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:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the
4. The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system,
with a call waiting option. An analysis is under way to determine who the birds
have been calling, how often and how long they talked for.
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 government bonds 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 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.
7. The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times.
Their function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The
current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and therefore enhance
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
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 politicians. While leaping ability
may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because we expect an
oversupply of unemployed politicians 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 cut back on new
music and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop right down to the
12. 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.
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