Our friends at Bridgewater Associates have long loved Halloween and a good Halloween soiree. In addition to an annual party paid for by the firm, its staff is known to host bunches of get-togethers in the week leading up to the big night, where everyone gets into the spirit. It wasn't until very recently, however, that they felt comfortable speaking frankly about candy corn and costumes with the outside world.
For example, one year, let's call it 2008, a bunch of the ladies of Bridgewater dressed up as "Mortgage Ratings Gone Bad." Everyone was represented: triple-A, double-D and so on and so forth. People were so excited about the costumes that an innocent photograph of the naughty ratings made their way to a site that chronicles Wall Street. Despite the fact that the picture appeared without naming the firm at which the girls worked, that it was snapped at one of the unofficial gatherings (i.e. not B-Water sanctioned), and that there was no negative commentary, this website's approval of the general cleverness of the costumes was unappreciated by the firm.
How dare you show our employees dressed up for our most favorite holiday in the world, someone protested. That same someone spent the weekend threatening to sue if the photo was not removed, and once informed that they had no legal right to get it taken down, as there was no defamation but more importantly, they did not own the picture, demanded that the photographer turn over the rights so they could declare copyright infringement. It was upsetting, to say the least. But this story has a happy ending.
That anecdote illustrated Bridgewater’s old attitude about Halloween, for which they should not be faulted. They weren't ready for non-Bridgewaters to know about their costumes and you can't push people, like I did, until they're ready. You have to let them come to things in their own time. Happily, they did just that. Bridgewater's new attitude, of which we VERY much approve, is to speak openly and honestly about how much their Halloween parties kick ass. In fact, they're now being used to attract new talent. Business Insider took a looksee at the company's website and in a new section, several employees have offered testimonials re: how B-Water does H-Ween (among other things) right:
* Nick, on the "best" event at Bridgewater: "The Halloween party. Dressing up in the most offensive costume I could think of won me tickets to anywhere in North America."
* Joe, on the "best" event at Bridgewater: "My favorite was the first Halloween party three months after I started working here. The costumes were outrageous. The competitive spirit really kicks in when it comes to dressing up. People are really creative every year, and winning a prize for dressing up as the Heisman Trophy a few years ago was a highlight of my Bridgewater experience."
* Fred, on the "best" event at Bridgewater: "The parties at Bridgewater (holiday, Mardi Gras, summer picnic, and Halloween) are great because they are not stuffy corporate parties, but parties where letting loose is encouraged instead of discouraged."
* Hassan, on the "best" event at Bridgewater: "The Halloween party, although I don't remember all of it..."