A Idea Whose Time May Never Come
LIKE IT OR NOT, and I’m not overjoyed about it, but Halloween is coming up fast and spurious. What started out as part of a religious observance has been turned into…I’m not quite sure what. A Candy Corn coated excuse to give children gingivitis? A promo for several TV shows about people in bad makeup stumbling around, snarling like Charlie Sheen on a good day?
The other day I stopped into my local Chapel of St. Arbucks to have some tea and to write a bit. When I went up to the counter I was greeted by an espresso-fueled barista who wanted to ask me something.
“We’re having an idea for Halloween and we’d like your opinion.”
Notice how it was phrased with the “We” involved – just in case the idea bombed and she wanted to spread the blame around like a jar of Nutella.
“Oh,” I said?
“We are thinking (There’s that ‘WE’ again.) about having the baristas dress up as some of our customers. What do you think?”
“I’m all for it – but only if I get to dress up like a barista.”
There was a short silence before she replied.
“As one of us? What would you do?”
“I’d stumble around and drop things.”
As luck would have it, at that very moment, one of the crew dropped a metal tray to the floor.
“Like that,” I said.
I don’t think this idea of theirs is going to fly. My guess is that the manager would see the possible dark clouds ahead if one of the real customers is not amused with the barista’s interpretation of their appearance.
If they decide to go ahead with this idea I think they should pre-print some complaint forms, already stamped and addressed, to the Home Office in Seattle. It’s that kind of stunt that has an incredibly limited upside and more downside than “New Coke” and Televised Midget Tossing combined.
As you have probably figured out by now I’m not in favor of their idea. I thought about telling them so, but given my age and status around here, they might look upon my opinion as just the proper incentive to plow forward. So, I’m keeping my yap shut. Believe it or not.
My wife, the lovely and incredibly skilled in workgroup techniques, Dawn, suggested that they conduct a Pre-Halloween survey, complete with 3 X 5 cards and pencils, to gauge customer feelings. I have my doubts. This would require organizational skills and we’re talking an 18 – 24 year old age group here.
There is a Party Store here in Terre Haute (That’s French for, “Please use a #2 pencil.”) that goes into full-tilt mode around Halloween. You can buy any kind of horribly flammable children’s costume you might like and all the accessories for the Halloween party to end all Halloween parties. The kind of party guaranteed to scare the neighbor’s dog into wetting itself and to break even the most ironclad of leases.
I bring up this store because they have something that this St. Arbucks might as well rent if they decide to go through with their plan to dress up as customers. Just inside the door at the Party Store, greeting every customer as they enter, is an electric mutilated zombie figure that, when you approach, projectile launches an eruption of green vomit into a barrel.
Put that right inside the door at St. Arbucks and see how many Pumpkin Spice Lattes you’ll sell. But won’t it be such fun!