Written by Bite Clicker, North Pole Post Columnist.
Lately, due to globalization, a good deal of children from Japan, South Korea and China have started writing letters to Santa Claus, of the North Pole. We of the North Pole Post ask the following question: “How do Santa and the elves cope with the larger onslaught of letters?”
“As it is” explains Horn Brass, Chief Mail Sorter Elf, “we have only received 100,000 extra letters from these countries this year. This counterbalance the 30,000 Scandinavian children, and 90,000 children from the Great Britain, Germany, France, Poland and The Netherlands that have stopped writing to us.” With tablets, smart boards and computers coming to stay as educational mediums in the school systems, the North Pole has started receiving less hand-written letters.
“We do not currently accept E-mails. Due to the magic dust used in keeping the wish-matrix operational, we run our operations here at the North Pole on an internal secure network. We do not want to be vulnerable to hacking, imagine the devastation if children world over did not get their Christmas wish.” It-technician Head Elf Apple Window Snow says.
«Well, we do have had to hire a large number of seasonal workers.” Lucky Red, the Chief Manager of Operations at the North Pole, and an experienced hand at Christmas cheer. “Even though we only receive about 50,000 letters from Japan, there are currently 15.71 million children 14 or under living there. Of these, around 50,9 % believe in Santa enough to wish for something, so we pick up just under 8 million Christmas wishes in the wish-matrix currently, and these do all need to be processed.”
A lot of the wishes are very polite. They say “I don’t expect anything, but If you can, and if you have time…”
Where do the seasonal workers come from? Leprechauns from Ireland, mostly.
Are there any challenges with hiring seasonal workers from Ireland, we ask? “The main challenge was pretty trivial in the beginning. The Leprechaun Workers Union was pretty clear that they would not be wearing Red or brown overcoats to fit in, and would be sticking with green for the foreseeable future. They were very proud of their history, but unfortunately the green clothes worn back in Ireland was simply too cold for the North Pole. We’ve had to start creating Santa’s Elf uniforms in Green to accommodate the Leprechaun Workers Union. They did agree to wear the brown, red or black elf hats we have custom made for Santa’s Helpers, which lessened the cost of the whole project,” explains Lucky Red.
What did you do to lessen any communication confusion?
“Well, the majority of elves that work have has some 50+ years of experience, and make things run smoothly without needing to be told what to do. As Leprechauns do not usually create and package gifts, we initially thought a lot of training hours would be used up trying to explain every process we use.
As it turns out, we also hired some seasonal workers from Scandinavia, from the Town-Nisse Clan. They came up with the great idea to use individual Actions and send out to each elf or hired seasonal helper. We create an activity, and then we split that activity into individual actions. After doing this, productivity has become much more stable week round, also with the native elves that make up the core and experienced Santa’s Helpers. We wondered why that was, and found out there was a tendency to not know what to do when the mid-level managers were absent for whatever reason. This resulted in a lot of elves standing around not knowing what to do. With separate actions delivered straight to personnel’s workqueue, with multiple actions handed out to each individual, people can just start on the next action, when the current action needs to be put on hold.
Actions also has had the added benefit of making Santa’s life easier. Even though we are a big organization, there are a lot of minute details that Santa is very interested in controlling himself. When he can control bite-sized actions, delivered straight to his workqueue, it takes away the time used to read and control long complicated activities or plans.”