Halloween at Great Little Box Company. How can we begin to explain it?
Picture “workplace” meets “MGM Studios”. Basically, the spirit of Halloween takes hold of us, holds on hard, and doesn’t let go until November.
At this time of year, we have a few traditions that have been running for who-knows-how-long. Throughout October we decorate our building according to a special Halloween theme, and on Halloween day we get dressed up and run competitions.
We go pretty over the top to win big in these categories:
1. Chopped Box – Best costume made from a box (we put together 5 of them) containing random GLBC materials and store-bought items
2. Group Workspace – Best decorated department
3. Individual Workspace – Best decorations by anybody going it alone
4. Costumes – Scariest, Best Duo or Group, Funniest, and Most Original
Three judges, normally from our production crew, do the hard work of determining the best and brightest. During our lunch break, we have a quick introduction with the participants in their costumes show a brief slideshow of the office decorations, then we announce our Halloween Winners by category.
It’s hard to express with words how much Halloween transforms GLBC each October, which is why this post is full of pictures. How did all of this start? One thing is for certain: although these ridiculously fun traditions are popular throughout the company, they are definitely powered by a few specific individuals.
Tia and Shirley from our Accounting and Administration Team and Carrie from our Customer Solutions Department are GLBC’s Halloween heavy hitters. They are our most passionate decorators and they raise the bar each and every year. Tia, Shirley, and Carrie are the masterminds behind previous GLBC themes like Alice in Wonderland, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Zombie Apocalypse, GLBC Pumpkin Patch, the Secret Garden, and Undead Diner.
We talked with these creative super-stars about all things Halloween. Here are a few things they had to say.
1. Where do you get your inspiration for costumes? Is there a particular way you want to feel when you get dressed up for Halloween?[Carrie] “I was first really inspired by Shirley’s mad scientist theme. I remember seeing test tube decorations and thinking, ‘This is the best!’”. I’m also inspired by GLBC supplies! I’m always thinking: ‘How can I incorporate this single face corrugate roll and make it into something fantastic?’”
[Shirley] “You get to see a different side of people. It’s a chance to break out of a shell. People can see I’m not ‘just an accountant.’”
[Tia] “We start getting amped up in August! We know our main competition is going to be Carrie.”
2. What does it feel like to bring your “Halloween A game” to work? Has it ever felt awkward or difficult or is it just fun showing this side of yourself?[Carrie] “I think it’s so amazing how we can all build off of each other. Our jobs are so individual, but this is a time when we’re all together, brainstorming and collaborating.”
[Tia] “I think it’s great to have customers exposed to this part of our culture, like when they come to reception and tour the building and it’s all transformed.”
3. What does Halloween mean to you?[Shirley] “Fun! As long as it’s tasteful, we go all out. The company gives us full reign.”
[Tia] “Yeah, fun! At what other time in your adult life can you get dressed up like this?”
[Carrie] “Our work is about creativity and problem solving, so I think this goes along with everything else we do.”
4. What are the funniest, wildest, or more imaginative costumes you can remember team members wearing in the past?
• Ghost costume made from foam and sucker cups
• Rollerblade Barbies
• Kathy Kinney from The Drew Carey Show (“Her stress level had to go down that day!”)
• Sunburnt Tourist
• Rubik’s cube made from corrugated
• Mickey and Minnie Mouse (Identities still to be verified who wore these costumes ? )
• Elmer’s glue
5. How does Halloween connect in a special way with GLBC’s culture?[Carrie] “These traditions are about creativity, which GLBC is all about. It’s also about team building. We start months in advance and do this on our own time. I always get to know different people better. Last year, I got to work closely with a co-worker in a different department. I barely knew him and now I want him to be my best friend!”
6. How can a company encourage genuine fun (rather than forced corporate “fun”) among its team members? What works and what doesn’t?[Shirley] “This is all driven by individuals, not by the company. The company just supports individuals in doing what they want to do.”
[Tia] “Management and leaders can set an example. Robert Meggy is a forerunner. I loved his Willy Wonka and Elvis costumes.”
[Carrie] “I think this really connects with our vision of ‘Grow our People, Grow our Business’. It’s something that doesn’t cost the company anything. It’s so fun that we do it in our spare time or after hours.”
As of today, we’re only a couple of days from all the madness and fun. Stay tuned for our social media posts on how creative our employees got with their costumes and workspace.