Corporate Trick-or-Treating

Each year on October 31, people here in the US take a day to lose their dang minds. They encourage their young children to don crazy outfits and gorge themselves on sugary and chocolaty substances provided by complete strangers. It is all in the name of fun and I too have fond childhood memories of “going trick-or-treating”.

When going trick-or-treating most parents take their children door-to-door around their neighborhoods and the vicinity to show off their costumes and collect sugary consumables from neighbors whom they avoid like the avarian flu the other 364 days of the year.

However, many large corporations encourage employees to also/instead shepherd their children in the safe and familiar confines of the workplace corridors, office-to-office or cubicle-to-cubicle, to receive their candy from colleagues and fellow employees. (Who, in most cases, are also total strangers.)

It is interesting what one can learn from a child’s parents or upbringing by observing them during these corporate trick-or-treating outings. Over the years, I have found many children of non-US citizens &#8212 mainly Eastern European, East Asian or Indian — are uncomfortable around people who do not look like them or are not White.

It is sad to watch a kid stop dead in his tracks as if mystified by the Black guy politely smiling at him as he is about to help himself to the bucket of candy sitting just outside the guy’s office. The other moment of disbelief is the kid you hear practically screaming, “Trick-or-Treat!” as she stops at each office down the hallway; but, once she reaches yours and spots its inhabitant she quickly goes mute. Embarrassed, her parents almost beg her to, “Say trick-or-treat, honey. Say trick-or-treat.” Meanwhile, the little girl is having none of it and continues on her merry way — helping herself to candy beforehand, of course. Next office: “Trick-or-Treat!

Parents, get some Black friends and make sure your kids are comfortable around all people…well, except the sickos. The world is not getting any smaller anytime soon so that barrier you are erecting around your offspring may become a prison.

Keith