Store Santas ask if you’ve been” naughty or nice,” but Santa John in San Francisco was naughty himself, according to Macy’s, and so he was let go.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Santa” John Toomey, a retiree and Kris Kringle lookalike, has been hearing children’s holiday wishes at the Union Square Macys for over 20 years—and telling the same jokes to grown ups who come through the line.
Last weekend, says the paper, Santa John told his standard joke to an adult couple—“When I ask the older people if they've been good, and they say, 'Yes,' I say, 'Gee, that's too bad.' " Toomey reports he’s told this joke “thousands of times,” but in this instance, the couple was offended and reported him to store management.
Macys fired Santa John, but told the Chronicle it does not comment on “personnel matters.” However, Santa John told the paper he asked HR to reconsider the termination.
Macys was swamped with calls, letters, and emails calling for a rehire, and a father and daughter even picketed the store. But Toomey says he hasn’t heard back from the emporium made famous in the classic Christmas movie, Miracle on 34th Street, where, coincidentally, Santa gets fired, and fans implore the store to take him back.
However, when the article hit the Internet, the job offers started pouring in from across the country—and around the world—asking Santa John to make public appearances. However, Toomey chose to stay close to home at Lefty O'Doul’'s, a popular Irish restaurant and bar, where he will preside as Santa for the annual toy drive. And his new employer says there is no personnel policy for monitoring Santa John’s jokes.