. If you have some form of contract, keep they available as well. It is very crucial that you know where to fly and where not to fly. Always exercise common sense when flying and do so safely. I regard myself as a professional and hold myself to a very high standard. I am a people person and can navigate my way through a myriad of social situations with ease, however there are times when people's behavior can throw you off. Mr. Portly is an example of hostility that did that was unneeded and was better diffused with the assistance of an authority figure. I will not name the location or the federal agency that Mr. Portly works for, but what I will say is this, do your job to the best of your abilities without reservations, exercising the right amount of caution, and treat people with respect, you will be rewarded for your honesty.