But you're really here for one reason only. Without further ado, here are some costume ideas:
- A friend had the great idea of an entire department dressing up like Renaissance peasants. Provocative? Yes. But it also nicely balances the fuck-you-ness and comedy we so often look for in our office Halloween costume. A Renaissance peasant costume says to upper management that they are nothing more than merciless lords who will be violently toppled, while at the same time saying "I'm very literate, witty and worth keeping in the company." A great group costume.
- Much riskier than the above, but so right given our tough economic times, is the Unemployment Check costume. I've never attempted this myself (although I've seriously considered it this year). Probably the best way to go about it is to find a large piece of cardboard and some markers. Then you can get creative to your heart's content. Not sure what an unemployment check looks like? Lucky you. Here's an example. You can also do a simple google image search, and you'll get more good examples. There's no shortage of them around.
A little less utterly dismal and controversial, is the Resume costume. It's a true original (to my knowledge no one has tackled this beast) and it may just remind management that your are highly employable. Conversely, it may get you fired. If you buy enough cardboard, I recommend a back up Unemployment Check costume.
A classic in its own right and a sure crowd-pleaser is the Your Boss costume. This basically consists of an exaggerated, satirical take on the man or woman who gives direction to two-thirds of your life. Some bosses are more ripe for humor than others, but all bosses have some weird tic, neurosis, catchphrase, M.O., or office procedure fetish and in the end it is worth making fun of them all. Common ingredients: suit, Blackberry, and a very serious demeanor.
A less known, but quite effective costume is the Ghost of Unfinished Paperwork. This is for all of you out there who constantly deal with forms and data entry and feel like you are being eaten alive by paperwork. This one is extremely simple. Get a scary mask. Then just get a copy of every type of form you have in your office and have someone tape each one to your body. Cover yourself up entirely in paperwork. I would take a red marker and would add little things like "Denied," "Rejected," "Overdue," etc, for the desired effect. Trust me: people will look at you horrified.
If these ideas don't suit you (and they bloody well should), you can find some more office Halloween costume ideas here. Recessionwire.com has an even more extensive and topical list, quite obviously geared to a Recession-conscious Halloween. Not surprisingly Bernie Madoff is at the top of the costume list.
If you've been put in charge of throwing an office Halloween party, go now to the halloweenofficeparty.com site and follow their advice. Of the tips they offer, my favorite is: "If you see anyone sitting alone or not having a good time, they may be shy. Go over and see if you can help them relax with some kind words and simple conversation. A couple of funny jokes can often break the spell." Or you can just give them alcohol.
Have an efficient Halloween!