I am reminded of a colleagues recent tale that saw him end up in court disputing a parking ticket. This guy had taken his wife to a cinema to see a film, bear in mind this was the same cinema they had visited together for over a decade.

Upon leaving the cinema one evening they were greeted with a parking ticket placed on the windscreen of their car. Unbeknown to them, the area surrounding the cinema had been changed and now required a valid pay and display ticket to be shown.

My colleague felt slightly annoyed because looking around there were no visible signs alerting drivers to this change in law. As he was about to get into his car he glanced up and high on a lamp post was a small sticker notifying the public of the change.  As a result he decided to challenge the parking ticket and after a few months found himself in court.

He preempted the judge would claim the man should have paid more attention to his surroundings and as a result prepared a small statement for the judge to read aloud:

[box]As we drove down the street next to the cinema, someone pulled out and we took one of the two empty spots that were there. It was upon returning from the film that we noticed a ticket on the the windscreen of our car. It was only after seeing the ticket did we realise the sign stating the change to the parking zone.[/box]

Not only did the judge read it aloud, she recorded it on a small Dictaphone on her desk. Upon finishing reading, My colleague thanked her and told her she had just “Proven his point” He then showed her the duplicate “the” before the word “windscreen”.

He told the judge;

“If you play back the recording you will see that you read it only as one “the”, even though the other was in plain sight next to it. That’s because that is what you expected to see. Likewise, I didn’t expect to see the sign on the lamp post because the area looked exactly how I expected to see it.”

The judge smirked and told him;

“Alright…case dismissed.”

This story highlights perfectly that as human beings we base our assumptions on our previous experiences. We learn as a result of these assumptions as they form a set of expectations. Expectations that can sometimes catch us out.

Have fun with your friends by catching them out. Have them read aloud this phrase below:

Can you read minds?


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