Could Santa Sue Macy's? Fired John Toomey Speaks Out

john toomey macys santaSanta Claus could be ho ho ho-ing all the way to the bank if a prominent human rights attorney has his way.

John Toomey, the man who has been known as Santa John for the past 31 years was unceremoniously fired from his annual job as Santa at the Union Square Macy's in San Francisco, after an adult couple complained about a joke he'd been telling grown-ups for years.

"You'd think an adult couple who came to have their picture taken on Santa's lap would have a sense of humor," said Toomey, a 68-year-old retired caretaker who is still jolly and optimistic despite the fact that he just lost the only job he has all year.

One reason for his good cheer is the fact that all the media attention is garnering other job offers, such as the one from local restaurant Lefty O'Doul's, which needs help with its annual toy drive.

Another reason Santa John is still jolly is the offer that came from a human rights activist in San Francisco. "He thinks there might be enough 'mishegas' here to get something out of it," said Toomey, who told AOL Jobs he is not Jewish but knows the Yiddish term from having grown up in New York.

The exchange that got Toomey fired went something like this:

Santa: Have you been good this year?

Couple: Yes Santa.

Santa: That's too bad. Do you know why Santa is so jolly?

Couple: No Santa.

Santa: That's because Santa knows where all the bad boys and girls live.

Toomey is adamant about never having this exchange with children. With the little ones, he only talks about what they want for Christmas. And he's never had a complaint, until now.




"They (the offended couple) were just fine when they got up off my lap," says Toomey. "But apparently they were appalled once they got to the Macy's offices."

Despite the outcry, Toomey has not heard word one from Macy's since the inauspicious event occurred. He was informed that his services "were no longer required" as he was preparing to go to work the next day -- by the manager of the event company that arranged the gig for him.

Apparently word had come down from Macy's corporate headquarters in New York, not from the managers of the San Francisco Macy's where he'd been working for so long. "My guess is that the couple probably thought they could have a lawsuit (for injurious insult) against Macy's so they kicked it upstairs to New York," Toomey told AOL Jobs.

Meanwhile, the citizens of San Francisco are not happy. Those who worked with him on the seventh floor "Santa Land" are surprised, and feel the firing was a definite overreaction. Many Bay area residents make it a holiday tradition to pay a visit to Santa John, who is known for his authentic beard and deep, merry "ho ho ho's." They are not pleased to find a replacement in his chair.

Toomey lives the rest of the year in the mountains north of Oroville, Calif., but usually spends the time in between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve in a hotel on Market Street, working seven days a week. He's staying in the city for now, confident his next gig could be waiting for him in one of the numerous messages that have been flooding his cell phone message box.

After all this, he still wishes everyone a "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night." Even Macy's.

Next: Confessions of a Mall Santa

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Been There

You DO NOT want to work at MACY'S! Aside from dirt pay, they are self-insured company. By doing so, the way they treat legitimately hurt workers is worst then the injury itself! If you are hurt badly enough, ending up with permanent disability and put on Social Security Disability or SSI, they will fight you tooth and nail for years in court with their lying DRs, phoney baloney IME exams. They spend more $ on lawyers, thanks to their ruthless Claims Adjuster Robin Goodell, so they DO NOT have to pay your Workers Comp, dumping YOU onto the government! You've been warned - STAY AWAY from MACY's - they will treat you like GARBAGE - you are indispensable - NO MATTER how hard you work or your qualifications!!

They give MORE jobs OVERSEAS including Customer Service, not to mention cheaply made, overpriced merchandise made in China, done away with Union Workers and Full Time help so NO Benefits! They just want to take your money! The greedy Macy's management is one part of the reason, America is in the dumps. They look at themselves as a Leader in Retail Business -- YEAH! in How to RIP OFF your employees and customers, underneath their noses, so Corporate Management can live the High Life. Macy's ain't what it used to be when privately owned.

Its ALL A BIG FARCE! One day they will fall hard when people wake up to what is going on and stop falling for the Sale Commercials! Refocus and Buy Local!

February 12 2012 at 1:19 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Lino


Ok, well first off, I saw this exact santa every year through out my
childhood, starting in '92, and let me just say that this actually...
has nothing to do with obama. Santa is not a liberal conspiracy. He
is a figure of christmas. I can personally say that there is nothing
wrong with this Santa. He is very good with kids and as wholesome as
can be. If you happen to be a couple who gets their kicks out of
sitting on Santa's lap, then you two seriously need some counseling.
Or if it's just a matter of actually wanting your date to consist of
telling this man what you want for christmas, then you need therapy.
Other than that, I don't see why Macy's should fire him. It's
basically all you nuts out their who misconstrue a simple adult joke
(if even), into some sort of sexual harassment, that make the world
such a vulgar place to begin with. If he did not say anything of the
sort to children, then he didn't do anything wrong. Adults should be
mature enough to handle something like that. And if not for getting a
simple laugh, must ask themselves why they are spending their intimate
time seeing a macy's santa claus. This isn't even a matter of freedom
of speech. He's a decent, wholesome man who came across as
inappropriate to someone. Tell him that was uncalled for if you want,
or simply don't see him again. That's all that should have been done.
You want censorship? Sure, we'll censor the name "Christmas" as
well, because that can be offensive to some as well. Have fun seeing
the "Holiday Man" next year! Merry Christmas.

December 10 2010 at 6:37 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Catherine Catala

Macy's has lost me as a customer. They have shown how stupid and cheap they really are. Yuk Yuk Yuk to Macy's !!!!!!!

December 09 2010 at 7:28 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Catherine Catala's comment
alfredo corleone

they have lost me too, and my wife

December 09 2010 at 10:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Pat

I feel the comment was in poor taste being that it was said as he was representing Santa in the presence of children. Off color and kind of creepy comment.

December 09 2010 at 3:12 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Lino

Ok, well first off, I saw this exact santa every year through out my childhood, starting in '92, and let me just say that this actually... has nothing to do with obama. Santa is not a liberal conspiracy. He is a figure of christmas. I can personally say that there is nothing wrong with this Santa. He is very good with kids and as wholesome as can be. If you happen to be a couple who gets their kicks out of sitting on Santa's lap, then you two seriously need some counseling. Or if it's just a matter of actually wanting your date to consist of telling this man what you want for christmas, then you need therapy. Other than that, I don't see why Macy's should fire him. It's basically all you nuts out their who misconstrue a simple adult joke (if even), into some sort of sexual harassment, that make the world such a vulgar place to begin with. If he did not say anything of the sort to children, then he didn't do anything wrong. Adults should be mature enough to handle something like that. And if not for getting a simple laugh, must ask themselves why they are spending their intimate time seeing a macy's santa claus. This isn't even a matter of freedom of speech. He's a decent, wholesome man who came across as inappropriate to someone. Tell him that was uncalled for if you want, or simply don't see him again. That's all that should have been done. You want censorship? Sure, we'll censor the name "Christmas" as well, because that can be offensive to some as well. Have fun seeing the "Holiday Man" next year! Merry Christmas.

December 09 2010 at 12:46 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Rjc

I want the press to put the couple on display for the scumbags they are. How much do you want to bet the exchange went like this after they left:
"Did you hear that joke. That could be totally misinterpreted by small minded cretins like ourselves to be offensive and insinuating child molestation. Oh my goodness - I bet we can make some money from this! Lets send a letter and hire ourselves a small minded cretin lawyer." Or something like this... :-)

December 09 2010 at 12:04 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
YES!

There's another bumper sticker thats says 'Christmas cancelled, you told santa you were good this year he died laughing.'

December 08 2010 at 11:39 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
JOHN LEACH

now really are you tellen me the west coast slars dar words and sellabrats the crufication of santaclaus because he is a flameing fag child lover. lets have a little more bro love. and stick it on da one who wants to carry a cross. gay7 marrage. why can you produce children? can you pay couple taxes?? can you be responsible for divorce. gay is a tax advantage for horollwood.lvealloue commie.com.

December 08 2010 at 11:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
YES!

There's a bumper sticker on myspace that says "Define naughty' funny, yet so true. :)


For all you people saying he's a child molestor:

When you're someone(jokingly)tells a child (they know, of course)they were the tickle monster or boogey man. Do you assume they really are the said subject and sue them? NO! Common sense here people. Yes, it is a JOKE, people tell it all the time, for YEARS. Not everyone is a pedophile. geez. Oh my gosh!! What if there was never a complaint, and Macy's made it up to hire someone else? Ugh the audacity!

December 08 2010 at 11:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JOHN LEACH

IT'S IN SANTY CLAUSE, A CATCH OF 22. IT'S A CATCH 22. IT'S A CATCH 22. IT'S A CATCH22. cabish??????????????????????????????????????????????????

December 08 2010 at 11:03 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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