Walter SlonopasI admit that when I see 666 pop up in my total at a store, I'll often add a pack of gum or something on just to avoid the number. I'm not overly superstitious, but I figure it can't hurt. One Christian man in Tennessee, however, recently went so far as to quit his job because the number was stamped on his W-2 form.

The 52-year-old man's name is Walter Slonopas, and, according to The Tennessean, he did it to save his soul. (Quick Bible lesson: the book of Revelations says that at the end of the world the Antichrist will mark people with this number -- also known as the "Mark of the Beast".) Previously employed as a maintenance worker at Costech Casting LLC, Slonopas said he had a choice to make when he got his W-2 form with the number printed upon it-- he could keep his job, or go to hell.

He told the paper, “If you accept that number, you sell your soul to the devil." That's some serious conviction, but it's not quite as extreme as it seems.

You see, this wasn't the first time 666 had been assigned to him at this company. Apparently when he started in April 2011, he was given the number 666 by mistake on his employee badge. He complained, and they changed it, but when a few months later they changed the time clocks, he was assigned guess what number -- 666 again. He actually quit that time as well, but they changed his number and wooed him back.

So when it came up this time, for the third time on his tax form (the company says the number denotes the order in which the forms are mailed out), he took it as a pretty big sign. I mean what are the odds? It is pretty freaky.

The company wants him back and plans to send him a new W-2, but I'm not sure that's going to work. "God is worth more than money," he said.

Of course there are plenty of people who will roll their eyes and mock this guy. The comments on the story in The Tennessean alone  call him everything from "an idiot" to a "wackadillo". And yes, it's pretty extreme, but I have strong admiration for people with such deep faith (hate-mongering zealots aside), even if I don't agree with their beliefs. Plenty of other people avoid things (many hotels and buildings don't have 13th floors) or even arrange their furniture to avoid misfortune (Feng Shui), and they don't get nearly the scorn as people do if they use religion as the motivation for their actions. He's not hurting anyone. He and his wife say they can manage financially, and it's his soul. So I say good for him for sticking to what he believes. I hope he finds a new job soon, and that he never has to see that number again.

Would you quit your job if this happened to you?

 

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