Inappropriate Halloween Costume
Not just Halloween costumes, but Inappropriate Halloween Costume is today’s topic du jour. It is the middle of October and some of us are thinking about costumes for the company Halloween costume contest. Remember, it is a Halloween costume contest. It is not an Inappropriate Halloween costume contest. In HR we don’t just worry about payroll budgets and sensitivity training. Oh no, my little innocents. If there are two holidays HR looks forward to, (and takes bets on) it is Halloween and the Holidays, AKA Christmas, AKA Hanukkah, AKA Kwanzaa, AKA “Holiday party”.
Bets you ask?
Yes, Bets! Financial odds are played and predictions are made on who will wear the inappropriate Halloween Costume. HR isn’t just a bunch of stick in the muds trying to keep alcohol off the premises. Behind these closed doors, we have a rabid betting pool on who is going to get drunk at the holiday party and make a fool of themselves. Money is on the line for who is going to be inappropriate in a creepy way and who is going to wear something too short, too sheer, or too low. I personally have never bet on naked Xerox body parts, but I have seen the aftermath. It ain’t pretty folks. Why is it on my shift, that the Sears Roebuck granny panties are turned in and not the Xerox copies of Victoria Secret thongs?
1st time to an Open Bar
Do we bet on who is going to get drunk and make a fool of themselves during the holiday / Kwanzaa / Hanakkah party? Abso-Fricken-Lutely. We all pride ourselves on identifying and predicting the individuals who provide our job security.
Employees early in their careers are not used to the open bar concept and suddenly feel like they are working at the best place on Earth! All the booze I can drink? Bartender, another one of whatever this is! For the record, these hires rarely come through HR. They are usually the nephew of someone in the ivory tower. Oiyyyy Veyy!
Predictions are a HRNasty Halloween Tradition
For the past number of years, I have tried to predict what inappropriate Halloween costume will show up and result in a career that is cut off at the knees. Some poor sap who thinks it is cool to show with an inappropriate for work costume doesn’t realize they just committed career suicide, AKA CLM, AKA, Career Limiting Move. Unfortunately, that employee doesn’t realize they have been cut off. This dumbass will show up to work the next day like it is just another day bragging about their costume at the water cooler. Everyone in management is whispering behind the closed doors. Even peers are rolling their eyes behind that employees back. Make no mistake, that career with the current company is has stalled. Actually, the battery is dead and the tires are flat.
News from prior years has shown that some clown has shown up as a victim of the Boston Marathon bombing. I feel insensitive for even mentioning it here, but with the recent Las Vegas shooting, I feel compelled.
Showing up as Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice and bruised wife, simply not cool.
This year, with all the politics in play, Trump and Kim are prime candidates for an inappropriate Halloween costume. I recently posted that the times have changed and being over passionate about your political choices can surface a number of haters. We never know where are managers politics are so buyers beware.
Harvey Weinstein, the movie tycoon is in the news for using his power to take advantage of actresses. I wouldn’t go here either.
I won’t go on. We have all seen these eyeball rolling costumes. I am only speaking to the workplace, but these costumes are not appropriate. Wear these costumes after hours if we must. Take the opportunity to show you are engaged with the company and your team. We need to demonstrate that we have good common/business sense. Even though our department MIGHT be OK with your costume, we need to keep our customers in mind. If there is a chance our customers might be offended, we should think twice.
Just because no one complains, doesn’t mean they are not offended.
I love when children and parents come into the office with themed costumes. This isn’t because I like the little crumb snatchers who become even more grabby this time of year. I am a “turn off the house lights on Halloween” kind of guy. For me, employees who bring in significant others or children show they are engaged with the company. Arriving to work in themed costumes is next level engagement.
I really like the teamwork involved when a department comes in with a group theme. Last year, I participated with our Test group and we all came in dressed as circus members. Me, I came in as the guy that shovels up the circus poop. I bought a few large sponges, trimmed them up and then spray painted them. The department was decorated in the circus theme and it showed the rest of the company and leadership that we cared about company engagement and knew how to work as a team.
So if you are going to come dressed up, think about your career and the little grabby kiddies running around the office trying to fill their pillowcases with sugar.
nasty: an unreal maneuver of incredible technique, something that is ridiculously good, tricky and manipulative but with a result that can’t help but be admired, a phrase used to describe someone who is good at something. “He has a nasty forkball”.