The office Halloween party is not the time to break out your best impressions and wildest outfits.
Just as I said previously, when you have a sign on your office or cube supporting a particular party, everyone knows what you stand for (or rather, assumes they know what you stand for). With that, dressing up to mock a political figure is a way to show your dislike by masking your feelings behind a costume. When you dress up as someone famous, you tend to exaggerate speech, body images, body language, and take liberties with that person’s worst qualities to enhance the whole costume. When doing that, you are making fun of others for what/who they believe in as a result. This works great for Saturday Night Live … but could be pretty bad for you in the office when your boss doesn’t dig your impression of his favorite candidate. If you feel a dying need to go with a political themed costume, stick the classics as I mentioned before, and stay far away from any hot-topic figures.
Tip #3: Timing
Modern Manners Guy Facebook friend, Dan runs a fairly large (100 people) company and loves celebrating all holidays in the office with his employees. He has a giant holiday party, a grand July 4th BBQ, and of course a rocking Halloween party with costumes, food and even decorations. Last year during Dan’s in-office Halloween bash, he dressed up as Gene Simmons, the lead singer of the rock band KISS. From the makeup, to the hair to the boots, Dan had it all. He even won the staff award for Best Costume. All was jovial in the office until a certain “hiccup” with an order that made Dan “Hotter Than Hell” (a little KISS reference/play on words for all the fans out there). Apparently, one employee mistakenly added an extra zero to a bill and Dan lost more money than he anticipated. So amidst the fun, Dan also lost his cool, while reprimanding the guilty employee … all while dressed like Gene Simmons. Follow me, folks; a grown man, dressed in black leather with metal accents, yelling at the top of his lungs at an employee. Not exactly the most proper impression.
Granted, Dan didn’t realize this would happen to him but it’s very hard to take someone serious when wearing a Halloween costume, isn't it? Sure, he could have waited to handle the issue later, but Dan went off the rails and had a hard time really driving in the meaning of this screw up, looking like he was about to go sign autographs at Comic Con. The lesson learned here? Well, when having a Halloween party that involves dressing up, make sure you do two things. First, pick a costume that in an emergency can be taken off, allowing you to return to normal life. Secondly, if you’re going to kick off the festivities, do so at a time when actual work is not being done. This way everyone can enjoy it stress free and to the full extent. Otherwise, you look like an office full of misfits taking calls and hanging out in the break room.
As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.
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