Leadership / 12.23.20
Letter From Santa
Dear INTIX members,
Good Old Santa Claus here. I just wanted to write you wonderful live entertainment professionals an encouraging letter this holiday month. I know this has been quite possibly the hardest year ever for your business, and Santa wants you to know that he hasn’t forgotten you. Santa knows you have worries. He knows you have problems. So, maybe it’ll help if Santa tells you some of his.
I hear that working remotely has been especially hard for many of you. Know that Santa’s been working from his home in the North Pole for decades now. Eons really! And would you believe it’s still hard for me? There’s no 9 to 5 at the Pole. Never has been. The toy works run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And even when Santa is in his private quarters with Mrs. Claus, the elves still ring me up or text me or ping me on the Santa Slack channel to ask questions that, most of the time, they already know the answers to. It seems I’m never off the clock.
And then there have been the COVID restrictions. Oh, yes. The Clauses and the elves may live for centuries, but we haven’t been immune from this nasty coronavirus. Tinsel, my head elf, contracted the virus back in May. He still hasn’t been able to taste sugar!
So, I feel for any INTIX boss who has maintained a workplace throughout this pandemic and had to follow government guidelines. I’ve had to set my own guidelines, and — I tell you — you can’t imagine how hard it is to get hundreds and hundreds of elves to socially distance while making thousands and thousands of toys and video game systems. Our average build time on a Nintendo Switch has gone from five milliseconds to 10. This is NOT good, INTIX members!
The hardest part, of course, has been convincing the elves to wear masks. They’re good folk — amazing workers. I have nothing against them. But their productivity is directly linked with their ability to sing and drink hot cocoa. By June this year, they were absolutely miserable wearing masks and trying to carry a tune. And, well, workplace standards got lax. Masks came off. Quartets were formed, and the cocoa was flowing. The caroling was louder than ever!
Ol’ Santa had to step in. But when I tried to prohibit singing and sipping chocolatey beverages altogether, the elves threatened a walkout. Imagine that. A walkout on Santa! So, after many days of back-and-forth negotiations, Mrs. Claus and I were able to finally reach an agreement with their union, the International Elfinhood of North Pole Toy Makers, and the staff has since been allowed to take one hot chocolate break per shift and they now hum Christmas carols while they work. It’s been creepy, but crisis averted!
Finally, on a personal level, Santa has not been unaffected by the times either. Normally by early November, I’ve been so hard at work planning for Christmas Eve that I don’t look a thing like the right, jolly old fellow you’re used to, and Mrs. Claus starts plying me with food. You may have heard her familiar refrain, “NOBODY wants a skinny Santa! So, Papa, EAT!”
Well, in times of crisis, Santa loves his comfort food as much as the next mythic figure. You might say I’ve put on the ol’ COVID-15. OK, maybe closer to the ol’ COVID-115! So, now Mrs. Claus regularly commands, “Feet! FEET! Get on your feet, Papa, and go for a jog! Nobody wants an out-of-shape Santa! We’re going to need 18 reindeer at this point!”
The missus can be quite direct when she wants to be. But she has saved Christmas many o’ times. And she and I have vowed to save this Christmas, too. Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza or nothing at all, Santa just wants to salute you all. I hope that in the new year, the vaccines will quickly take hold and you all will resume selling those tickets and putting fannies in seats, and we can all start cheering again for our favorite athletes and artists.
I am punching you all a ticket on the Polar Express, and that ticket reads one simple but beautiful word: BELIEVE! Believe that 2021 will be better.
Ho, ho, ho and much love,
Tags: Leadership , COVID-19 , Coronavirus