my honest answer: Well, this has to be one of the most direct questions I’ve ever received.
And it’s ironic, because in essence, you’re asking me a direct question, about how to find something out without asking a direct question.
Because, obviously, if you’d like to know what your neighbors do, the most common solution is just to ask them.
I’m not suggesting you just walk right up to strangers and demand to know how they make a living. But it is operating with the normal social conventions to introduce yourself, act in a neighborly fashion, and get to know them. And then ask.
The fact that this doesn’t seem like the obvious answer makes me think the following:
- you’ve tried this, and, although you know them, you have been unable to find out what jobs they do.
- or, you don’t want to get to know them, and you’re looking for a legal but less obvious route than asking them.
Which makes me think this:
- if they don’t want you to know, that’s up to them.
- espionage is not really my thing, sorry. I’m sure your favorite search engine can assist?
But really, why do you want to know so badly? If it were something really interesting (I’m thinking undercover agent, for example), then you would never know anyway. And if it’s not something really interesting, why do you want to know?
Which all leads me to this: sorry, I really need more info. Specifically on the following:
- Why you can’t ask them
- What you think they might do
- Why your interest has been piqued
- Any evidence of employment eg:
- Hours they’re out of the house
- Whether they seem to spend time travelling for business
- What types of vehicles they use (van? car? bicycle?)
- What they wear when going out or to work
- Whether they carry anything with them (briefcase, toolbox)
- Any deliveries that are regularly made to the house
(Despite that rather long list, seriously, espionage is not my thing).
Does anyone have neighbors with really unusual jobs? How did you come to find out what they did for a living?