Friday, May 23, 2014, 11:18 PM
Posted by Administrator
"Can we search your car, real quick?" "Would you come over here, real quick?" "Could I ask you a couple of questions, real quick?" I began to notice that in TV shows from Alaska State Troopers to Cops to Campus PD (okay, I watch too much television), police officers frequently use the term "real quick". (True story: Within a few minutes of writing this entry, while looking for something on TV, I stopped at COPS and within a few seconds, what looked to me to be a Palm Beach County Deputy Sheriff said to someone who looked to be under arrest: "I'm gonna secure you in the back of one of these cars REAL QUICK.")

People feel less intruded upon and less inconvenienced if they will be bothered only briefly. They are more likely to say "yes" to someone who doesn't want that much and "real quick" doesn't seem like much. And, when it comes to agreeing to a search...when you have something to hide, a "real quick" search probably won't find anything.

Salespeople have used a similar technique to maximize "yesses" when asking for an appointment: "When will you be free for a few minutes?" "Could I stop by at 12:45 or would 2:15 be better for you.", intended to suggest that all I need is 15 minutes. Asking for an appointment at 1:00PM would imply I'd waste an hour of your time. On the other hand, 15 minutes goes by "real quick".

Of course, the search won't really be "real quick"; the questioning won't be "real quick" and the salesperson will be there for a whole lot more than "a few minutes". And, you won't be able to complain to the court that what the police found during the search can't be used against you because all you consented to was a "real quick" search and, in fact, it wasn't "real quick"...especially when you add in the time it took to arrest you and drive you to the jail.

So, when someone....certainly the police...say "real quick", realize it's sales-talk designed to maximize the possibility that you'll cooperate and say "yes". And, I'm not suggesting that you shouldn't cooperate....just that you not buy into the idea that it will be "real quick".
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