My mother and informant, KK, meets up with her friends from high school about once a month. They call themselves “club.” I was home when KK hosted “club” and listened to her and her friends, several of whom are nurses, swap stories about their shifts when working in a hospital.
On Halloween my informant, KK and her friend, both nurses, dressed up in suits when working the night shift at the hospital in the early 1990s. Arthur Anderson Consulting had recently come into the hospital and “told the nurses how they should do their job.” From KK’s tone of voice it was clear that she and her friend thought it absurd that a consulting group could come in and tell the staff how to do their job when they had no medical education.
The patients that KK and her friend visited found their costumes amusing. The administration and staff of the hospital did not really react because it was not too busy at night.
So it seems as if my informant and her friend were using Halloween as an excuse to mock the consultants and hospital administration for hiring Arthur Anderson. This is typical with Halloween celebrations. At Halloween, it is appropriate to act differently than one would in normal life. KK and her friend became what they are not. In doing so, they poked fun at the Arthur Anderson employees who, ironically, became someone they are not when they consulted a hospital without medical know-how.