The Business Times

The missing dolls

A BT Christmas Tale Part II

Published Wed, Dec 24, 2014 · 09:50 PM
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IT WAS the night before Christmas There was calm all around Little children were sleeping Wrapped tight in nightgowns

Oblivious to the chaos Playing out way up high Where, from Santa's workshop, Came a long string of sighs.

Said Santa, who knew Productivity was low: "My elves just don't cut it! Everything is too slow."

His elves were only making About three dolls per hour - A rate so poor, he knew That the outlook was dour.

The per-hour target Was for 10 dolls, you see Laid out by the Commission Of Supreme Efficiency.

"What else do you expect?" Said the Head Elf to Santa. "Cheap labour, low costs - That was always your mantra."

Chastised into submission Santa booked an appointment With a PIC vendor Who promised zero disappointment

"I have just the right machine For your toy-making needs! I'll train all your elves, They'll know how to proceed."

"And the smell of success Will be yours in a flash!" Swore the PIC vendor, Pocketing Santa's cash.

In case you were wondering, PIC stands for this: Pretty Immense Credit, Which was set up to assist

Workshops like Santa's Which were too labour-reliant.

The grant spurred automation, Firms were generally compliant.

But instead of solving Santa's Productivity pains, The machine sputtered and failed Why, the elves could not explain

How this happened at all! They knew not the fix. So Santa ordered his elves To get back into the mix

They made dolls from scratch Working as fast as they could They wanted so badly To reward kids who'd been good.

But St Nick was aware Christmas Day was nigh "This can't be happening again!" Was his frustrated cry.

(If you missed last year's story Here's what you should know: The tight labour market Had disrupted Santa's flow

He had not enough reindeer To help pull his sleigh So plenty of children Were toy-less on Christmas day.)

When the time came for him To distribute gifts worldwide, Santa gathered all the toys And took things in his stride

But deep down he knew That he hadn't met his goal He hated to admit it, But he felt like a schmo.

And so, on Christmas morning Some kids awoke to gifts But others soon realised That something was amiss.

"I failed to deliver Once more in 2014. Will the Commission of Supreme Efficiency Step in to intervene?"

"Will they lower my target? 10 dolls per hour is tough to breach. Perhaps as a more distant goal It'd be feasible to reach."

Poor Santa, poor elves, Poor kids on the ground. We'll see if next year Marks a happier round.

To watch an animated video of this poem, go to

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