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Learning Human Behavior via the story of “The Tell-Tale Heart”


bradgphilbrick@gmail.com
Recently I have been drawn to read the works of Edgar Allen Poe.  Few will disagree that his writing  is exceptional , brilliant, unique, and oh so descriptive.
While nursing a cold, convalescing, I chose to read again the story “The Tell-Tale Heart.”  I vividly remember reading it the first time as a seventh grader.  The story intrigued me then and it still does.
What I found most fascinating about this tale is how the story speaks so well of human nature.  I am sure that many of you have heard the the criminal always revisits the crime.  What I have found out that employees who are guilty of some wrong doing will talk explicitly and compulsively without compunction….to a point.   Then they “spill the beans.”
The drug store was facing increased shrink.  The store manager was being questioned by loss prevention.  It wasn’t increased shoplifting, there was no shortage on receivables, and price changes were current.  Still the store was facing financial loss.  Employees were being questioned.  None appeared to be aware of anything different and none appeared guilty, but the store assistant manager was overly talkative—he offered too many theories of what was happening.  But none of his ideas were the true account of the cause of the loss.
The loss prevention investigator for the company was a pro.  He only need to ask a few questions calmly and the assistant manager rambled.  “I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling; but it continued and gained definiteness—until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.  No doubt I now grew very pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice………..I talked more quickly—more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased.  I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations, but the noise steadily increased.  Why would they not be gone?  I foamed—I raved—I swore.  …..They suspected—they knew—they were making a mockery of my horror.”
The assistant manger shrieked, “It is here in the daily cash register reports.  I did not record them all.  I utilized an extra cash register but failed to report those sales and took that money as my own.”