Mack’s Craic

Mind Field

Mind Field

There’s no mirror in the gents at the fast food restaurant I went to this week. Is it a psychological trick to make you buy more food? After all, if you looked in the mirror and thought maybe you should go for a healthier option, you might not buy as much of their high calorie, deep fried, sugar filled, processed fat.

Every business uses psychological tricks. I used to work as an air-conditioning engineer in Sydney Australia. One of the businesses I looked after had a huge open-plan office with about a hundred people working at desks. They complained because some people were too hot and some were too cold. It was the never “just right” for everyone. We monitored the temperature in various parts of the office over a couple of weeks, using monitors that printed out graphs. The temperatures were consistent in every part of the room, never going above or below 22 degrees Celsius, by more than half a degree. The solution was simple; we fitted thermostats to each of the four walls. We told the staff that if the temperature wasn’t quite right, adjust the nearest thermostat. If you’re too hot, turn it down until the blue “cooling” light comes on. If you’re too cold, turn it up until the red “heating” light comes on. The staff didn’t know that all that the thermostats did was control the little blue and red lights. They weren’t connected to the control system for the air-conditioning at all. We never got another complaint.

Since I’ve been working in radio, I’ve witnessed that many physiological tricks, I’ve lost count. I worked at a radio station that had a fleet of promotional vehicles called Black Thunders. There were two in the fleet, painted on one side of one was “Black Thunder 3” on the other side of the same vehicle it said “Black Thunder 5”.  The other one had “Black Thunder 7” on one side and “Black Thunder 8” on the other.

Casinos are the best at psychological tricks. If you’ve ever been to Las Vegas, you’ll notice that casinos have no windows to the outside world and no clocks, so you lose track of time. All  of your drinks are free as long as you continue gambling, you can’t check in to your hotel without walking through the casino first, because the “front” desk isn’t at the front, it’s on the other side of the casino, in fact you can’t go anywhere in the hotel without walking through the casino. The patterns on the carpets are uncomfortable to look at so you keep your head up and look at the tables and the slots and because no one likes to walk up to an empty gaming table, they pay people called “shills” to gamble on them with the casino’s money.

Come to think of it, casinos and that fast food place have a lot in common. There are chips, drinks and it doesn’t matter if it’s your money or you’re health, it’s still gambling!     

Craic on!

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One Response to “Mack’s Craic”

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