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Early Retirement (Lawrence T. Hardiman)
The Birdsong Company, PO Box 2031, Sunnyvale CA 94087-2031
(chuckle, long)

Sent to me by a colleague.

>Message-Id: <>
>Subject: Early Retirement

<Forwards deleted>

Courtesy Norm Windle via Gary "Shamu" Eschenberg


 The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take
 the early reindeer 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 is due to the North Pole's loss of dominance of the
 season's gift distribution business.  Home shopping channels and mail
 order catalogues have diminished Santa's market share.  He could not
 sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit picture.

 The reindeer downsizing was made possible through 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.  Reduction in reindeer will also
 lessen airborne environmental emissions for which the North Pole has
 received unfavorable press.

 I am pleased to inform you 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:

  - 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 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;

  - 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 no
    longer 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, a cutback on new music and no uniforms will produce
    savings which will drop right down to the bottom line;

 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 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.

                               Happy Holidays!

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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