This really happened. It’s a story about how I first learned to use human psychology in the performance of my duties!

It was my first year in office, 1997. I was doing an eviction where a guy refused to leave his apartment after I’d served him an eviction order. I was pretty frustrated, as it was the end of the day, and I was hungry. I was supposed to pick up a pizza for my family, and Mother’s Pizza was nearby. I ordered a pizza to be delivered to that apartment.

About two minutes after I hung up the phone, the defendant stood up and left without saying a word. He assumed I’d ordered the pizza because I wasn’t going anywhere.

Unwittingly, I’d outsmarted him. This was such an important lesson! I realized then, that people’s fear of the unknown is often stronger than what they know for sure.

Over the years, I’ve learned that the fear of the unknown often motivates people to do what they’ve been ordered to do. It’s an important skill for a JP to have!

— Ed Malles