The Wolf In Sheep Clothing
"An Art of Deception"
4:13 in the morning, 11 degrees outside and the wind is cutting through me like a knife through butter. I can't catch my breath as I’m sprinting across the parking lot. All of a sudden I see the headlights of a car turning the corner. I realize this could mean trouble. I dive behind my vehicle; luckily the engine was already running. But I still can’t get inside because it will set off the headlamp sensor and instantly expose my position. So I silently wait.
I can hear as the car is coming closer and closer. The closer it gets the faster my heart beats. I'm sweating even though it's freezing cold outside. As the car finally passes by me I simultaneously run onto the other side of my vehicle so they can't see my face. I wait until the car is out of site. Finally, now able to breathe again, I get into my car and off I go.
To work was where I was going, and a 5am meeting that I couldn’t miss. What I feared was the embarrassment of someone seeing me sprinting across a parking lot at 4 o’clock in the morning wearing a shirt and tie. I realized that what it LOOKED like I was doing was stealing a car, but in reality all I was doing was innocently moving my car a couple hundred yards from one parking lot to another. Why might you ask? Oh just a little deception that would save me from a tow bill. Let me explain.
My car had been in the parking lot of a bar since Friday night. From that point until this Tuesday morning I drove my second vehicle because I wasn’t able to find a ride back to my car over the weekend. This provides explanation as to why I was running from one car to another. I was afraid that the restaurant would have it towed if I didn’t move it into a different parking lot and make them think I had returned to get it; it’s been there for three days now! And I was running because of the 11 degree temperature and cold weather is my kryptonite. I figured that it would buy me another couple days to find a ride back to bring it home. And it worked.
Rewind to 2007; I’m a freshman in college. I lived in an unusual apartment complex with older students at the campus. This meant that my car wasn't approved for our parking lot. In fact, the closest approved parking lot was almost a mile away. Ridiculous considering that I worked every day during the week and this required driving my vehicle to and from. I needed transportation every single day, but they made it impossible to accommodate. So I took matters into my own hands and utilized a little deception for my own advantage.
Of course I received a parking ticket within the first 5 minutes of my first day being parked there. I swear they depended on parking tickets as a revenue stream. Anyway, I decided to use that same parking ticket to my advantage. I would replace the same parking ticking onto my car every day for the rest of the year, while moving it from one side of the parking lot to the other. And it WORKED for almost the whole year! Almost… until the last week of the semester when the campus police finally caught on to my game. Still to this day I don't think they have a clue how long I was doing this for, and obviously the whole administration was furious. I had to meet with the Dean of the college to discuss my future at the school. I actually thought I was going to be expelled, but I was ready to dispute it until I was blue in the face. I didn’t do anything illegal! So I met with the Dean (along with one of my roommates that I convinced to perform the same scheme) and we began what I thought was my last conversation in college.
As it turns out, it wasn't. He asked me to explain the situation, which I did, and he proceeded to compliment me for the witty maneuver. Eventually after following a harsh verbal reprimanding, (but no real punishment) I told him to hire smarter security guards, and on my way I went, scot free.
We all use deception to our own advantage and most of us don't even realize it! Moving my car 200 yards into a different parking lot to save it from being towed is my version. Your version may be slightly different. How about any and every picture that is posted on Facebook/ Instagram/ or any social media site on the internet today? Every selfie is edited through some type of ‘filter’ that makes us more attractive than we actually are. It's ALL FALSE ADVERTISING if you ask me! Where else in the world can you sell one thing but post a picture of something completely different?!? Nowhere. If you try to do that in business you will get sued. If you do that on online dating, you get a free meal. If you catch me at least..
I'm not cruel enough to leave a first date the moment I realize that she doesn't look anything like her pictures advertised. Nope, I stick it out. I’ve actually experienced this so often now that I’ve gotten to the point that I utilize this time as a practice communication session. I propose my theories and practice convincing her that she should buy what I'm selling. You could call it dating my 'ideas' to see if they can sell. Which leads me into a couple brief rules that I’ve learned to follow any time I attempt online dating, and I recommend that you use the same.
#1: The worst picture that they have is still considerably better than what they actually look like in real life. I'm sorry but this is true. Every picture goes through an app filter (not to mention the personal opinion filter) so the chances of seeing a realistic photo are less than winning the Powerball.
#2: The more blurry the pictures are, the less attractive they are. Common sense here, they even airbrush the pictures of supermodels! Blurriness is an easy way to hide our defects.
#3: If no body pictures are present, they are overweight. The super skinny people don't seem to have a problem posting images of themselves but some of the overweight do. Not all overweight people hesitate to do this but whenever you find it hard to locate a body picture, this is the reason why.
#4: No smile = bad or missing teeth. If they don't have any pictures with a big smile, that's because they don’t usually smile. I wonder why?
Dating is hard. Online dating is even harder. Deception can be utilized to benefit us all in many different areas but can I make a plea to everyone? Let’s remove the deception from the online dating scene?!! No one wins after the first date and it’s costing me a lot of money. We can collectively increase the success percentage of first dates by eliminating this false advertising.
Online dating is just one area that deception is can be detrimental, another is business. We all know the ‘brown-noser’s’ where we work. These people are nothing more than a false advertisement themselves! I’ve noticed that these people aren’t ever as good as they advertise themselves to be. They are just trying to convince us all that they are more valuable than they are in reality. It’s an attempt to keep their job because they don’t actually produce the results to keep it otherwise.
How can this be detrimental to a business? Because if a decision maker is convinced of a false reality, it can lead to bad decisions. For example, if I am convinced that a certain individual has an ability that he/she may NOT actually have, but I’m convinced through their self-advertising, I may promote that person into a role that they can’t handle. Then this leads to more bad business decisions being made because I have a person in a position that they are not ready or able to succeed in. Get it?
Deception can be used in many different ways. Find a way to use it to yours AND everyone else’s advantage. Fake online pictures and brown noser’s are creating a false reality in our world of real repercussions. Not to mention the money that I’m wasting on first dates…