These convenience store employees needed a dose of practical skepticism

We’ve all fallen for a scam or prank at some time in our lives. Some of us lost some money and certainly a bit of pride. A story surfaced that left me wondering how gullible can some people be that they take actions that are destructive and ridiculous just because they are told to by a phone call. It seems like these workers of a Circle K mart in Arizona could really use some basic, common sense, critical thinking skills. Is there ANY job that doesn’t?

See the video news report here.

The employees were told by the caller they thought was from the corporate security company that there was a silent fire alarm going off in the store. So, they did as they were told, following the recommendations, discharging fire extinguishers, then throwing them through windows and nearly destroying the computers. The news reporter notes that this prank is NOT new but, obviously, most people don’t fall for it. The police spokesman had a hard time with how long it took them for the “light bulb” to go on. Circle K did not comment on the story. I wonder if this will shine a poor light on their hiring and training practices and possibly makes them more vulnerable to robberies.

We don’t know all the circumstances of the story so it’s hard to figure out what happened. But there seems no good defense for thoughtlessly following actions that seem so counter-productive. It’s clear that practical skepticism is a LEARNED skill. The sooner parents start instilling healthy consideration of claims in their offspring and if schools promoted justified critical thinking attitudes, maybe all citizens would be better prepared to react more reasonably in such situations and the world would generally be a better place.


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