Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday The 13th

One of the many idiosyncrasies of the accommodation industry is that we go out of our way to avoid offering to the public a "Unit 13."

As moteliers, it's not that we an overly superstitious lot. It's just that it would wreck our day if we were unable to sell the last room that happened to be unit 13 to a phobic guest. And besides, we like to ensure the comfort of all guests - even those that are superstitious! 

How do moteliers avoid offering a unit 13? 

Sometimes units are numbered in number blocks eg: 1-10 and then, 21-30. This is along the same principal of multi-floored accommodation complexes, where units on the first floor are numbered with the first numeral depicting the floor, eg: the first floor units would start from 100 and the second floor from 200 and so on.

Some accommodation complexes simply skip unit 13 by having unit 12 followed by a unit 14. Another trick is to have a unit 12A, but the trouble with this is that everyone knows it's really unit 13!

It is also fairly common for commercial building high rises not to have a 13th floor. 

It must be said that many commercial accommodation complexes offer a unit 13, however why do many persist with a mystical avoidance? Surely in this modern world, the enlightened public laugh in the face of ludicrous and irrational superstitions. 

Er, NO! 

A Harris Poll (Forbes, March 2009) found that of those surveyed:
  • 31% said they think astrology is "very" or "sort of" scientific
  • 44% believe in ghosts
  • 31% believe in witches
  • 33% said they believe intelligent beings from other planets have visited
  • 25% are superstitious about knocking on wood
  • 13% are superstitious about a black cat crossing a path
  • 12% are superstitious about walking under a ladder
  • 11% are superstitious breaking a mirror
  • AND 9% are superstitious about the number 13
Good grief! Maybe those moteliers that smugly persist in "hiding" unit 13, understand more about the frailalties of the human condition than those that don't.

Click the "Get Widget" link below to place this widget on your website or blog!