He speeds through the sky in his sleigh, delivering gifts to every good little boy and girl in the world. He’s done it for so many years that he makes it look effortless. But have you ever stopped to consider how much organisation lies behind the magic of Santa Claus and his amazing Christmas Eve exploits?
Naturally, Santa Claus uses VA’s throughout the year; it’s the most flexible and cost-effective way to ensure everything is organised properly and happens on schedule. He has a team of them and you can read about how they support him here and here. These helpful souls ensure that everything from the sleigh maintenance to the warehouse stock control are kept rigorously under control.
In most cases, Santa needs only two or three of each type of VA. The exception to this is his Elven Resources Support. In common with many business owners, Santa Claus uses external Elven Resources Consultants and HR VA’s to help him to ensure he remains on the right side of the law, acts in a fair and reasonable way toward his staff of Elves, recruits effectively and without bias, and of course provides a safe, fair and inclusive environment. Despite the speed at which he drives that sleigh, Santa is basically a law-abiding gentleman and in addition, he is deeply compassionate and really cares for his team of Elves and reindeer. Even when those same Elves are testing his patience to its limits.
Santa’s Elven Resources Support staff is quite numerous. The reason for this is simple; Elves are, how shall we put it politely? A bit giddy. All the time. But especially in the run-up to Christmas. Elves can test the patience of the most saintly person and even Santa Claus is not immune to frustration when faced with a deputation of Elves complaining about an Elf cooking fish in the warehouse microwave and stinking up the room.
Every year the ER department and an increasingly irascible Santa are forced to add new and sometimes very specific, clauses into the ever-expanding Staff Handbook and the Elf and Safety Handbook. Clauses which have been added in 2019 include:
“Elves that pin other Elves slippers (or any other part of an Elf or an Elf’s clothing) to any inanimate object will be disciplined”.
“Shaving rude words into the Reindeer’s fur whilst they sleep will not be tolerated”
“Do NOT tie, stick or pin anything to the Reindeer, especially not other Elves”
“Do not place fake dog turds on the conveyor belt”
“Elves may not ride on the conveyor belt”
“Joyriding in the sleigh is a disciplinary offence”
“Do not pin “Kick Me Hard” notices to the back of Santa’s jacket.
And so it goes on. And every year, partly to assuage their frustration, the Elven Resources Department creates an informal top ten of the most interesting and original disciplinary cases they’ve dealt with. Because when it comes to Elves, you just never know what they are going to do next.
And here, for your delectation, are the top ten for 2019
10 – the Elf that tied Rudolph’s legs together whilst he slept and then videoed poor Rudolph waking up and falling over.
9 – The Elf that broke wind in the cafeteria and tried to light it, causing damage to himself and the floor when he dropped the match and it set fire to his slippers and the carpet.
8 – The Elves that had a fistfight over whether one of them had let the other Elf’s chair down half a inch whilst the Elf in question was out at lunch.
7- The elves that sneaked into the Jewellery warehouse and were caught on CCTV getting very friendly indeed.
6 – The elf that sneaked into the cafeteria and put vodka into the water carafes so that all the Elves got drunk and had to be sent home.
5 – the Admin Elf who didn’t know how to process orders. Rather than ask, he hid the orders in the cupboard. Something that was only discovered when Stock Control VA realised that the 14 million LOL dolls she’d ordered had not arrived, and had subsequently sold out across the world, causing a large number of children to be disappointed on Christmas Day.
4- The elf that claimed his mother had died four times this year in order to gain extra time off.
3- The elf with a bad back who posted a video of herself on Facebook, waterskiing in the Bahamas during her sick leave.
2- The Elf that shaved the word Poop into Blitzens’ fur whilst she slept.
1 – The Elf that got drunk at the office party, stripped naked and streaked around the room. When Santa Claus intervened, the Elf threw up on Santa Claus’ boots.
As you can imagine, with all these Elf-y amusements going on, there is a great need for HR VA’s who can keep a straight face and take rapid notes in grievance hearings and disciplinaries. Elves talk as fast as they move, so speed is of the essence in capturing the key points of the discussion and writing them up clearly and rapidly after the meeting. To read more about the importance of note-taking in such meetings, go here.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, do check out some of my other Christmas posts, including this one, which is also HR Related. Of course, you may prefer to check out my more serious, and probably more useful, posts also. And if you are looking for a VA with HR experience, or just a VA with a sense of humour and a love of organisation, get in touch. You can contact me here.