Holiday celebrations in the office can be a lot of fun — they provide everyone with a break from the routine and a chance to let loose — but for some reason it also seems like they never fail to create awkward situations. Just think about how weird things got at your last company holiday party, or that time Bob from accounting professed his love to Jane the marketing director over the loudspeaker on Valentine’s day. Talk about uncomfortable.
Halloween is no different — it presents plenty of fun-yet-potentially-awkward situations. While it’s always great to get dressed up, it’s pretty easy to take in-office costumes too far: a co-worker gets creepy confused with downright creepy; a colleague finds out the hard way that cubicles and sexy-Harry Potter costumes just don’t mix.
If you’re dressed up at the office and currently reading this post, you’re probably thinking to yourself “Please don’t let TheWorkBuzz make an example out of the exact costume I am wearing!” Relax. Most people err on the side of caution when it comes to dressing up at work, so chances are, you’re completely appropriate if you are in costume.
But, just in case you need a little more clarification as to what differentiates an appropriate costume from a potentially uncomfortable one, here’s a look at a few real-life examples from workers who have witnessed both sides.
[Side note: We'd show you pictures of our own completely appropriate costumes, but in lieu of dressing up, we at TheWorkBuzz chose to celebrate Halloween by consuming excessive amounts of candy corn instead. Fortunately, some of our CareerBuilder colleagues are far more fun than we are. We got to play "Rock of Love" at the office today courtesy of Cara Gannon, pictured above. She's one of CareerBuilder's senior account executives, and our very own Bret Michaels for the day.]
“Our entire customer service department are dressed up today as a tossed salad, including a plate, tablecloth and silverware.” — Shari McPeek, marketing manager, Rev-A-Shelf, LLC
“I work for OrangeSoda (not a drink company, we do online marketing for local businesses). The SEO team has decorated our area like levels of Super Mario including the underworld. Everyone is dressing up as characters from the different Mario games. As the only woman on the team I’ll be Princess Peach. There are stars, mushrooms, coins and flowers hanging from the ceiling. The center of the office is decked out with cobwebs and goblins. The kids will come and trick or treat at our desks (and play Mario) later today. I always dress up. One of my favorites was being the ghost of technologies past. I had a cassette tape, cords, a walkman, etc. like chains around my neck.” — Janet, OrangeSoda Online Marketing
“We all dressed up this year! We have two pink ladies, a monk, a witch, an angel, Where’s Waldo, the cast of ‘The Office,’ a rock star, a Viking, a Michigan State superfan, and lots more!” — Brittany Fowler, social media specialist, It Works Global
The potentially uncomfortable
“We’re in the midst of our costume Halloween party at work, and the costume competition is being judged via a video feed between our office [in San Diego] and the offices of sister company in New York. More than half the 100+ employees here got dressed up. There was one controversial one: A pregnant woman had a baby zombie bursting out of her stomach. Couple people found that a little shocking. Most everybody else thought it was really cool.” — Tom, Digitaria, a digital marketing agency
“The costume that crossed the line was when a former boss dressed up as Captain Canada. He dyed his underwear red and wore it over white tights with a Canada flag as a cape. Let’s just say your eyes were drawn to the red. Someone reported him to HR. It was funny but awkward to find yourself staring at your boss …” — Janet, OrangeSoda Online Marketing
What’s going on in your office today? Any fun costumes? Any that crossed the line? Tell us how your office celebrates Halloween in the comments section, below.