For Training Purposes

For Training Purposes

by Tim Butler

In the darkened library of a large manor house a phone is ringing. It is an old fashioned phone and it sits on a side table which is dimly illuminated by an equally old fashioned standard lamp. Beside the table is a wing back chair which at first seems unoccupied until a bony hand reaches out from its shadowy depths and lifts the receiver.

Hello?”

Yes, this is the owner of the property.”

No, we have not considered uPVC double glazing, this is a listed building you see, there are certain restrictions...” The voice trails off for a moment as if a thought has just occurred.

I say,” he asks, “can you hear me well enough?”

That's good, I'm glad you can hear me because I want you to listen to my voice. Are you listening?”

That's very good. Now I want you to concentrate on the sound of my voice and nothing else. Try to shut out everything else around you, close your eyes and listen. As I count down from 10 you will find yourself becoming increasingly sleepy.”

10, your eyes are tightly shut.”

9, your breathing is becoming slower.”

8, your arms and legs are very heavy.”

7, you can feel the rest of the world slipping away.”

6, now tell me, are you asleep?”

Excellent. I am now going to give you a series of instructions, when I have finished you will wake up and remember nothing about our conversation apart from these instructions. If you understand please say “I understand”.

Whenever you hear my voice again you will obey whatever commands I give you without question. If you will obey all such commands please say 'I obey'”.

Thank you, you have been very cooperative.”

Actually, there is one more thing, I understand that these calls you make are recorded for training purposes, is that correct?”

How wonderful. Now please listen carefully, this is your first command. When you wake up you will share the recording of this conversation with as many people as you are able. You will arrange for every employee in your workplace to hear it, you will play it to every customer you contact, you will make copies and play them to your family. If you understand say, 'I understand'”.

If you will obey say, 'I obey'.”

Now wake up.”

And the bony hand reaches back out of the gloom and replaces the receiver. A faint sound, which could be a kind of laughter, can be heard, and then nothing.


A telephone rings in a medium sized family home somewhere in the North of England. The father answers,

Hello?”

Yes, I am the owner of the property.”

I can hear you fine thanks, what's this about?”

He listens to the caller for a long time before replying,

I understand.”

And then finally,

"I obey."

And then he looks up, looks at the phone in his hand as if he's surprised to find it there, and hangs up.



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