Happy Friday! You have survived Thanksgiving and Black Friday! Hopefully most (all) of the turkey leftovers have been consumed and you are ready to move ahead into the Holiday Season.
We know that all business have to change and adapt and sometimes the changes can be painful, even at the North Pole. (This has circulating for a number of years, but I have added a few tweaks).
To: All Staff
Date: December 4
Subject: New “Twelve Days of Christmas” Policy
As you have probably heard, Donner and Blitzen have elected to take the early reindeer retirement package. This, in turn, has triggered a good deal of concern about whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring decisions at the North Pole.
Due to the North Pole’s loss of dominance in the season’s gift distribution business, there is a need for streamlining. Amazon and ebay as well as online shopping continue to diminish Santa’s market share. He and the Board could no longer sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit picture.
The reindeer downsizing was made possible, in part, through a long-term lease and purchase agreement of a lighter, more efficient Chinese sled for the CEO’s annual trip. Improved productivity from Dasher and Dancer, who spent the summer at the Harvard Business School studying team building techniques, is also anticipated. This should result in an additional benefit of reducing the carbon footprint of our operations which have come under increasing governmental scrutiny.
We are pleased to inform you that Rudolph’s role will not be disturbed. Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole!
In regard to Rudolf, management denies, in the strongest possible terms, the rumor that his red nose was due to substance abuse. Calling Rudolph “a lush who was into the sauce and never did pull his share of the load” was an unfortunate comment, made by one of Santa’s helpers and taken out of context at a time of the year when they are known to be under ‘executive stress’.
As for further restructuring, today’s global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” music subsidiary:
1) The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the cash crop expected, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance;
2) Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost-effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated;
3) The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French;
4) The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked;
5) The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Due to the extended slide in the price of this commodity, management his considering liquidating its position in gold and using the loss to offset this year’s tax burden. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of dividend-yielding and growth stocks appears to be in order;
6) The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one. In a related note, look for stuffed goose offerings to appear in the company cafeteria this holiday season;
7) The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, thereby enhancing their outplacement;
8) As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. There have been complaints for some time that this a dead-end job with little chance of upward mobility. Automation of much of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-marketing or a-accounting;
9) Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps;
10) Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen in the near future;
11) Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which should accrue to the bottom line;
Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved. The functionality of drones is also under study with early results showing a lot of promise.
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the bar association seeking expansion to include the legal profession (“thirteen lawyers-a-suing”), management has no comment at this time.
Unfortunately, deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to remain competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.
Happy Holidays to all!!
Thought for the Week
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!