I’ve got numbers on the brain today, for obvious reasons and so I was amused when I ran down to grab breakfast this morning from McDonald’s (yes, I know, but I was in a hurry and I didn’t eat anything at home this morning) and my receipt indicated order #666.

It reminds me of one annoying thing about the Dolphin resort at which I stayed last weekend. Our room was on the 14th floor, but I noticed that there was no 13th floor. The elevator went from 12 to 14. Are people really so stupid as to think that if something is not labeled as thirteen that it is really not thirteen? (I’ve probably just offended a million stupid people, and I’m sorry, but come on!) If you count floors from the ground up, then the “14th” floor is still the thirteenth. People are crazy if they think they are safer or better off on a thirteenth floor labeled 14 than on a 13th floor labeled 13. And frankly, the hotel designers were idiots for propagating such nonsense.

If I get a survey about my stay in the hotel, I will say that everything was excellent, and that I had only one complaint: that every floor from the “14th” up was mislabeled.

It’s sad that people think that 13 is any more or less lucky than any other number. It’s sadder to see this reinforced by our architectural conventions.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.