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Well, Bless My Paraskevidekatriaphobia

Do you have paraskevidekatriaphobia? Yes! Fear of Friday the 13th (today).  For some of us the day will pass like any other however that is not the case for everyone and according to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina, an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States (not including those from the rest of the world) are affected by a fear of this day.

Some people are so paralyzed by a fear of Friday the 13th that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed.  And it has been estimated that up to 900 million dollars are lost in business on this day. People just close themselves in their homes, just to avoid any possibility of something bad happening.

A Facebook friend, Mairead Kenehan, had this to tell me – I don’t spend the day in fear but no way would I get married or sign for a house or anything like that. Would be just a bit nervous of that… and for no good reason I know it makes no sense at all!”

I also do not live in fear of the day like Mairead but I have to admit that for major plans such as signing a business deal, buying a car or house or even flying I would give Friday the 13th a miss, and I know many people would.  Does this mean that businesses could be affected worldwide by this date? It’s very possible however interesting to note that representatives for both Delta and Continental Airlines say that their airlines don’t suffer from any noticeable drop in travel on those Fridays.

But then for some the day is positive, this morning on Twitter and Facebook I asked the following question –

“Do you have a fear of Friday the 13th? How will you be spending the day? Have you ever been unlucky on that day?”

Elaine Rogers replied (@elainerogers via Twitter) – I don’t remember being either but I’m a bit of a rebel. I plan great things for Fri 13th. Except dangerous things of course”.

Darren Bayliss replied (@DIBayliss via Twitter) – I’m hoping that it will be lucky Fri 13th for me there is a bunch of us meeting up 2moro for a Golf Tweet Up outside Clane” (have a great day Darren)

David Mueller replied (via Face Book) I love Friday 13th, its one of my favorite numbers, I won big dollars on a horse that was number 13, it’s also a great night to go out”

Here are seven of my favorite Friday-the-13th facts:

  1. Fear of Friday the 13th is called paraskavedekatriaphobia (say that 10 times fast) as well as friggatriskaidekaphobia. Triskaidekaphobia is fear of the number 13.
  2. Many hospitals have no room 13, while some tall buildings skip the 13th floor and some airline terminals omit Gate 13.
  3. President Franklin D. Roosevelt would not travel on the 13th day of any month and would never host 13 guests at a meal. Napoleon and President Herbert Hoover were also triskaidekaphobic, with an abnormal fear of the number 13.
  4. Superstitious diners in Paris can hire a quatorzieme, or professional 14th guest. Personally I have never hired a quatorzieme to grace my dinner table in Paris.
  5. Certain ocean liners are held in dock until after midnight to appease passenger’s fears on Friday the 13th.
  6. Apollo 13, 1970, the 13th mission launched from pad number 39 (13 x 3), mission was aborted, after an explosion occurred in the fuel cell of their service module.  The rocket had left launching pad at 13:13 CST and the date was April 13th.
  7. Any month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th, and there is at least one Friday the 13th in every calendar year.

Are businesses affected by Friday the 13th or does the day pass as a normal trading day? I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

I am a Stress Management Coach (also a Holistic & Natural therapist and teacher). I am dedicated to managing stress, resilience and well-being, my training courses and consultancy are designed to help create a working (or home) environment where resilience is enhanced and well-being is protected, allowing people to respond positively to challenges and perform at their best. I provide in-house training courses, consultancy and workshops to private and public sector organisations (also one-on-one sessions). I specialise in providing practical training for managers and employees aimed at minimising the risk of stress and enhancing well-being within the organisation.

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  • Great one Catherine. So… “900 million dollars lost in business”. That’s shocking! The way I see Friday 13th then… it’s a HUGE opportunity to capitalise on business that too many people/companies are leaving for the day after 🙂

  • Hi Catherine, paraskavedekatriaphobia? I can’t even say it once! 900 million lost in biz, I agree with Fred, that’s amazing & difficult for me to grasp seeing as I haven’t got a superstitious bone in my body. I’m just about to head out coaching for the day and maybe I should be crossing my fingers 🙂

    Really enjoyed the post!

  • Oh WOW, like Fred and Niall, I am stunned by the 900M figure. That is so amazing. If it was not for a post by Elaine Rogers, a couple of days ago, I’d not even have known that Friday the 13th was upon us. I believe you get in life and in business, what you focus on, so that’s fascinating. I like how Fred thinks about it and indeed, what an opportunity for businesses to leverage today in a “different” way, might as well, do some targeted marketing around today, while monetizing it 😉 (ps, also, some airlines do not have a row 13!)

  • Now that’s a great idea Fred!

  • I’m gob-smacked at the amount lost in business over a negative belief about the power a day has over you. Such an easy one to overcome too! Like Frederique I also believe you get what you focus on, and like Niall I’m don’t have a superstitious bone in my body. I wonder how many business owners would be prepared to “overcome” that issue with their staff and if they consider the cost/benefits of it?

    Brilliant post Catherine. I’m getting there on saying them fast, what does friggatriskaidekaphobia mean?

  • Here’s a weird one for you guys, I’ve now submitted this post to Bizsugar twice without success? Maybe I’m starting to believe in this Friday the 13th voodoo after all 🙂

  • That’s so funny, when I first wrote this post I wasn’t able to post any comments or reply tou00a0those who did comment…. a coincidence…. hmmmmu00a0u00a0

  • Hi Zoey & Welcome to Tweak Your Biz. These are all game changers but I really like the smart s that can be applied to the Big Data model. For me, there is some amazingly serious potential here.

  • Perfect !! the four above mentioned strategies really plays a vital role in promoting a internet marketing and business applications.

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