I’ve been hearing some disturbing statistics. Apparently, we are so superstitious about Friday the 13th that we drive less on that day, yet the accident rate is higher. This kind of figure just might be why an estimated twenty-one million people, or eight percent of the population, could be suffering from paraskevidekatriaphobia, the irrational fear of Friday the 13th. I don’t know about you, but that’s shocking. That twenty million people are only eight percent of us? Good Lord, when did we start breeding like this?
The fear of this ominous date is an outgrowth of those who fear the number thirteen in general, who are called triskaidekaphobics. You can learn all you may or may not want to know about the history of this date at snopes.com.
In fact, at the very end of the article I found an intriguing news item from 1913, when a minister in Middletown, NY, offered to perform wedding services for free for anyone who would consent to being married on that day. Good for him! Take the power away from the abstract concept, and show people that their fears are groundless! With that in mind, let’s do the same in our workplaces. Here are a few suggestions for taking back this superstition-laden day:
•Arrange for your own extremely poor six-month review. Take charge, admit to your failings, cop to the fact that you’ve been dragging the net worth of the company down with your every breath since the day they hired you. Once you explain you are taking the curse off of Friday the 13th, you and your supervisor will surely share a good laugh, and you will undoubtedly be promoted for your chutzpah.
•If you are looking for a new job and waiting to hear back from your potential employer, call them up and dare them to hire you on Friday the 13th. Your proactive attitude will show you as a maverick. You’ll just have to get used to all of your co-workers wearing necklaces made of garlic in the break room.
•Declare Friday the 13th “Take Your CEO Home Day.” A variant of Take Your Daughter to Work Day, this is a day in which your company’s top dog is forced to spend a day at home with you and your family, getting a first-hand glimpse of things foreign to them, like spending time in the same room with people you’re related to, and taking three hours to decide on a video.
Go against the grain on this supposedly unlucky day, and you’ll soon realize that a number can have no power over you. Unless they’re talking about a base salary of under 100 K. I mean, that’s just asking for trouble.