Quite a few years back, late in the afternoon as the eve of Devils Night drew near, my fellow colleagues  and I all enthusiastically agreed to get into the spirit and to wear costumes to work the next day.  Now, I happen to love Halloween, and in the spirit of Samhain, I was all in!

I should mention that I had only been there a few short months and didn’t know them all that well. I was thrilled to discover I was amongst such open-minded and congenial cohorts, especially given that I was the only one there with a business background, amongst a group of social workers.

The morning was misty, and as I approached, the sky was still delectably dark. The sinister stillness of the morning air seemed befitting for such a day. I heard the chilling howls of some of my co-workers, but could not yet see them through the thick fog as it crept fiendishly forward harboring the terrible truth – a horrific harbinger of the horror to come.

I was bedecked in a giant white rabbit suit, just like the one from Alice in Wonderland.  I know! Not exactly scary, but it was all I had on short notice! At any rate, as I entered, I was astonishingly met by the razzing and ridicule of this mercilessly macabre cast of co-workers! The treachery! No dandified drapery, no ghastly garb orgruesome mantle, not even a silly ensemble! Not one of them was wearing a costume!

I stood there speechless. Now I could have reacted with outrage, mustering a fiendish  and formidable force that would leave these ruthless pranksters running for their lives. (Clearly I watch too many movies!)

But, I knew exactly what I had to do – no sanctimonious scolding, no spiteful slander, no dreaded demotions to be dealt, no wrathful revenge to be rendered.

Instead, I led with my best bunny foot forward. I carried on, business as usual.

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~ William James

I wore that costume all day, no matter how sweltering it was inside. I greeted clients and lead them to the foodbank wearing it, I welcomed volunteers clad in it, I even went out for lunch adorned in my fuzzy white fur coat and giant floppy ears. I rather enjoyed hopping about completely ensconced in character. I made a lot of people smile that day, and more than a few children chuckle and point.

Those mischievous staffers eyeballed me all day, with nary a smirk nor sneer.  And by the end of the day, they were all quite chagrined and apologetic. They hadn’t gotten the best of me as they’d hoped. Yet, they did see the best of me. They saw my sense of humour, my sincerity, my sportsmanship, and my ability to hold my own. There was never a more gracious or benevolent a bunny.

And as the doomful day loomed the following year, again, there was clamour. Again, they all professed to be planning to come cloaked in costume. I said nothing, as the truth would reveal itself soon enough.

When morning came, the cold wind wickedly whistled through the trees, turning to a howl as it stirred the dead leaves from their plots on the ground. Harsh thunderous laughter echoed eerily across the skies, threatening to unleash a terrible torrent, as a slash of a lighted whip sliced the air, again and again – perhaps an omen of skulduggeries to come.

Forth I went fearlessly, and just as I had the year before, I embraced this ancient tradition, arrayed, this time, in regal raiment, as an enticing enchantress.

On that fateful day, I must truly have been wielding a powerful and mysterious magic. For there they were, each and every one of them, adorned in their respective garb – an impish pixie, a cunning kobold, an elegant elf, a spirited sprite, and more! Quite a magnificent menagerie, and I could not help but beam brilliantly!

Not because we had come together to carouse in costume…

But because we had truly become a team – and what wonderful magic we would wield together!

Pixie, kobold, elf, and sprite,
All are on their rounds tonight;
In the wan moon’s silver ray,
Thrives their helter-skelter play. ~ Joel Benton


Think about the last time you had to deal with an issue with your staff. What did you learn about yourself through that experience?

What does your staff learn about you by the way you handle a situation?


Tagged with:

13 Responses to Hallowe’en Horror

  1. Rg (Social Poetics) says:

    LOL! ..I can so relate ..a few tears back, I produced a Spiritual (new-age sorta) and Motivational Festival in Nashville. All 123 exhibitors and speakers agreed we would all wear costumes. I came as a wizard (imagine that lol).

    Not one exhibitor or speaker dressed the agreed affair. Like you I was the only one. And like you I went on the days business and had a grand time.

  2. Kellianne Sweeney says:

    Good for you! It feels wonderful to surprise people when you show poise in those sort of situations. I would have done the same thing. I have been known to dress up even if I know no one will. Perhaps it’s the Kindergarten teacher in me. It is a good philosophy to apply to other areas too. Happy Halloween to you now and here’s to many more! 

  3. Morning says:

    we learn from our experiences,
    thanks for sharing.


    welcome sharing your poetry with us today.

  4. pdncoach says:

    Great example of leading by example! And of alluring alliteration!

  5. Giles says:

    uniqueness and confidence is revered by everyone.  Your writing style will make me a dedicated reader of your materials. Fascinating! 

  6. Jacqueline Dick says:

    loved this story! I particularly like the use of the James quote here. Yes, and walk tall, believe in yourself. Great write!

  7. I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *