Our post earlier this week about Rudolph and the workplace bullies certainly seemed to gain some attention. It seems that many people had not considered the bullying nature of a group of reindeer whose reputation has been largely protected by a biased and complicit media. Some people have revealed that they will never be able to listen to the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in quite the same way ever again. I suspect it was the revelation of Santa’s true motivation that did the trick on that. Nonetheless, it was the cutting-edge reporting typical of this blog that pushed away the smoke and revealed the unvarnished truth. 

We are currently combing through the Twitter files to see if the FBI or other government agencies played a role in suppressing the story of the bullying nature of the reindeer “Gang of Eight” and Santa’s evil elf community. Possibly more on that, later.

There was another reindeer story that we wanted to share with the bullying post. In fact, I desperately tried to weave it into the story, but even with my trusty rubber mallet (which is often used to bend and twist seemingly irrelevant stories into one about workers’ comp), I could not make it work. So, here it is, left to stand of its own accord. 

(Hey, it’s a holiday week and no one is paying attention. Humor me.)

It seems that Santa and his sleigh were due for recertification from the FAA this year. In preparation, Santa had the elves wash all the reindeer and polish the sled. The reins, harnesses, and other equipment were checked for wear and replaced as needed. Santa made sure his logbook was in order, his flight plan was well-defined, and his payload was properly listed. 

Finally, Santa had his EHS Director (Elf Health and Safety) review all relevant safety procedures with his ground and flight crews.

The FAA inspector was quite thorough. He checked the barn where the reindeer were kept. He examined the food they ate. He thoroughly inspected the sleigh and rigging. Then he told Santa it was time for a test flight. 

Santa hopped into the sleigh while the inspector climbed in on the other side. Santa looked over to his left and was surprised to see the inspector holding a shotgun. He said, “Ho Ho Holy cow! Why on earth are you bringing a shotgun?” The inspector was quiet for a moment, giving furtive glances from side to side to see if anyone could hear his reply. He leaned over to Santa and whispered, “Well, I’m not supposed to tell you, but you’re going to lose an engine during takeoff.”

Now, the more depraved among you may find humor in the idea that one of Santa’s “engines” would be blown out of the sky mid-flight in such a test. But that engine was, in this case, a living being who was in the employ of Santa, Inc., and therefore protected under various wage and labor provisions. One of those requirements, of course, would be workers’ compensation coverage should he be injured or killed on the job. (I am going way out on a limb by assuming the reindeer uses a male-oriented pronoun, but as far as I know, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen all still identify as male – although there are serious questions about Prancer)

So, our unfortunate engine is likely going to be entitled to benefits under Santa’s workers’ compensation insurance. It could be a very complicated case. It potentially could involve claims of workplace violence and third-party liability, and if the engine is “lost” later in the flight instead of on takeoff a host of jurisdictional questions could come into play. 

And, god forbid, if Santa lost control of the sleigh after the engine loss, the claims could be catastrophic, as Christmas plans all over the world would be destroyed. 

I’d rather not think about that. I’m fairly certain I’ve avoided the naughty list this year and am looking forward to my just rewards. But I digress….

So, even in the most unlikely scenarios workers’ compensation can play an important role. We should remember that this holiday season, the safety net protections our system affords are a vital cog in keeping our economic system stable. 

I guess my trusty rubber mallet hasn’t lost its touch after all.

One Reply to “Another Reindeer Tail, uh, Make That Tale”

  1. Bob,
    In the final analysis it’s really all about workers’ compensation isn’t it.
    Merry Christmas and all other appropriate holiday greetings!

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