The superstitious manager of a Chinese education company has come under
fire for rejecting people with ‘5’ as the last digit of their phone
Chinese news outlets have been reporting the bizarre case of an
education company in Shenzhen, Guangdong that allegedly rejects job
applications of people who have ‘5’ as the fifth digit in their phone
numbers, because the boss considers it back luck. Such applicants are
advised to change their phone numbers if they are truly interested in
working at the company. The bizarre condition, which has nothing to do
with competencies or work ethics, has sparked a heated online debate in
China, where superstition is still a big part of daily life.
The hashtag “Company Doesn’t Hire People Whose Phone Number Has 5 as 5th
Digit” spread like wildfire soon after the case made news in China, with
many scratching their heads about how an education company could have
such a ridiculous recruiting policy. However, there were also comments
from superstitious folks who seemed to understand and agree with the
What’s On Weibo recently reported that one blogger by the name of
Jimenjun, who specializes in astrology and numerology, explained how the
bizarre hiring condition was most likely inspired by the ancient Chinese
divination text I Ching or Yi Jing, also known as the “Book of Changes,”
which includes the theory of multiple 5s being considered unfavorable.
Jimenjun added that a person with ‘5’ as the fifth digit in their phone
number might easily clash with their superiors and also bring bad luck
to their boss.
“My mum told me that it would be best if my phone number did not contain
a 0 or 5, so there’s not a single 5 in there,” one Weibo user commented
on the story.
Generally, the feedback on the unnamed company’s hiring policy has been
negative. Many believe that regardless of whether a manager is
superstitious, such practices have no place in the modern world and that
the rejection of candidates on their phone numbers could be considered
“It’s the 21st century, and there are still such superstitious bosses.
Why don’t you just hire a fortune-telling Feng-shui Master?” one person