Thursday, June 19, 2008


Eyes From Above===========
I walked into the store as I had done countless times before.There was nothing unusual about the night, just a routine stroll down the aisles of commerce. My five and two-year-old sons were with me.It was a huge store. You would know the name of the chain,but the name doesn't matter.Bright lights, wide aisles, and full shelves made for an awesome store. My sons naturally were interested in the toy section,so there we strolled.The modern stores don't have many helpers like the old days.I used to work in a drug store. My job was to price merchandise,stock the shelves, sweep the floor, ring the cash register, andwatch customers.I didn't watch customers for fun. Customers would steal in the old days. My job included helping customers find what they wanted but keeping a watchful eye to make sure they paid forwhat they found.Those old days came to mind as I wandered or rather was towed by anxious kids down the huge aisles.
How in the world do they keep people from stealing them blind?
There were no clerks or assistants watching us. What was to prevent us from pocketing any number of tempting items?I looked around, not for the purpose of stealing anything, butof scientific curiosity.How did they keep people from stealing?I knew the nature of people had not improved since I was aclerk. People stole then and they steal now.This was an extremely successful chain. Surely they couldn't be this trusting. Surely they couldn't be this benevolent thatthey would simply allow people to have whatever they felt like not paying for.Surely not.I am a scientist. I think. I analyze. I wonder. I seek answers.I am a businessman. No people watching, plenty of merchandise,a certain percentage of people who would take advantage of inattention, successful chain stores, it didn't fit.How could they trust so?They didn't. That much I knew. I know the commercial mind.They couldn't and didn't trust people that much.So why was no one watching?I knew that couldn't be either.Maybe they were watching.If so, then how were they watching?I knew if they were watching it would have to be though videocameras. I knew where they would need to be positioned.I looked up.Whoa!As many times as I had been in that store and similar stores ofthe chain, I had never thought to look up. I walked beneath totally unaware and unconcerned about the eyes above.As I looked up, I saw rows and rows of surveillance cameras.Somewhere between 100 and 200 cameras looked down as I surveyedthe roof of the huge store.If you didn't know already, you wouldn't know they were camerasbut I knew. Surveillance cameras are usually mounted behindblue colored domes. You can't see in, but the camera can seeout. It can point in any direction, and you don't know if andwhere it is looking.It can swivel, tilt, pan, and zoom. They can follow your everymove. They can zoom out to view the whole aisle or zoom in on apimple. Hundreds of them, and I never knew or guessed because I never thought about it.
It was a Eyes from above that watched every move of those below.So many walk without realizing every move is observed and recorded.Eyes from above.I walked differently once I saw the cameras. I had no intentionof ever doing anything wrong, with or without cameras; I just walked differently knowing that someone could be watching everysingle move that I made.It shouldn't have made a difference.But it did.We often go through life as if no one sees.As if no eyes from above are watching.Suppose we realized that?Every frown, every harsh word, every wrong deed, every good orbad twitch of our minds and muscles...Recorded.Eyes from above.Encased in a blue canopy.
It makes you walk differently once you realize that.
It really does.


Balvinder Singh said...

Thought provoking indeed. But yes there certainly is an eye that is watching us all the time. I have just published it's picture on my blog after reading your article.

sansmerci said...

smile ur on cam :) most chains do have tht board on em .. but yea its true wen u kno ur watched .. u can never b the same!

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