December 2001 - Newsletter


In the biggest privatisation of its kind so far, Santa’s Christmas present distribution centre will be run by OCRES (Organisation for Christmas Reorganisation and Efficiency Savings). Every present and muddy reindeer print on the carpet will carry the OCRES logo in the top left hand corner, and the traditional image of Santa as a big fat man wearing a red cloak is to be replaced by a big fat man wearing a pin-striped suit (getting double the salary).

But this hoped for Christmas Wonderland could so easily become a Noel Nightmare. For despite OCRES’s claim that, having "hit the ice skating," they are well positioned to meet the targets negotiated with North Pole Council, there are serious worries about their ability to deliver.

Amongst their targets is a big increase in the percentage of households gaining five or more presents, and the reduction of unfilled places in elf training schools. But at the time of going to press only one of OCRES’s 28 targets has been hit, and that is the reduction in the number of disruptive elves excluded from Santa’s Workshop. This has been achieved largely by the expedient of imposing a financial penalty on the Workshop for every elf put out into the snow.

Communication problems have also dented OCRES’s shiny corporate image. On many occasions Santa’s Helpers have tried to contact different departments in the Workshop, only to be told that the person who used to be responsible no longer is and that no-one is quite sure yet just who has taken over.

We asked an OCRES spokesperson what plans they had to deal with these problems of present delivery, disruptive elves and frustrated workers. He said "Santa's Workshop" was to be re-named "Workshop Santa" and offered us a stress ball.


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