update: my company wants me to work Halloween and I’m a Halloween fanatic

Remember the letter-writer last year who was a Halloween fanatic but their company wanted them to work on Halloween? Here’s the update.

I’m happy to report that I still love the job AND … I have Halloween off this year! The same project is happening again, and it was agreed that I would do a lot of front-end work. My boss waited until today to give me the green light, but she said it was fine. I gave her the option to call me if things go haywire.

My job is mainly remote but after I wrote in, the team started going into the office one day a week. They saw my Halloween tattoo, my pumpkin purse, my skull laptop bag, my orange, purple and green accessories. It became a running joke (one I don’t mind) about my passion for this time of year.

Of course, I would rather have the week off, but I will take the day. Your words that stuck with me were: “We all get to have things that are important to us that don’t line up with more mainstream observances.” Thank you for that. I enjoyed reading all the comments last year regarding what days people took off for their own interests.

My plans are to sit on my couch for a horror movie marathon, elbow deep in pumpkins and a bag of dark chocolate. There will be a cup of pumpkin spiced coffee nearby, a black cat on my lap and a fall scented candle lit. Once the sun goes down, I will rise in my Vampire costume to scare the neighborhood children. Happy Haunting!

{ 113 comments… read them below }

    1. The Real Fran Fine*

      I was just going to post, “I love this so much,” lol. OP is a person after my own heart. I’ve been celebrating all month and my team continues to indulge me with my spooky Teams backgrounds and horror movie conversations. I can’t wait for our Halloween parties (yes, you heard that right – we’re having multiple at work!) – this is the most wonderful time of the year.

    2. allathian*

      Thanks for the update! I love it when people can show their passion for something like this at work and have it recognized.

      Happy haunting Halloween!

    3. Alexander Graham Yell*

      Right? Hooray for OP, I’m so glad you get to celebrate the way you’d like to. Hopefully someday you get your full week, but having the day itself is fantastic and your plans sound amazing!

    4. MF*

      Yes! I’m not into Halloween at all, but OP sounds like a delight. I would love to have her for a colleague!

  1. Sloanicota*

    This is something I’ve always struggled with in the working world – job conditions shift and you really have no recourse except getting a new job, which is not nearly as easy as it sounds. OP checked that this job wasn’t busy at Halloween, and I’m guessing there’s really no reason this project “had” to happen at the end of October every year except some decision-maker made it so – but now OP’s hoping to get one day and only getting final approval shortly in advance with a lot of grace and accommodation, when they were previously wishing for two weeks! Next year another coworker may be out sick or something else will come up and OP may be asking a lot to get even this one day. I’m happy for them but it’s also an unfixable issue as it could easily happen in any job they take.

    1. Jennifer*

      I feel the same way. I’m happy that OP is happy but also a bit disappointed that they don’t get to do what they really want. I’m a big believer that vacation time should be accommodated, especially when planned in advance. What if OP requested the week off in like, January next year, would it be denied? That stinks. I would lean more into the wedding anniversary aspect of it all. My husband and I always take the week of our wedding anniversary off to go on vacation or staycation, requested well in advance, and I would be so upset if some arbitrary work project got in the way of that.

    1. GammaGirl1908*

      Likewise! Delighted that this worked out for OP.

      I also hope the awesome shark poster from the original thread got in some good shark time.

  2. SomebodyElse*

    I remember your question. Yaaa! (I was one of the ones who commented on taking off a “B” list Holiday every year). Enjoy :)

    1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

      I like that term B list.
      I and most of my coworkers end up taking off around or on our birthdays.

    1. I'm just here for the cats!*

      Yes maybe in the weekend thread the OP can give us a rundown list. I would love a list of any Halloween movies, not just horror movies

    2. OP*

      I will most likely do a mix of “classics” and “modern”. Everyone’s taste is different and I enjoy a variety. Below are some favorites!

      1. Halloween (the original)
      2. Hocus Pocus (I did not like the 2nd one)
      3. Cabin in the Woods (I thought this was less run-of-the-mill horror)
      4. IT (With Skarsgard. Good mix of comedy)
      5. Scream (Never gets old)
      6. Halloween H20 (One of the few others in the series I like)
      7. Trick ‘r Treat (Somewhat campy, but good scenery)
      8. Garfield’s Halloween Adventure (Tradition!)

  3. The Person from the Resume*

    The LW is not alone in her love of halloween and scary/bloody costumes. I live in a place where adults are extremely fond of Halloween. I know several people who work at haunted houses and rearrange their full time job’s work schedule around their fun job!

    I’m glad it worked out. It’s unfortunate that her job has now made this annual thing due around Halloween but I’m glad it’s working out for her.

  4. Jen M.*

    I’m not a Halloween person, but your day sounds lovely! I’m a romance novel fan, and took the day off for the premiere of Bridgerton season 2. It was a great decision, and I hope you enjoy your day!

    1. The OG Sleepless*

      I tried to take the day off after the release of Ken Follett’s “The Evening and the Morning” in 2020, but it didn’t work out. Not a big deal, but I fully planned to spend the entire day sitting on my deck reading a thick book.

  5. Oogie*

    This person needs to work at the office from another post (the one where LW said they were going to have bats at work). It’s a perfect fit!

    1. Warrior Princess Xena*

      haha – yes, if there ever were two people who should magically switch jobs, it is those two OPs!

    2. OP*

      I saw that post and thought “I do not understand this person. I can not relate to them”. Swapping would be a dream! I also disagree with the live bats in the office but everything else sounds great to me.

  6. HugsAreNotTolerated*

    This makes my heart happy. What would make my heart happier is my very own pumpkin purse. If OP is willing share where they got theirs….

    1. Alexander Graham Yell*

      So a brand I follow sells them, but they’re probably sold out at this time of year – La Femme en Noir. (I just checked, pre-orders now should be delivered in December.)

    2. Alex the Alchemist*

      Not OP, but I do know that Love Pain and Stitches sells some fun jack-o-lantern bags, although they’re often sold out.

    3. OP*

      I have a collection of Love Pain and Stitches bags! (LPS). Another poster mentioned them and they do sell out, but you can sometimes find deals on Poshmark. I have a Pumpkin Purse for every season! Green for Christmas, Red for Valentine’s, etc.

  7. grumpy old (cat) lady*

    Can you give your black cat some extra love for me? I still miss my cat – she was convinced she was really a black jungle leopard. She was indoor/outdoor and stalked through the yard like a feline from Big Cat Diary. I didn’t have a mouse in the house for 18 years. Actually I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a live mouse for 200 yards around my house. Before I get grief she brought up all her kills to the patio and I never saw a bird – just mice and rabbits. Now it’s up to the fox to control the rodent population.

  8. Lilo*

    The one bit of advice I’ll give is, if for whatever reason you or a family member can’t make it work, feel free to ignore the calendar and help your friend/family member still have their holiday. My Dad dad and sister are both in medicine and some years that meant they had work shifts on Christmas day. Someone has to do it, people still have heart attacks or get injured on Christmas day. Neither was going to quit over it. So we just did Christmas on the 26th or 27th. Full on thing, stockings, presents, all that. We didn’t take Christmas away from them because they had to work.

    1. Antilles*

      Yes, yes, and yes to “ignore the calendar”.

      About a decade ago, my mom’s side of the family decided to do our “family Christmas” in early December. We tried it out once and it worked so well that we’ve just made it our annual tradition to hold Christmas several weeks early. It avoids the usual push-and-pull of “whose family do we visit on Christmas”, there’s never any conflicting schedules, it saves money on flights/hotels for people who have to travel, less traffic while driving, and the whole experience is just so much less stressful.

    2. spcepickle*

      My family does this as well. To me it is better to get goodwill at work by working the holidays and get tickets at half the price. We do “Thanksgiving” the first full weekend in December.

    3. Purple Cat*

      Yup, we do this, even though it’s not people working that’s the conflict, it’s juggling all the different family units. So we have “early Christmas”, Christmas, and “Late Christmas”

      1. allathian*

        We have Big Christmas and Little Christmas, because my SIL is a Lutheran preacher who lives several hours away, and as it’s one of the biggest Christian holidays of the year (the other being Easter), she’s usually working through the holidays. So we usually celebrate with her in late November, or after the holidays in January.

        1. workswitholdstuff*

          We did this last year with my brother. He’s a care worker, and always gets a christmas shift – normally, that’s a sleep-shift Christmas eve into christmas day – which works out well for us generally, as we do Christmas dinner mid/late afternoon anyway – and either Dad or I will go pick him up (brother doesn’t drive), and we’ve picked up my SIL the day before.

          Last year though, he got Christmas afternoon into boxing day – which was much more awkward – so we shifted Christmas dinner and presents to the night before, and just did a nice cooked breakfast before Dad took him over – SIL stayed until the day after and we took her back over to meet before…

          He’d managed the near impossible the christmas before and got both days off, but well, Covid, and our Christmas-lock down happened…. (That year, I’d self-isolated so could join the ‘rents so I wasn’t entirely on own- and was working mostly from home anyway ) . We did a doorstep drop of presents (and mum’s cauliflower/broccolli cheese) for that one.

          You just make it work, even if it’s not quite lining up with everyone else..

    4. Cedrus Libani*

      My family does this too, and we’re not medical, we’re just cheap and hate crowded airports. Also, when you do Family Christmas on the Saturday before, it means the churchgoers don’t have a schedule to worry about and don’t mind the lack of specifically religious bits, because they can still do their thing on Actual Christmas.

    5. Sydney Bristow*

      I think this works better for some holidays than other. Halloween would be difficult if you love answering the door for trick-or-treaters as part of the holiday.

      We’ve started celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving even though we aren’t Canadian and live in the US. It is much easier for families to travel to celebrate with us, which is important to me.

    6. TeaCoziesRUs*

      Military family here. I’ve had friends whose spouses deployed that left their Christmas tree up until the deployer came home. :) Christmas = parent home! Then again, my mom has decided to leave her tree up year round and just decorate it for the seasons.

    7. Nella*

      I’m a little envious – I’ve worked the past three Christmases and I’m scheduled to work the next three with no option of taking time off. My family does it on the 25th anyways, and while they do gifts (only the ones to and from me) around my schedule (Seven straight shifts in a row that fall over the holidays), they do everything else without me. It’s exhausting to hear how much I’m missing out. I’m so glad your family accommodates your Dad and Sister. Working holidays is hard, but it’s harder when it means you miss out on everything.

  9. Dr. Rebecca*

    Yay, OP, thank you for the update!! A colleague scheduled a meeting for my otherwise day-off Halloween, so I’ll be attending in costume.

  10. Minimal Pear*

    I feel you OP, I took Halloween off too. For me it’s a costume thing; I want time for last-minute fixes, for getting into costume, and for going to take photos.

  11. Hello Dahlia*

    My company has a paid Diversity Day, and if I had such strong feelings about Halloween, I’d definitely use it for this!

  12. dana scully's best friend*

    This is such a delightful update and I’m so happy to read it. Your Halloween plans sound perfect. Happy Haunting to you as well!

  13. Lumos*

    Please tell me your purse is the jack o lantern purse from Vixen. I’ve been dying to have that purse and I love seeing other Halloween obsessed people carrying it out in the world. I’m so glad you have the day off this year OP!

    1. Alexander Graham Yell*

      Hahahah I posted a comment in a thread above to make sure people could find that bag! Nice to see another Vixen/Vamp around here :)

  14. Goldenrod*

    “They saw my Halloween tattoo, my pumpkin purse, my skull laptop bag, my orange, purple and green accessories.”

    I love this so much.

    If your logical arguments had failed to move them, I’d say that your Halloween tattoo would make the case for you!!

    1. Bunny Girl*

      Me too! And I’m jealous. I’m getting a full Halloween back piece in the next year and I’m excited.

    2. OP*

      Thank you! That half sleeve was 10 hours total and absolutely worth it. I had my first session on my 40th birthday. I know some people don’t love tattoos, but I’ve never had a problem with mine when it comes to work.

      You can only see the bottom half of mine if I wear short sleeves; and the part you are going to see is a pumpkin patch. Good luck to the poster that is getting the back piece! That sounds wonderful!

      1. Alexander Graham Yell*

        This is coming at the right time – I’m debating a quarter-to-half sleeve and this is pushing me that direction. Why not keep the things we love on our bodies?!

  15. Justin*

    Aw, yay.

    My apartment building has a new manager and they went hard on decorations in certain areas. Me and my son love it.

    1. allathian*

      A friend of mine in the US loves Halloween and decorates his house like there’s no tomorrow. I think it’s adorable.

  16. Goldie*

    I have an on-going conflict with my job. We have two program events that align with the beginning of the school year and land on the week of my son’s birthday. These are the most important events of the year for our organization and I have to work late. When I first started and he was little I was pretty devastated that I was working all day on my 3 year olds birthday. I figured out how to make it work. We do a big celebration on the weekend before. Mix it up with other people and surprises on the actual day when I have to work.

    It’s not worth me leaving my dream job with amazing retirements. It only happens every few years. These are grown up trade offs.

    I’m glad OP was able to make it work this year, hopefully if it doesn’t work out in future years she can find a creative work around.

    1. Clisby*

      We have rarely scheduled birthday celebrations on the actual birthday – we didn’t when our children were growing up, either. So much easier to decree celebrating it on the closest weekend. Of course, occasionally the birthday really is on the weekend, which is fine.

      1. allathian*

        Yes, this. My whole life I’ve always celebrated my birthday on the closest weekend, and it’s never been an issue. The same thing was true in my husband’s family, and we continued the same traditions with our son.

        Certainly, a 3-year-old doesn’t understand dates yet, so they won’t make a fuss about it unless the adults around them do.

    2. Warrior Princess Xena*

      My biggest religious observance of the year invariably falls right in the middle of the busiest month of the year for us. :P. Luckily this is one of those times where having different holidays be important is awesome, because I’m happy to cover for coworkers during new year’s and they’ll cover me later in spring.

  17. Lacey*

    What fun plans! I want to do that now even though halloween is not usually something I go all out for.

  18. Jack Straw from Wichita*

    This was the pick-me-up I needed today! I have been in need of a mental health/avoid burnout day, so I just turned in a PTO request for 10/31 in this LW’s honor.

    1. OP*

      I am so glad you were inspired. I raise my glass of pumpkin beer (or coffee) to you! Enjoy your well deserved Spooky day off.

  19. lilsheba*

    OH can I join you that sounds perfect! This is my favorite time of year and I just pumpkins, witches, skulls, halloween in general. LOVE IT.

  20. RJ*

    Awesome, OP. I’m not the biggest Halloween observer, but I highly respect anyone who fights for the work-balance that fits them. Enjoy your marathon!

  21. Clisby*

    “Once the sun goes down, I will rise in my Vampire costume to scare the neighborhood children. Happy Haunting!”

    When I was in my 20s (unmarried, no children) I once read an article saying children at Halloween really *love* the idea that they’re scaring people. So my roommate and I came up with a plan.

    Kids knock on the door. I open the door, stare at them in horror, scream, and shut the door. In a few moments, my roommate quietly opens the door and hands out treats.

    My favorite response – I did my scream and shutting the door, only to hear a little voice pipe up from outside: “We’re just people out here.”

  22. Sparklykitten*

    This is the most delightful update I’ve seen all year. Thank you <3 and happy Halloween!

  23. Wren_Song*

    OP, you have inspired me. I’ve always wanted to take Earth Day to participate in some of the activities a local non-profit does. I think I’ll start doing that as my yearly observance that my employer doesn’t celebrate. Have a lovely Halloween!

    1. Cmdrshpard*

      I would strongly encourage you to do so.
      I schedule a few “random” days off during the year just to be home and mill around the house. I usually set it in the middle of the week, but make sure there are not any urgent work matters, and if something pops up I can move it.

      I normally take off election day every year because I like to serve as an election judge, no one at work bats an eye.

      You could even try to push your company to give people the day off as a paid volunteer day.

  24. toolittletoolate*

    Glad it worked out. There should be the ability in any reasonably sized organization for someone to be able to take a couple of days off around an event that holds significance for them. I took my last personal day to binge watch the Sandman and eat ice cream from the carton.

  25. oranges*

    I love this update!! So happy for you, OP!
    (It make my heart happy to see adults getting true joy from things. It doesn’t happen as much as it should.)

  26. WantonSeedStitch*

    That sounds like a DELIGHTFUL Halloween, OP! I would probably skip the scary movies in favor of more fun ones like The Addams Family, Fido, The Nightmare Before Christmas, etc. But pumpkin spice coffee, dark chocolate, and a black cat are ALWAYS welcome.

  27. Abogado Avocado*

    Yay, Halloween! This is marvelous news! Wish I could see your costume, which sounds great!

    I, too, love this time of year, and put up a Dia de los Muertos ofrenda in the very tiny foyer of my house to remember family, friends, and pets who have passed. It’s not meant to be scary — although I have a friend from a different cultural background who told me she considers the sugar skulls and pan de muerto scary and have explained that the pan, tequila and cigarettes are meant for the souls who return on All Souls Day to enjoy.

    1. In this town of Halloween.....*

      Yes, it’s one of the nicest bits of Halloween, honouring your ancestors and offering them something. We leave an “empty” place set for them at the table with food\drink etc

  28. RunShaker*

    Love the update & excited you have at least the day off. I too have Halloween & Day of the Dead off. I’m in San Antonio & this weekend will be Dia De Los Muertos celebration downtown. alters, art, live poetry, food, parade, music, etc. I also decorate my front yard & hand out candy. I’m 4 months into my new job and have vacation days I need to use this year so win for me!

    1. TeaCoziesRUs*

      We just left San Antonio! I miss it already. Our church actually set up a HUGE ofrenda and encouraged us to bring pictures to set on it. :)

  29. Wakehf*

    Congratulations from a fellow Halloween fanatic! I’m so glad to hear you got the day off and that your office seems to take delight in you.

  30. In this town of Halloween.....*

    I’m a Pagan. I love Halloween, I love the way I can see the remnants of my Samhain in Halloween. I celebrate both, as the start of my New Year and the chance to bob for apples. I’m doing the ritual this year for our coven and as titular High Priest I will be dressed in my best Zombie costume. After the ritual we will do the usual feast and “ale and a tale” where everyone has to tell spooky stories, I’m hoping if we have the time to show Hocus Pocus 2 as well, since Hocus Pocus is my favourite Halloween film, I hope it lives up to the original!
    Shame I live in a farmhouse so don’t get any little kids coming round for sweets

  31. penny dreadful analyzer*

    So glad OP got the day off! I am also taking Halloween as a floating holiday; the fact that my biggest contract decided to move it’s “main” report deadline from March 1 to November 1 this year is, in my view, merely more incentive for my PMs to budget their time so that I don’t get five reports all landing on my desk the day before they’re due.

  32. Random Biter*

    Solidarity! Although Mother Nature may nix trick or treat in my neck of the woods this year (sad, sad fangy face) I’ll be right there with you, OP, for all the rest. As the banner on my front door says, “Every Day is Halloween!”

  33. LadyK*

    As a fellow Halloween lover, I’m glad you were able to get your day off and I hope in the future, it won’t be an issue. I took PTO on 10/31 from my day and night jobs because I wanted to spend the last Halloween in my house. I’m the house with the fog machine, blacklights, luminaries and decorations galore and I am moving at the end of the year. It’s a little bittersweet and I hope the rain holds off for the kiddos that come knocking for sweets and treats.

  34. SyFyGeek*

    I love Halloween. For the past few years, I’ve made it a point to wear office appropriate clothing, that could also be a costume for the week before Halloween.
    This week I’ve worn:
    a black dress that has an octopus in red all over the skirt. With a cardigan, nobody knew until I stood up.
    a midi length black dress with boots, and purple & black striped over the knee socks.
    a lavender button up sweater, with a pearl necklace & earrings. The dress under the sweater was pleather.
    today is a black skirt, black tanktop, and a sheer dark red blouse with black skulls that don’t look like skulls until you get close.

    I have 2 days left and 2 outfits- a Wednesday Adams dress, and a dress with a beaded rib cage.

    I did dress as Carol from the Walking Dead one year (Alexandria-Carol)-flowered button down, matching sweater, slacks and a tray of cookies…Only a few people got it, but it was fun.

  35. Ladycrim*

    I totally get it. I’m on a Rocky Horror cast, and our bookings go from once a month to 5-8 in October. I often need Fridays off all month for travel, the 31st to get ready for our big Halloween show, and Nov. 1st to catch up on sleep. Over the years, these requests have been met with mixed success.

    Last year, I resigned my job a week before Halloween. (Timing was coincidental.) I already had approved PTO around the holiday, and as I was giving 3 weeks’ notice, I darn well kept and used those vacation days.

    This year, things were complicated. I haven’t saved up a lot of PTO at my new job yet and I’m trying to be judicious with it. I ended up taking the PTO I needed for travel days, and I’m working the 31st and 1st. There will be caffeine involved.

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