There are many reasons why Ireland is – let’s put this lightly – “under pressure” at the moment. But one of those reasons is rarely spoken about – we are too trusting.
Now, I’m not sure whether this trust is down to laziness or just naivety, but it has been going on for years, and still exists today. We tend to believe what we are told and that large companies are acting ethically because, well how could they get away with it if they weren’t? We’ll always believe that there must be someone keeping an eye on things to make sure that everything is done properly and to the highest moral standards. This is why we believed that the banks and the politicians would always act in our best interest. They were highly educated and put in their positions by pillars of communities all over Ireland. We were just “the man on the street”, paying his bills every week, getting a Chinese at the weekend and having a few pints (at home). The serious stuff was being done by the serious people driving the big cars and wearing the nice suits.
Of course now we know that we were all hoodwinked. The people that we thought we could trust really couldn’t be trusted at all. It turns out that we were wrong to take our eyes off them for even one second. What we forgot, for just long enough for them to fuck everything up, was that they were just humans. Prone to mistakes, but also stupidity and shenanigans, like all the rest of us are from time to time (albeit on a much smaller scale)
Let me give you three examples that might make you think. Three examples of times that we take things for granted. Times where we believe the people in power, the large companies are working fairly, and within the moral guidelines that we would expect of them.
When we think about Doctors we usually think of highly educated people, so highly educated in fact that they are almost alien like in their knowledge and integrity. We don’t put ourselves in the same leagues as doctors. Remember when we were young and it was almost impossible to understand how our teachers could have a life outside of the school rooms? Well that’s how we feel about doctors now. As far as we are concerned they are like machines sent back in time to fix our broken and rashed up asses. We possibly think of them as infallible. They’re nothing of the sort though are they?
I remember going to a doctor once about my life threatening hay fever (a little over exaggeration) and he sat me down and looked at me like this:
He then took out a big “dummies guide to Medicine”, or some kind of big medical book anyway. He shuffled through a few pages until he found the “H” section. After reading up on hay fever for a few minutes he then scribbled some indecipherable shit on a page and handed it to. I took it to the resident cryptologist, that works in the chemist down the road and away I went with a packet of tablets that did absolutely nothing for my hay fever.
Doctors are just educated people that use their case experience more than they use their super human diagnostic skills.
Here’s a little scam that went undetected for a long time in Irish bookies, until one punter got suspicious and did a little detective work. He told me the story, and I retell it to you here…
There is a certain bookies (that will remain nameless for now) that have their own virtual racing running all day long. Now, it doesn’t take a stats genius to know that this is a marvelous tool of relieving punters of their money. The odds are stacked so much in the bookies favour that you really wouldn’t think that they would need anything else to give them an edge. But apparently they did.
I was told that there were many cases when the shop tellers had to tell the people who were placing the bets that they couldn’t be given their winnings because they were late with their bet. This would obviously create holy murder in the shop with disgruntled punters abusing the shop tellers who they saw as depriving them of their rightful winnings. The shop tellers had a computer to go by though, a computer that told them when each race went off. Except, this computer was telling porkies. The Computer was showing that each race was “off” 8 seconds before it actually went off.
So, here’s what was happening. Punter placed his bet with 10 seconds to go…it went through the machine…he then watched the count down to the “off” “5…4…3…2…1…THEY’RE OFF” his nag miraculously wins and he goes up to collect…only to be told that his bet was late. So, the punter then decides to write down the exact time that every race goes off for the next 2 hours. He then goes up and places a bet, with 10 seconds to go, on an outsider. He shows the bet to the teller and insists that she watches the countdown to confirm that the bet was not placed late. The teller and the customer are both in agreement: The bet was on time. So…the nag loses. At this point, the customer would usually throw away his docket, but this customer decides to ask the teller to scan it. She does so and tells him that it is showing up as a void bet, because it was late. Cue a lot of frantic calls to “head office”. The customer then compares his times for the previous 2 hours against the times on the teller’s computer. Every one of them 8 seconds off.
When I told some people about this, they didn’t believe me. They said “sure why would XXXX have to do that? They’re minted already”. We thought the same things about the banks didn’t we?
The bookies had to pay for the man’s earlier winner. But what about everyone else? All the other people that were told that their bet was void when it should have been a winner. Or the people that had a losing bet that should have been void.
3. The National Lottery
This one has irked me for a long time. We all just assume that the National Lottery is fair game. It’s run by the government right now so that should be our first clue that it may be open to “irregularities”. If someone says the the national lottery is rigged, they are immediately met with mocking faces and they are quickly put back into bosco’s box of silence. Let me ask you a couple of questions, and I’d like you to answer them here or on the facebook page:
1. What’s the most amount of money that you have won on a scratch card?
I remember winning €50 about 18 years ago. After that the closest I have come is about €8. I don’t know anyone who has won more than €50, although I’m sure one or two of you will have anecdotes about Mr Jones’s cousin’s best friend’s uncle who won 5k. I recently saw a poster in a shop announcing to the world in all of its A3 glory, that they had recently sold a winning €500 ticket. So what? If they have big glossy posters for a €100 ticket then I sure as hell never expect to win one.
Has there been an audit on scratch cards? Has there been a test to see if indeed one in every 5.3 ticket is a winner? I have never heard of one and I don’t trust those suits in KPMG for one second.
2. Does the same number always appear in two lines of your quick pick?
Think about it, if the same number appears in both your lines on a quick pick, this greatly reduces your chance of winning the big one (we know the chance is low enough as it is). But this happens with almost stunning regularity. Check it out the next time you do a quick pick.
3. Where does all the money go?!!!
And by money I mean the unclaimed winnings. The national lottery tell us that there are millions of euros that have gone unclaimed in recent years. Every year they make this announcement to get a bit of PR – Ray Darc’y talks about it for ten minutes, urging everyone to check the back of their sofas for a missing winning ticket.
There’s probably hundreds of millions in unclaimed lottery bounties that just sit in the Lottery accounts for them to do with as they please. They recently announced that a portion of the money goes into the marketing of the company, and the promotion of “future games”. Future games? Like Telly Fucking Bingo? This is not your money to be using as part of your marketing budget. EVERY CENT of this money should be documented and redistributed to the public.
4. Do you do the Daily Millions?
Ok I couldn’t actually think of another question. But think about this. The new Daily Millions draw was won on the opening night, and hasn’t been won again since. A little suspicious, but i’m not going to cry foul over that. Also, ever notice, when there’s a big roll over, it’s always won on a bank holiday or festive weekend?
You would never think that The National Lottery would ever defraud people, would you? You would 100% trust them as a reputable and fair company, wouldn’t you? Like you once trusted the people that ran the banks in this country.
All i’m saying is that we put too much trust into things that we know very little about ourselves. It’s about time that we started asking more questions. If we did that a long time ago, maybe we wouldn’t be where we are now.