Transport Staff Meeting – Northern Division
1st December 2013
Chairman and CEO: Mr Claus
Secretary: Mrs Claus
Working Deer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph
Apologies: Cupid – said he was on a promise
“OK, we all know why we are here, why I’ve called this staff meeting. There seems to be a lot of resentment in your stable, and we cannot work in harness over Christmas with things unsaid. So, who wants to start? Raise a hoof if you have something to say. Dancer, did you snort at me?”
“No, Mr Claus.”
“So, tell me what you’re all upset over.”
“It’s the amount of work, and the reduction from 8 deer per sleigh to 6 deer per sleigh. That’s not enough to get up a steep roof. Health and safety dictates that there should be 8. During practice the lead deer had to hook their hooves over the top of the roof to hold on. We could break a fetlock doing that.”
“As you know, I’ve worked in France where conditions are so much better. Longer holidays and a weight limit on the sledges. We just pile up the parcels and then we have to go slower and then some fall off and we have to go back for them. No wonder we don’t achieve the targets you’ve set.”
“The stables are disgusting.” This from Vixen, who is a bit of a lady deer.
Then a tiny voice piped up from Rudolph. “I’m going to the discrimination board. Some deer are colourist, they don’t like me and they make fun of me because of my nose. They don’t realise that where I come from, all our noses are red; it’s just because I’m from a different place and I’m a different colour. It’s not fair.”
“We all know that you’re paranoid, and you don’t pull your weight.”
“Please address the chair, Donner.”
“OK, we all know Rudolph is paranoid and doesn’t pull his weight.”
“I do, I do, it’s just that I have less weight to pull with. It’s not my fault.” And big reindeer tears began to roll down to his little red nose.
“All right, all right. If I hear anymore colourist comments about Rudolph and his nose, then this team will be broken up.”
“And the French teams have much further to go between the chimneys. We always have to keep stopping.”
“Well, I can’t do much about that.” said Mr Claus.
“No, but you can allocate more time.”
“You know that in England we only have one night to deliver 12,000,000 parcels.”
“Yes, but the French stockpile presents in secret locations long before the night, and don’t have to go all the way back to base to fill up the sleigh. We should do that.”
“We can work on that for next year.”
“And Mrs Claus – sorry – but please can we have new harnesses? Harnesses are not a one-size-fits-all you know. Some don’t, and they chafe in places I can’t tell you about.”
“All this is going to cost, and would any of you be prepared to take a reduction in moss ration? No, you wouldn’t.”
“Is there any truth in the rumour that the French company ‘Renne Sont Nous’ are bidding for the Christmas franchise?”
“Yes, you could all be taken over by next Christmas.”
“They still don’t have to be so mean to me,” piped up the diminutive Rudolph.
“Here’s an idea,” said Mrs Claus. “If we looked at the whole herd and selected teams on individual talent, we could be more effective.”
“We are a team and we want to stay a team.”
“We cannot compete unless we change.”
“We are a team and we want to stay a team.”
“I don’t.” whispered Rudolph.
“I’m not having Rudolph in any team I’m in,” said one.
“He has to go into one team or another.”
“We don’t want Rudolph,” said another.
“You are a bunch of colourist, sizeist, nose-ist moose.”
There was one team who had their manes braided with different coloured ribbons, and they had knitted pink socks on their back hooves and rainbow gloves on their front hooves. “We’ll take him,” their team leader said.
A week later, 8 new teams were formed using 48 working reindeer and because of their experience all members of Rudolph’s group became team leaders – including Rudolph.
The training began. Being new teams, it took a while to learn to work together but by mid-December they had completed a few training runs.
Monthly Staff Meeting
15th December 2013
Mr Claus gave his usual encouraging speech and then opened the proceedings to the floor.
All of the deer started to neigh at the same time.
“One at the time, and only team leaders are allowed to neigh.”
“My Team are the fastest,” neighed Comet.
“My Team are the cleverest,” neighed Dancer.
“Rubbish, my Team are faster than your team,” neighed Cupid.
“Nice to see you back with us, Cupid, after your promiscuous encounter last month. That reminds me, there’s a fine of two days moss ration for missing the meeting,” said Mrs Claus.
“But I love her.”
“Course you do, sweetheart. Problem is, you love them all.”
“OK, OK,” said Mr Claus, “enough, enough. Do any of you have a major problem?”
“It’s very dark,” neighed Vixen.
“We very nearly hit a farm house chimney,” neighed Comet. “In the country, it’s very dangerous without lights, which you banned after the flying saucer scare we caused last year.”
“My team are very happy to do the country runs,” neighed Rudolph.
“That’s very brave of you,” said Mr Claus, and the other team leaders agreed.
“Not really,” neighed Rudolph, “my red nose lights up the countryside and we have no problem avoiding the chimneys and the pine trees.”
“I wish I was in your team,” neighed Blitzen.
“Please can I be in your team?” neighed Donner.
And they all agreed that Rudolph’s team was the one to be in.
Written by Peter Seal from the keyword Reindeer