If you want to know whether somebody is lying, look at their feet.

That was one of the gems I learned from Ray Ramsay, the 332nd person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers.

Ray has spent almost three decades working in risk management and fraud detection, which has given him an incredible insight into human behaviour.

When somebody is lying, they experience stress from trying to hold everything together, so they need some sort of outlet – which often involves wiggling or shuffling their feet.

Ray has also learned that us humans are fundamentally self-interested creatures. Where the incentives point, our actions follow. So if a system is designed in such a way that a worker is – unintentionally – incentivised to take shortcuts, break rules or commit fraud, they often will.

Another fascinating thing I learned from Ray is that when people are feeling financial stress in their personal life, they often start acting erratically and impulsively in their business life.

Ray has had a diverse, colourful career that’s also included roles in cyber security, IT software development, change management and banking.

As a 19-year old bank teller, he was robbed at gunpoint; in the next few years, he suffered through two more armed hold-ups. Later, his role involved visiting branches that had just been robbed. Many years later, Ray realised that those experiences had left him with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Ray’s career has also included a seven-year stint at a Romanian bank. Initially, it was just meant to be a one-year contract, but he performed so well that his employer kept offering him new projects. That extra time in Romania gave Ray the opportunity to meet his future wife and adopt a daughter.

Meeting Ray was such a pleasure. He’s a great bloke and very interesting company. I loved hearing about his experiences and soaking up some of the wisdom he’s learned over the years.