He looked around his cave. It was dominated by a dishevelled mass of toys. “These look a lot like last year’s models” he said, “I should have done more research and development on current trends and innovative new technology to ensure that I was keeping up with the needs of my customers and the market”. “But then,” he sighed to himself “I simply don’t have the back-office systems to enable me to develop a good database, to control my inventory, to ensure I have the addresses of all my recipients and to make sure that I don’t deliver presents to naughty little children who simply don’t deserve them. Why can’t I be more accurate year after year”.
He looked around and heard his reindeers scratching expectantly in the snow. “Oh my goodness I have forgotten to feed them again” he said, “animal welfare issues – how do I know how much to feed them before the long journey we are embarking on and how often I need to stop to replenish them?”, I need more information. “Where do I go to get it?”
Then he reflected on the plight of his elves. His poor little elves, who year after year, work day and night with no reward. “I have an employment issue here, I really should have some expert advice on employment relations. Look at that stupid elf chopping away on a new toy with a sharp knife and no protection. Goodness where is my health and safety programme? Wouldn’t it be awful if I was prevented from delivering all of these presents because I had breached the new health and safety regulations and was detained and prosecuted”.
One of the elves was heard to grumble “I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened. We have been treated badly for a terribly long time. We need some HR advice and Santa hasn’t been good enough to search it out for us and make sure our working conditions are well protected and that we work in an empowering and flexible environment. There is nothing flexible about assembling toys year after year in a snow cave with no reward”. “And by the way Santa” one called. “You should access a wage and salary survey so that you can see what good elves should be paid, rather than just giving us a few crumbs from the Christmas Cake you collect on your rounds after your worldwide deliveries”.
“That is all very well for you to say” said Santa “I have got these worldwide deliveries to do and I don’t know where I am going. How on earth do I get directions? Who can give me advice country by country on the demographics, the details, the geography and where I should be landing my sleigh?
To top it all off I have got a problem in Christchurch. There are no chimneys. How can I possibly deliver presents where there are no chimneys? I only wish that I could find some expert advice, particularly about that problem in Christchurch.”
“That’s not your only problem” shouted an elf from a dark corner. “You have no export documentation for any of your presents. You are going international Santa. You need to have certificates of origin and other export documentation to ensure that you will not get stopped at borders. How on earth are you going to get all those presents delivered in 24 hours if you breach all the Customs regulations?”
“You think that is a big deal?” said another elf. “He has got another problem with immigration. He is not going to have any right to cross those borders without the right visas and plant himself in other countries without an invitation. He needs some really good immigration and visa advice”.
“It is all such a hassle said Santa and it happens year after year after year. Life is simply getting much too complicated for me. I really do need some help”.
“Well Santa” said a voice from a long way away, “If you call on us here in Christchurch we will make you a complimentary member of the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and we will resolve almost all of your issues, that will make everybody happy”.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Ho! Ho! Ho!