The Reindeer Early Retirement Package
The Reindeer Early Retirement Package
The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take
the reindeer early 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 was
appropriate in view of the reality that the North Pole no longer
dominates the season's gift distribution business.
Home shopping channels and mail order catalogues have diminished
Santa's market share and they could not sit idly by and permit further
erosion of the profit picture. The reindeer downsizing was made
possiblethrough 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 and should take up the slack
with no discernible loss of service. Reduction in reindeer will also
lessen airborne environmental emissions for which the North Pole has
been cited and received unfavorable press.
I am pleased to inform you and yours 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 turtledoves 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 French. - 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 order.
- 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 or a-mulching.
- Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function
will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can nolonger
do the steps.
- 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
and, 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 pending.
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.