“I was RIGHT there…” “I was watching them every minute.” “One moment it was there, the next moment it was gone.” We hear these comments again and again on Too Good to be Threw. Heck, I even get notes from shopkeepers who have found HowToConsign.com , our consumer-focused site, asking over and over again: Tell me how to stop shoplifting!
It happens to all retail shopkeepers sooner or later. Something goes missing… and you are sure that you were extra-vigilant. In fact, you’re pretty darn sure you know who stole that sweater, slip, sled from your shop. You were watching them like a hawk, right? And they still stole from you.
The thing is, you want to learn from this experience so it won’t happen again. You can read all the information you want, but nothing will help if you don’t learn how your attention can be easily diverted. Here’s a test that will stun and amaze you. It was in Oprah magazine a month or two ago, in an article by Martha Beck. First, do what I say in the next paragraph without reading on. Then, come back here to read the rest of my post here, and you will find out something amazing about paying attention.
Go to http://viscog.beckman.uiuc.edu/grafs/demos/15.html . There’s a short video clip there (click on the arrow to start it.) Watch it and count how many times the white-shirted team passes the basketball.
Don’t continue reading until you count how many times the white-shirted team passes the basketball.
Got it? Did you count how many times the basketball was passed? Good for you! Now here’s the thing: several seconds into the film, a gorilla walks through the scene, even pauses and thumps his chest. Did you even notice that? Very few people do. Go ahead, go watch it again. The gorilla is real (well, it’s not real-real, but you know what I mean.)
So, how did that shoplifter steal from you? Distraction. I told you to count the ball passes… the shoplifter might have done something that was equally as compelling for you to watch, then concealed the stolen item just as flagrantly.
Lesson learned? Watch for the guy in the gorilla suit. Don’t get so caught up in what someone wants you to see, that you become blind to everything else.