Black Friday leaves retailers in ‘numeracy mind lock’

Satire by Jack Peat

Police have been called to shops across the country after the shopping phenomenon known as Black Friday left store workers in a numeracy mind lock and unable to communicate with customers outside the numbers 1 to 100.

Bedlam broke out across stores nationwide as shoppers rampaged shops to secure 10 to 20% off items if the sale value is over £100 and 30 to 50% off if the sale exceeds £150. Black Friday proceeds Gray Thursday and lands a couple of days before Cyber Monday and Cyber Week as well as overlapping mid-season sales, allowing thrifty shoppers to get up to 100% off on some items.

But the sales have left many store attendants in a state of ‘numeracy mind lock’ with all words outside the numbers 1 to 100 seemingly disappearing from their vocabulary. The term was coined by part-time retail neuroscientist Dr Mike Ashley after he found his in-store workers developed a confused glaze over the early festive period and began to forget simple words such as ‘and’ and ‘that’.

One Tesco worker who appeared in front of the camera with a black eye and tattered red polo shirt told the press: “Twenty seventy-two thirty-nine forty,” before turning away in despondence and whispering, “two”.

Dr Mike Ashley, who works on a zero-hour contract as a neuroscientist, said: “It’s clear that seasonal workers struggle to get to grips with sale prices at this time of year. With our standard items already heavily discounted, a lot of our staff are unable to process additional discounts, such as our 20% bonanza on Friday if you come in dressed as Santa Claus or 35% over orders of £20 throughout Christmas if you manage to fight another customer to the death.”

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