As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been watching a lot of episodes from 24 and it was only two days ago that I realized how much I had learned from observing how negotiators and interrogators think. Here’s what happened to me on that day:
A mail man from the Aramex company rings the doorbell to deliver a package 3baid had ordered through an online shopping website for one of his relatives. As usual, the house cook confronts the mail man at the door and asks 3baid’s seven-year-old brother, who was playing nearby, to go get money to pay off the shipping fee.
3baid’s Brother: Fee wa7id burra igool 3inda goo6y 7aggik o yabi floos. (There’s a man outside who says he has a box for you and wants money)
3baid: How much does he want?
3baid’s Brother: Sit dananeer o nu99. (Six-and-a-half dinars)
3baid hands over the money to his brother and waits for him to bring the package upstairs back to his room. Something didn’t feel right though; six-and-a-half KD sounded too large a sum for such a small package. Aramex charges 2.5 KD on the first kilogram then 0.75 KD on additional kilos. Is 6.5 KD a multiple of 0.75 plus 2.5? His brother interrupts again, hands over the package without its receipt and quickly leaves the room.
3baid prepares to leave the house to deliver the package to his relative when he noticed, “6.000 KD” scribbled on the package. To further investigate, he called the house cook:
3baid: Where’s the receipt for today’s package?
Cook: Ana attaita o’7ooy ilyoom soboh. Fee nuss dinar baa’d. (I gave it to your brother this morning along with half a dinar)
3baid’s brother has a history of asking for money to take to school. When he’s given some, he demands for more arguing that he might need the change for another day. What he’s after however, is more icecream and pricier food such as burgers and moreover to fulfill his constant urge to impress his friends there. An extra 500 fils would be very convenient for him; the opportunity would be too tempting to resist. 3baid goes to his brother and demands more information.
3baid: Where is the receipt?
3baid’s Brother: [Hesitant] Um.. Chinna irrayal ‘7atha. (I think the man took it)
3baid: That’s impossible, he has to sign and hand it back to you. Find it now.
3baid’s brother had hidden the fee under one of the living room tables and pretended it was lost. Feeling guilty, he reached under and pulled it out before he could be accused of anything. 3baid took a good look at the crunched up piece of paper and indeed it was 6 KD and there must’ve been a 500 fils change.
3baid: Where is the half KD?
3baid’s Brother: [Worried] Wulla irrayal ‘7atha! Ana lazim asawee wajibaty..[runs] (I swear the man took it! I have to go do my homework..)
It was pointless to question him any further because 3baid felt it was not his position to do so and alternatively pretended to let go of the matter. Instead, 3baid called his mother on her phone on the drive to his relative’s home.
3baid: Mom, there was a package for me this moring. My brother claimed it was 6-and-a-half KD and I later found out that it was 6. He tried to hide the fee and denies having the change.
Mother: You’re brother wouldn’t steal from you, he’s only 7 years old. I’m sure he might’ve forgotten it.
3baid: There’s no mistake, I’ve contacted the cook and he was present when the payment was made; there’s no doubt about it.
Mother: Go take the money from him.
3baid: I don’t want the money; 500 fils is not what I’m worried about! My own brother tried to steal money and he needs to understand that it’s not okay and you’re the only one who can be blunt to him about it.
Mother: I’ll talk to him when he’s done with his homework.
3baid: Just make sure he doesn’t get rid of the evidence by spending it at the nearby tuck shop -I got to go.
The following day.
Mother: 3baid, here’s your money.
3baid: I don’t want the money!
Mother: Your brother said he found it in one of his pockets.
3baid: So he didn’t admit anything. At least he has a good conscience.
Mother: Remember your brother can sometimes be very forgetful.
3baid: He couldn’t have forgotten. The change, reciept and box all came together so if he had taken the box alone, we would’ve found the reciept and the money in the same place. What he told me was very inconsistent and the fact that the receipt was hidden is evident that he was trying to cover up his tracks.
Mother: Please don’t mention this to him again, he’s very sensitive about these things.
3baid: I won’t. I just need him to stop being so deceiving and learn to be honest.