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.”