Crisis Communications for Santa and Elves

Memo: To all Regional Distribution Managers Issue: Communicating during Uncomfortable Situations ------------------------------------------------------

The Santa Claus, Inc. corporate PR Department has worked on a number of possible scenarios that could be encountered by employees during the valuable Christmas rush. While Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and the Chief Elf remain the principal corporate spokespersons, every employee must be prepared to deal effectively with suppliers, aviation officials, parents, children and, sometimes, law enforcement officials.

Working through past incident reports, we have created this series of handy guides for employees on resolving stressful situations.

Getting Busted at the 7-11

While the logistics staff make every effort to ensure that the sleigh is fully stocked with hot chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers, we have found that Santa and his reindeer sometimes require a more substantial meal. For most of the year, it means picking up some Chicken Tikka takeout. On Christmas eve, this is a little more difficult, especially if Santa is on the road with the sleigh.

Given our unusual operating hours, Santa Claus, Inc. has found that 24-hour convenience stores are the most available source of Santa's favourite foods: tacos and Dr Pepper. In the past, storeowners understood the urgent midnight munchie runs of very portly elderly men dressed in red velour, but the increasing number of drunks coming home from office christmas parties has soured them on Santa.

As a result, Santa is frequently being harassed by convenience store owners convinced he is going to "wheze da juice" and run without paying. Here are some tips for avoiding a confrontation with a shotgun wielding store owner:

- Gout is not an excuse for parking the sleigh in the handicapped space.

-Do not use your Santa Claus, Inc. building pass to wheedle a discount.

- Do not try to pay with the Pokemon cards from the Jensen house.

- "Ho, ho, ho" might not be seen as a greeting by some female customers.

- $50 solves everything. It's under the hat.

Getting caught by a six year-old

Despite all of the Chief Elf's technological advances, the noise of the reindeer, sleigh, chimney and bored elves poking the reindeer will wake someone up during the night. Some adults go out of their way to encourage children's mischief. It is important to maintain the illusion of magic, happiness and giving that is Santa Claus, Inc:

- "Holy Crap! What the hell are you doing up!" is not an acceptable greeting.

- Don't skip out on the milk and cookies, even if you're lactose intolerant.

-Remind the child that Elves need to use washrooms just like the rest of us.

- $5 will not buy the silence of an eleven-year old boy. FHM will. Take one from aan elf - they hoard the magazine.

Sleigh Accident at Toys 'R Us

Despite the stagnant economy, it is still hard to find skilled sleigh drivers - especially ones under four feet tall. This has meant an increase in SRDC - sleigh related damage claims. The cost of these claims is naturally reflected in our insurance premiums.

Both to boost morale and undermine Santa Claus, Inc's competitors, we have begun training our new sleigh drivers in Toys 'R Us parking lots. This provides open space for maneuvering a large sleigh and team of reindeers as well as plausible deniability.

- "That rich red scratch down the side of your Lincoln could have been caused by that car there, sir!"

-Remember - the sleigh handles like a pig at slow speeds. Why do you think we land it on the roof, and not the driveway, when doing deliveries?

- It also holds about 300 shopping carts - which can be sold off at $300 a pop.

- As the settlement with Wendy's will attest, the sleigh is NOT drive-through friendly!

Bar Fight on Boxing Day

Inevitably, Santa, elves and other employees will come across one or two people who did not get what they wanted on Christmas morning. Some may even claim Santa does not exist, and will attempt to undermine the work of Santa Claus, Inc. through scientific deduction. If some of them (or you) have been drinking, this discussion might get animated, even physical.

- Logic doesn't usually work on drunks. The Rope-A-Dope might, though.

- No matter how many elves are with you, you will not win the fight. You are fat, and elf arms aren't long enough. This is why every elf always carries a sock full of coins.

- If the police ask, you grew the beard on a bet, and these are your pajamas.

- If will take up to 48 hours to post bail. It will take us that long to sell enough handmade wooden toys to get the money.