How can I avoid having my job performance judged by how good I am at Halloween costumes?

There’s always an enthusiasm and creativity gap at the office Halloween party. Some people go way over the top, and others phone it in. Two years ago one of the managers criticized people who didn’t put much effort into costumes. Really. Where in our job descriptions does it say we have to have good costumes? “Oh, I see here that you have an engineering degree from MIT, but what was your costume last year?



It seems to me like you’re not taking full advantage of your opportunity to play dress-up at the office on this special occasion. Your fun-forcing, cheesedick, costume-wearing bosses have given you a free pass for occupational silliness. It’s time to join in the frivolity.

You deserve a chance to let loose like everyone else. To spend some time being light-hearted at work. To show off your fun side and make people like you.

And, you can use this time to make a change. In all the fake fun and festivities, you have a chance to transform the way everyone looks at you. Permanently and for the better.

This is the year you dress up as a disgruntled office employee.

Complete with strapped on bomb.

If they want creative, realistic, interesting costumes, by Jove you’re going to give them one, but you can’t go at this half-assed. In order for this to work and be the most fun you’ve ever had, and the best costume they’ve ever seen, you must fully commit to the role. You have to take this as seriously as they do. You must become one of them.

For example, I know sometimes it’s difficult to play “pretend psychokiller coworker” without a giggle here and there, so if you feel you must laugh, you need to laugh in the most maniacal way imaginable. This is the only way to enjoy yourself and to ensure that when the obligatory, time-wasting, jolly holiday is over, everyone thinks twice before telling you what they think of your costume. Because they will see how committed you are to being believable and fun.

It would also be a good idea to make sure your strapped on bomb actually ticks. In order to impress people with your costume, you want to make it as realistic as possible. Also, ticking adds immediacy to your ruse and increases its dramatic effectiveness. And, as a bonus, later on, when people are still unsure about you, but want to make you do extra work, all you’ll have to do is make hushed “tick tick tick” sounds, and they’ll be too scared to ask you to do anything. They may even offer to do work for you.

Just give it a try. It’s time to see what all the “why the hell are we acting like children at work” fuss is about. In the end, you’ll have fun joining in the reindeer games. And, trust me, no one will criticize ANYTHING you do ever again if they are




All the best!


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