Hello all!

In this edition of the blog the topic that is up for discussion is job titles. At all times in my blog i am calling on actual real life experience of going out and doing this. This seems to be a very popular request for the modern Deductionist and Mentalist, so what follows is a small offering to wet your whistle on how i go about performing this type of effect. As lord knows the ‘course material’ so to speak is quite vast!

So lets look at this as objectively as possible. The most chance i have to practice and indeed demonstrate this is when i am out performing. In these kinds of situations and venues its a fact that your canvases, so to speak will have scrubbed themselves of a lot of the clues that can be read to glean possible job titles. For the simple fact that people dress up to go out. At a party you will rarely find anyone there that has just come from their place of work and even if they have then they have gotten changed in a rush to be there. You will not find anyone in their work uniforms…apart from the people that actually work at the venue.

To quote an example, at a recent party i was working and performing at one time for a group of men. One of which was at least 6” 3′ wearing a short sleeved shirt, clearly defined Tricep and Forearm muscles and a rough scratch on the left tricep. He had a slight beer induced gut and even his smart shoes were rough boots.

So what conclusions did i/can you draw from this? it is again about taking a step back and looking at what was presented and i was quite fortunate in this instance that what was presented was quite a lot. This is how i broke it down :

BODY TYPE – A person’s body is often a visual metaphor for their life, in this case what was shown to me is someone that is physically active but has no real footstep into the healthy lifestyle. That much was clear from the rotund swelling of the midsection. Now as it was that the triceps and the forearms were developed and not the biceps that points to gripping and pushing, it would have to be repeated over a long period of time to define muscular structure in someone that really didnt care too much about keeping fit. Which is why i thought that would be involved in his job.

His shoes i asked about with a mere offhand compliment and he chose to fill in the blanks for me.

ME : Hey, i like your boots. they look durable.

THE MAN : Yeah man, ive got a few

So if he has a lot of those kinds of shoes, its a fair assumption he might use a pair like that for work, couple that with the scratch and the body type it seemed to me to be only one place he could work and that would be in a warehouse. Which he was. Pushing big trolley loads of equipment around, the shoes would provide the necessary protection, the scratch turned out to be a regular hazard of the job though i didnt actually focus on it. i just asked after i had made my guess.

In this instance you can see how taking a step back and seeing what is possible to observe from the person, then you can follow your deductions through to their natural conclusion. you will not always be presented with something that can lead to job titles. Even at events when the clues have been scrubbed, this is still a possibility.

A great man once intimated at the theory, Observe, Analyze, Deduce. That is to say you can make your observations:

  • Beer belly vs definition in forearms and triceps
  • Shoes
  • Scratch on arm

Analyze what is this means:

  • Lazy lifestyle choice, or at least a lax attitude towards health.
  • Muscle definition would take time in someone with this attitude towards health, so it would be something that he did often and for quite some time. Job?
  • If he has a lot of these kinds of shoes, would he have a similar pair for work?
  • Scratch, possible work hazard? Not really confident enough to pursue.

Then make your deductions:

  • Arms would mean pushing, gripping. No real bicep action would make warehouse more likely as opposed to working in the builders yard. That would be more all over work.
  • This fits with the shoes idea, shoes built for protection. A lot of heavy duty items going on in a warehouse.

It is in my opinion quite difficult to explain this kind of thought process as it is only with practice and honing of the skill that it starts to feel natural to you. So when out performing, or if this is merely a passion of yours then it seems obvious to say that you can only make your deductions based on the knowledge and the hard drive of information you have in your head on this subject matter. The world we live in is a world of google and simply knowing how to find information. This is fine for knowledge and research to store for later use. however as we are particularly concerned in this instance with actually doing this, then knowing how to find information from online or books will do you little good.

Lateral thinking of this nature will take time develop but is considerably fun to practice. So let me pose you a ‘game’ precisely as it was given to me. The answers and deductions i made will feature at the end of the blog, so be good and test yourself first.

You will notice there is a picture key ring attached to the bag, on one side there is this:

And on the other side there is handwritten, this ‘ A U  GUYS!!! ‘

Now i made some deductions about the bag and its owner but the question that was posed to me is ,” You now have all the information you need to open the lock. What is the code?”

Which seems a ridiculous question, however the information is there i promise you. So what does this boil down to then in executing something of this nature, semantically speaking. It is my opinion that it comes down to whatever information you have stored away in the ‘Attic’ in your mind that you can draw on. The more you immerse yourself in this kind of knowledge, that you need to perform this task then the better off you will be. Eventually you will know the difference between the shoes of a plumber and a salesman. The wear and tear on Jewelry of someone that works behind at till. The wear on clothes of someone that sits down a lot at their job.

(To wet your whistle of interest, plumbers need strength and manoeuvrability, work underneath sinks an with toilets and are mobile so their shoes will take them from inside to outside and back again. Salesmen are the wheelers dealers of the world of buying and selling. Office based salesmen and women will have shoes that are expensive, clean and more often than not pointy in the toe area with a crease from where they have had their feet bent under their chair as they are sat behind their desk all day. Door to door salesmen will go for a similar approach but the shoes will be obviously cleaned.

Till dwelling workers stand behind their till in, invariably the same posture of hands rested on the table top in which the till resides. With a lot finger tapping to pass the boredom. Bracelets will leave indentations around the wrist, the circular nature of rings will flatten out slightly on one end where they have been drummed against over time and rested against the counter.

People who get to sit down a lot at their jobs will have visible crease marks in their shirts/blazers etc that start at the bottom of the back and end mid shoulder blades.  This is due to moving around in their chairs and leaning over their desk to complete whatever task they have in hand.)

There is no getting away from the fact that this is a huge mental undertaking, which is probably why it seems so popular. This is a demonstration of a unique skill as with most feats of mentalism so if we keep looking for shortcuts, when the reality is possible then we never experience a chance to grow, in mind and performance and in infamy 😉

Here is a further tip to get you started. Ask the person in question if they enjoy their job and then what kind of hobbies they have. If they enjoy their job then the hobbies will reflect an aspect of their job, and if they don’t enjoy their job then their hobbies will be of an opposition to their job title.

I sincerely hope that this has got your mental juices flowing enough to set to work on your palace and go out and make your deductions.

As always guys find me on all the usual social media stuff (Facebook, twitter, Skype)

I love to and will do talk about this and all things at great length.

Take it easy!


Lateral thinking game :

  • A diary is visible so there is a need for organization, particularly a diary for next year. so whatever this person is involved in it will continue into next year.
  • From the style of the bag you can make a guess about the age range of the owner, late teens to late 20’s
  • This would suggest a student of some description. (It was)
  • The discrepancy in the pics on the keyring of ‘Hey you guys’ vs ‘A U Guys’ suggests something about the humour of this person which is why i went for student and not young teacher. As the ‘Hey you guys’ is a literal quote from the film, the play on words makes the ‘A U’ stand out.
  • AU on the periodic table is gold, whose atomic number is 79. As a four digit number this 0079 which was the padlock combination. Also suggest something about the topic of this persons study!