*12 Days of Christmas* Re-Examined in Light of Competition
Global challenges require the North Pole to continue to take more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" subsidiary.
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 plant, providing savings in maintenance costs.
The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during the working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated.
The three French hens will remain intact and we may actually expand the number of hens used. A recent time-motion-profitability study proved that using illegal migratory fowl is extremely profitable as it eliminates the company's need to provide employee benefits because the hens do not meet federal residency requirements.
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. Once this information is determined, the Accounting Department will deduct the costs of any inappropriate non-business calls from their final paycheck.
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 their decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by the Personnel Department 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. Their function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes to better 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 work force 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-motoring.
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. Let me hasten to add that the company policy prohibits age discrimination. Should these individuals be asked to leave prior to their voluntary retirement, rest assured our Law Department will ensure an ironclad defense against an employee lawsuit.
Ten Lords-a-Leaping is overkill. The high costs 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, significant savings should result due to the number of congressmen left unemployed by the election.
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 to the bottom line.
Though incomplete, studies by our latest consultant indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop-ship in one day, service levels will be improved and we can expect a substantial reduction in the use of part-time personnel.