John Toomey has been playing department store Santa at Macy’s in San Francisco for over twenty years, and he is quite the popular one. But now, just before Christmas, Toomey has been fired after a couple complained that a joke he told them was inappropriate.
What’s this? He’s joking with kids and not just listening to them?
No, he was told that his Kris Kringle services would no longer be needed because of the objections from an older woman and her husband who visited him.
John Toomey: “When I ask the older people who sit on my lap if they’ve been good and they say, ‘Yes,’ I say, ‘Gee, that’s too bad.’ Then, if they ask why Santa is so jolly, I joke that it’s because I know where all the naughty boys and girls live.”
Toomey said it was the first time anyone complained about the joke, but first time’s the charm, and he was given the big black Santa Claus boot. Toomey also made it clear that he never uses the joke with children.
f course, a Macy’s spokeswoman had no comment about the firing because it’s a personnel matter, but word is that many store employees were distraught that Toomey was let go.
Toomey, meanwhile, hopes to get work at parties and other stores: “I’ve got my Social Security and some savings, so I’ll be OK. But I sure do miss being Santa.”
And he’d still be Santa if a couple of Grinches hadn’t decided to ruin Christmas.