We know better, we really do. We live in an age of explanation, where telephones have become powerful portable computers and we track every second of a satellite's journey through space. There's no rational reason for Friday the 13th to be any more or less fortunate than the other 364 days in a year. Yet, many people still approach the date with apprehension, if not dread. This can have a dramatic toll on companies. Superstitious or not, the impact of this calendar setting is palpable.
According to CNBC, "The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates between $700 million and $800 million are lost every Friday the 13th because of people's refusal to travel, purchase major items or conduct business." Other estimates even put that at $900 million lost on Friday the 13th.
Friday, October 13, 1989 was a particularly difficult day for business. The Telegraph reports how, on "a day that is now often referred to as Black Friday, the failed $6.75bn buyout deal for United Airlines’ parent company sent global markets plunging."
Another fateful Friday the 13th was in October 2012 when the Costa Concordia cruise liner ran aground off the Italian coast, killing 32 passengers and crew plus one salvage member. If the date itself doesn't send shivers down your spine, The Daily Mail shared these eerie photos of the sunken ship.
Those are disasters for large companies, but Quickbooks Intuit explains how small businesses are greatly affected by the date as well. Fear of Friday the 13th even has a name: friggatriskaidekaphobia. This year, 2017, offers two chances to test the date. Our next Friday the 13th is in October.
Has your business ever been impacted by Friday the 13th? Are your employees or colleagues wearing garlic around their necks or avoiding travel today? Maybe you've had a very fortunate day so far! We'd love to hear about it in the comments below.