"Then why ARE you here?", the more curious among you may ask. The impatient will say, "Get on with it!" and so . . . "Merry Christmas and to all . . . " - oh no, THAT is a different Christmas story altogether - one I shall 'gift' to you in another posting. So, back the subject at hand:
Christmas cutbacks . . .
The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the anticipated cash crop, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance;
Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated;
The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French – "N’est pas?";
The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked. Exactly where this call-center is to be located is under study by our staff of gurus;
The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks, appear to be in order;
The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one;
The seven swans-a-swimming, aside from being chosen to satisfy an alliterative, artistic and aquatic activity, is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, thereby enhancing their outplacement;
The eight maids-a-milking concept has long been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility – especially in a society in which lactose-intolerance is on the rise. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching;
Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps;
Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While 'leaping ability' may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year;
Eleven pipers piping and Twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which will drop right to the bottom line;
Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop shipping by one day, service levels will be improved.
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking expansion to include the legal profession ("Thirteen lawyers-a-suing"), a decision is pending.
Original version and source unknown - complete attribution therefore not possible, but I made a few alterations to the version I obtained from Iain Sewell (a friend in Llanelli,
) who had made
some of his own modifications. Wales