A Spy's Guide to Thinking (Kindle Single) by John Braddock

A Spy's Guide to Thinking (Kindle Single) by John Braddock

Author:John Braddock [Braddock, John]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Published: 2015-05-31T03:00:00+00:00


The druggie was playing a zero-sum game. He wanted my phone. Wasn’t going to give me anything for it. If he wins, I lose. One winner. One loser. That was the game he wanted to play.

Conflict. No question about it. The little war we were having wasn’t over anything great or noble. No land at stake. No honor. No survival of a people. No epic poems would be sung. It was just a fight over a phone.

He wanted the phone. I wanted to keep it. At the end of the game, one of us would have the phone. One wouldn’t. Add up the result for us players: A zero sum.

His first move in the game: Ask to “see” my phone. If I had given it to him, the game would have been over. He would have the phone. I would have lost it, because he wasn’t going to give it back. Game over. Unless I escalated. Which would have been difficult for a spy trying to blend in.

But I hadn’t given him my phone. So he asked again. Again, I didn’t give it to him.

He had gathered some new data along the way. He had seen my reaction. Sized me up. Seen that I was going to resist. How much? He didn’t know.

What kind of analysis could he do through the fog in his brain? I don’t know. It was probably slow. Slow analysis leads to slow decision-making. Which means he was slow to action.

Maybe that’s why I had time to stand up.

When I stood up and he saw I was his height and his size, he hadn’t backed away. Maybe because he was thinking slowly. Maybe because he didn’t care. Maybe I was his quickest route to a fix. Didn’t matter if I was Andre the Giant. He was going to try to get my phone.

Standing face to face, I had four options:

1. Move sideways around him

2. Push him out of the way

3. Sit back down

4. Do nothing

Later a colleague suggested a fifth: Drop the phone and stomp on it. Smash it up. That way the druggie doesn’t get it, and I avoided what was coming. I didn’t think of that. Besides, it was an important phone. It was a link to an important source. At that point, I thought I could keep it.

With just the four options I thought of, I chose option 1.

I moved to the side.

He shifted, too. Like a dance step. Blocked my way.

Now my options were the remaining three:

1. Push him out of the way

2. Sit back down

3. Do nothing

There wasn’t much more data to gather. At least, it didn’t seem that way.

Then he moved his hands.

It had been only a few seconds since everything started. A few seconds since the druggie had asked for my phone. I hadn’t hurried, but I’d slowed down too much. After seeing this wasn’t a spy thing, I had relaxed.

I hadn’t shifted to street crime defense. Druggie analysis. I wasn’t all the way inside the druggie’s head.

I had looked at his face, his eyes, his build, his demeanor, his clothes.


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