Subject: Season's Greetings!
Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2002 16:34:12 -0600
From: "Phil Parker"
Urgent: Famous Reindeer Terminated
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 of the season's
gift distribution business. Home shopping channels and mail order catalogues
have diminished Santa's market share. He could not sit idly by and permit
further erosioon of the profit picture. The reindeer downsizing was made
possible through the 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 reindeer will
also lessen airborne environmental emissions for which the North Pole has
received unfavorable press.
I am 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
got that way, 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 year when he is known to be under executive stress.
As a 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" subsidiary:
We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals
and other 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 partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to
be the cash crop forecasted. It will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant,
providing considerable savings in maintenance;
- The 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;
- The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the
- The four calling birds were 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;
- 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
- 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 is an example of the 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;
- 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 and therefore
enhance their outplacement;
- 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
- 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
- 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 because we expect
an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year;
- 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
down to the bottom line;
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking expansion
to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers a-suing"), action is
Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts may be necessary
in the future to stay competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request
management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs
is the right number.