The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take
the early reindeer retirement package has triggered a good deal of
concern about whether they will be replaced, and about other
restructuring decisions at the North Pole.
Streamlining is due to the North Pole's loss of dominance in the
season's gift distribution business. The Internet, Home Shopping TV channels and
mail order catalogs have diminished Santa's market share. He and
the Board could not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the
The reindeer downsizing was made possible through purchase of a late
model Japanese sled for the CEO's annual trip. Improved productivity
from Dasher and Dancer, who summered at the Harvard Business School,
is anticipated. Reduction in the reindeer will also lessen airborne
environmental emissions for which the North Pole has received
unfavorable press (gas and solid waste).
We're pleased to inform you that Rudolph's role will not be disturbed.
Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole!
Management denies, in the strongest possible language, the earlier leak
that Rudolph's nose get red, not from the cold, but from 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 forecasted, 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
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. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have
negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into
other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology
stocks, appear 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;
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. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no
upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try
a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching;
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 this year;
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 will
drop right 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.
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking
expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers-a-suing"),
a decision is pending.
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.
and the memo from Corporate ............
Have a Merry and a Happy while you can.