Friday, September 2, 2011

This is why I can't work at a Halloween store.

I worked yesterday in one of those temporary Halloween stores that spring up in abandoned big-box stores. When you are completely, utterly, flat broke and you hear about a temp job at a local Halloween store and you are me, you think "oh, that could be kinda fun!"  And you who are me would be wrong.

Thankfully, I got a call this morning about a WAY better job (wherein I make more money and do the exact opposite of selling my soul), so I quit the Halloween job immediately.  There are many reasons why I could feel my soul curdling and my deeply held beliefs shouting at me during my one day of work; let's enumerate them here, shall we?

1. During my interview, I was basically told that if I saw my co-workers stealing, I should rat them out, and that in fact, it is SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN - with reports and everything - that 80% of all theft is actually from employees, not customers.  Now, in all fairness, the managers who interviewed me seem like nice people (and one of them is known to be so by a mutual friend) and were literally reading from a script, successfully instilled the feeling of "WE'RE WATCHING YOU, TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE SCUM!"  Also, later I was informed that no one except managers can take out the garbage.  This is not an egalitarian role-reversal, oh no:  it's because employees might steal something by tossing it in the trash!  The former union organizer in me started to fill with rage.

2. The store's costumes are broken down by gender.  Which happens in many stores, but here's a fun example:  BOYS CAREERS = cop and military. Boys are authority figures.  Boys like uniforms.  And guns.  GIRLS CAREERS = there are no girls careers costumes.  Instead, we have GIRLS FAIRIES AND ANGELS.  Girls do not need careers because they can have wings!  and tiaras!  and pinkpinkpinkpinkpink!!!  Also, we have "naughty" costumes for pre-teen girls.  Again, rage.  I know there are lots more gross sexist examples, but I think I got too blinded by THE RAGE because I can't remember them right now.

3. AROUND THE WORLD is another section at the store.  Just guess what that means!  Go ahead, GUESS!  If you guessed lots and lots of racist pain, you're a winner!  The prize is white girls dressed up as "geishas" and white boys being "little Indians"!  And for the adults, Arabic Sheiks and Pimp/Rapper (actually, that one's for the little boys, too) and OHMYFUCKINGGODTHERAGE.

4. And everything is mass-produced in China and is so, so cheap and is also off-gassing potentially carcinogenic chemicals.  Vomit.

The Halloween where there are ghosts and skeletons and creepy zombies and spooky stories told 'round the campfire and bowls full of eyeballs/peeled grapes?  Awesome.  The Halloween where we shit on workers, reify some horrific gender roles and are disgusting racist appropriators?  NO, NO, A THOUSAND TIMES NO.

(p.s. Can I just reiterate how thankful and excited I am to have gotten this other job, where I will be making a good wage and supporting an AWESOME anti-violence org?  SO THANKFUL AND EXCITED.)

(p.p.s. Lots of ALL CAPS TODAY.  Apparently I am having FEELINGS, BIG FEELINGS.)


  1. I almost got a job at one of those places once. Instead I ended up at JoAnn Fabrics. Not any better. We had to "destroy" all clearance items that never sold. Nobody bought it, so it gets broken and thrown in the trash, even though it's still PERFECTLY GOOD. (or at least as good as any product can be there...) Once I was told to throw away a bunch of stuff which included rather expensive art supplies-charcoals and fancy pencils and such-I did not destroy. I pocketed... Congrats on the good-paying, non-soul sucking job!

  2. I hate the destroy thing - it's so juvenile, like "I can't have my toys, so no one else can either!" Ugh.
    And thanks!