A polygraph, he’s a lie detector – it’s cool. Somehow, be sure to try, at least to broaden your horizons. In their personal lives, they won’t especially delve into it, only in some of its aspects.
I was doubly lucky with the polygraph – it was possible to put a small experiment on this process, because I went through it twice, at the same job, with the same polygraph examiner. Even, probably, the apparatus was the same, although there was a gap of 6 years between the procedures.
So, I was looking for work somehow. I came to some people, talked with the commercial director and aunts from the financial and economic department, everything seemed to work out well. For some reason, they dragged a computer with their base, asked to look and say something. Well, I looked and said – you are keeping records with your left heel. They bloomed straight and said that I fit them.
They also wanted to test my competencies, and they did such checks through another office, where some programmers sit. Well, they called, they wanted to schedule an interview with the programmers for me, but it didn’t work out – I used to work where they called, and although I left with a scandal, they described me very well from a professional point of view.
In short, all one to one. I joyfully rub my hands, and my aunts smile and say: I still need to go through the polygraph.
I was upset and said that I did not want to go through any polygraphs. They were also upset, and wished me good luck in finding a job.
After this, an interview took place in a pool of blood. There, on the first day of work, everything was so good that the idea of going through a polygraph seemed quite interesting to me. And I wrote an apologizing letter – they say, so and so, changed my mind, let’s get my polygraph.
To be honest, I thought they would send it. But no, they were again happy, they appointed me a date, time and gave me the address. I dumped from the slaughterhouse and went to the polygraph.
Arrived, so I come in, they lead me to a separate room, there a girl sits and a polygraph is standing. This is a small device with a bunch of wires connected to a laptop.
The girl smiles sweetly, says that I should not be afraid, and sit down in a comfortable chair. I asked to turn off the phone and, in general, do not worry about anything. Go to the toilet, if necessary, because then it will be problematic to do it – the procedure will last three hours.
She put me in a chair, connected to the device. I don’t remember exactly the location of the sensors, I remember that there were several of them. One was definitely on the finger, like something was picked up to the chest.
Briefly explained the principle of the polygraph. The device reads several indicators, and gives the result, in fact, in the form of a variable of the “Boolean” type: is there a reaction or not. Well, there are some intermediate states, they can also be taken into account.
To understand where exactly I have zero and where is one, calibration is performed. He asks questions, the answer to which is known in advance. For example, “your name is Ivan?”, I have to say “Yes” – it will be zero. And if you answer “No”, it will be a unit, i.e. the presence of a reaction showing that I’m lying.
The girl behaved politely, courteous, but not mentally. It seems that it should be so – we met about 10 minutes ago. But then a wonderful coincidence happened that changed everything.
A wonderful coincidence
After calibration, the girl began to leaf through my resume and ask where I worked, what was there, why I left, etc. This was not a polygraph, but rather, tryndet.
Well, I’ll take it and blurt out about the beautiful day spent at the slaughterhouse. Specifying the name of the company, the girl blossomed directly – it turns out she literally interviewed them just a few days ago. On this basis, we talked.
She said that she works as an outsourcer, with a one-time payment for each polygraph conducted. Pig found her and tried to hunt her down, but she wanted to pay a salary, forbid working with other companies, force them to stay with them all day. Yes, and the salary was two times less than what she earned now. In general, also walked through a pool of blood.
For about 15 minutes we had a fun competition, who would better endorse the epithet about the slaughterhouse and its employees. On the way, she said that she was a physician, a doctor, or a psychiatrist, or a psychologist (I don’t remember), but she mastered the polygraph and made money on it. And in general, she likes everything, especially the combination of free schedule, piecework payment and high income.
But then professionalism prevailed over emotions, and the girl offered to return to the procedure, for which we gathered there.
What was asked
They did not ask anything particularly interesting.
Interested in theft, at work and in general. Honestly, he stole a couple of homeless packages in the supermarket when he was a student and lived in a hostel. There was no money, but I wanted to eat. I also re-glued the price tags on condensed milk – before there were no barcode scanners, and the price tag was glued to each can, as in the market. Well, you can take the price tag from the fact that it is cheaper, and glue it to the fact that it is more expensive.
Interested in the attitude to gambling. He honestly said that in his student years he was fond of automatic machines for delivering soft toys. Exactly for one reason – somehow I deftly managed to get them, got used to it, and took out the toy from the second or third attempt.
I was interested in the attitude to the law and its violations. Honestly, I’m not breaking the law. The girl laughed, and asked – what, and traffic rules do not violate? I seriously answered no. She said that the polygraph confirms my answer.
Interested in the attitude to alcohol. I honestly admitted that the attitude is purely positive. I clarified about binges – no, I say, I do not know such a state.
Interested in drugs. Not, I say, not mine.
I wondered if I was deceiving the bosses and the employer. I honestly admitted that I’m cheating. Not very often – a couple of times a day. But how, I say, not to deceive something? Here the chief asks – will you do by Friday? I say – I’ll do it. I’m lying, right? Because I’ll do it by Thursday. Or by Monday, or not at all. Is this a hoax?
I was interested in the state of health. Honestly, I don’t know anything about my health, because I don’t go to the hospital at all.
Look like that’s it.
The procedure for each issue is approximately the same. At first he asks just to tell, in his own words, he does not formulate any question. Asks clarifying questions, leads a conversation, helps to open up on the topic.
When a topic is discussed, it formulates questions based on the results — such that the answer is “Yes” or “No”.
If I said that I hadn’t taken drugs, I asked one question: did I use drugs?
If I told several stories about theft, then the task is complicated. You can’t just ask, “Are you stealing?” – it is obvious that I will answer “Yes”, referring to the homeless packages from the supermarket. Therefore, she has to clarify questions, or clean them – from debris and noise. For example, “In addition to homeless packages and condensed milk, did you steal anything?”
This moment is worth remembering, it will come in handy further.
In the end, for some reason, she decided to calibrate again. And then the most interesting thing happened.
The power of doubt
Nothing boded ill when she re-calibrated and asked: “Is your name Ivan?”
By the time the polygraph ended, I managed to relax, talk and, most importantly, think. In fact, I told her my life for three hours. He strained, recalled, formulated. And thought about his life.
So I thought that I began to doubt some aspects of my biography. I didn’t say this out loud, but doubts came within me. I’m saying that I stole two homeless packages, but I’m sitting and thinking – were there really two of them? And I definitely did not use drugs? Was he definitely not in a drinking bout?
In short, internal doubts led to the fact that my answer is “Yes” to the question “Is your name Ivan?” showed a reaction to a polygraph. The girl was so surprised that she told me about it. What, he says, for crap?
I honestly said that I was just thinking now, is this really my name? Suddenly I was replaced in the hospital, and I have other parents who managed to call me Gennady before the substitution? Or am I a foundling?
What matters here is not that I said it, but that I seriously thought about it. And the polygraph interpreted these doubts as a reaction.
Simply put, if artificially generate self-doubt, then the polygraph will show the reaction. Simply put: you can knowingly make the polygraph say “He’s lying.”
What’s on the other side of the polygraph?
A little lyrical digression. As a result of the polygraph, I was hired. They didn’t say anything about the results, it’s like in a bank when receiving a loan – either yes or no.
I worked in this office for a long time, and became the IT director, which gave me the opportunity to communicate with the director and the owner. Naturally, I raised the question of the need for a polygraph procedure.
So, everything is very simple. A polygraph is needed for several purposes.
The first and main thing is to check honesty as a person’s quality. Well, stupid, how often he lies, in what volume, etc. Not on specific issues, but in general, in general. How hard is it to tell the truth.
The second is to identify dependencies. Therefore, they ask about drugs, alcohol, gambling, and even breaking the law (there is such a dependency when a person cannot directly drive a car without cutting anyone). Dependence, of course, is bad, because it can emerge at any moment, like a black swan, and ruin everything.
And so, specific issues are also of interest – theft, deception, etc. But this is secondary, more important is honesty and dependence.
But the most interesting thing is different. The polygraph, as a defense, does not work, judging from a bird’s eye view.
It seems that the result should be like this: in the company everyone is honest, they do not steal, they do not thump, they do not expand. But no.
There are no special differences in staff compared to companies where there is no polygraph. And theft was – both direct, and the drain of information, sabotage of transactions, etc. And there were drunkards who began to do what they liked at the most inopportune moment. Well, they lied at work, of course, that’s all – it’s strange, why check this at all? How can you not lie at work? You’ll remain without work.
In general, the sense of the polygraph is exactly zero. It’s possible that he will weed out some inappropriately frantically crazy employees, but in life ordinary HR copes with this quite a bit.
And so it happened that they decided to double-check us all on the polygraph one more time. In my case, it was six years after the first polygraph. Naturally, I remembered my conclusions about the work of the polygraph, and decided to check them.
At the appointed time, the same girl with the same little appliance was waiting for me. Fortunately, she did not remember me, i.e. the influence of our “friendship” can be ruled out. I intentionally did not remind her of the past polygraph in order to see if I could ruin the procedure.
This time the girl was sad and nervous. Probably because it was not an introductory, but a test polygraph – why stand on ceremony?
The procedure, on the whole, technically, was no different from the previous one.
I had to test two hypotheses: the effect of doubt on the testimony and the impediment to cleaning up the questions. But it turned out to check three.
I did not include doubts in the calibration, so as not to spoil everything at the very beginning. Honestly confirmed that my name is Ivan, and the polygraph and the girl accepted this. On issues of booze, drugs, gambling and laws, nothing has changed in 6 years, so they slipped through them quickly.
Thrash began on the issue of theft. It was something like this.
“Do you steal at work?”
– Although, hey …
“I remembered something.” Once I took two CD-R discs from work, recorded music on them in order to listen in the car. You see, in my car there is a radio tape recorder that does not know how …
– I understand. Let’s clear the question. Did you steal anything but two discs?
– Although, hey …
– What? (a little annoyed)
– Now, something is being recalled … Yes, for sure. I took home a branded notebook. He, you see, is so beautiful, but I love …
– I understand. So … Let’s combine all the little things, like blanks, notebooks, pens, stickers and so on with the word “Office”. Good?
– Yes, let’s do it.
“So, did you steal anything other than the office?”
– Although, hey …
– Once a system administrator, my subordinate, asked for a service … Either he, or his friend, had to build some 3D models in some kind of program. This requires more power, and I allowed to do this on our server. Nothing special there …
– I understand! Is there something else you didn’t mention?
– It seems not.
– Good. In addition to the office and this one about the server, did you steal something in the company?
– Although, hey …
– What else?!
– Well, you know, I can’t attribute this to the office, but one day …
– So, that’s enough! I will not be here with you until the evening to sit and remember. We write it down as it is. Once again: did you steal anything besides the office and server resources?
“You just said no!”
“Well, you said you wouldn’t remember anymore.” And I, it seems to me, can still remember.
“No, thanks.” Let it be “Yes.” The next question …
The third hypothesis appeared along the way – it turns out that the polygraph examiner can be infuriated with an endless recursion of clearing the question of doubt. Actually, she immediately confirmed.
This time, because the polygraph was internal, I was asked a question based on its results. More precisely, a question. Guess which one?
– The polygraph showed a reaction on the topic of theft. Did you steal something?
– Yes, two CD-R discs, then I recorded music on them. You see, in my car the radio tape recorder does not know how …
– Ah, that’s it. Okay, free.