As usual this time of year, the elves were behind schedule. Llewelyn paced back and forth glaring at Jinx. “It’s your fault you know. You should have sent the order out earlier. What kind of purchasing department are you running here? I told Santa not to promote you when Arowyn retired.”
Jinx stammered and then meekly said, “B-b-but, Llewelyn, I ordered the parts the first day I took over. Arowyn should have ordered them earlier. I’-i-it’s not my fault.”
Llewlelyn scared the wits out of Jinx. He was bigger than any other elf and he had been with Santa for hundreds of years while Jinx was a relative newcomer. Jinx had been in the workshop for only fifty years and the promotion had come as quite a surprise to him. He wasn’t even sure he wanted it, but Santa had assured him that he was the right elf for the job. Right now he wasn’t so sure that was true.
Llewelyn knew that Jinx was right. The order should have been in earlier. And now the toys might not be ready for Christmas Eve delivery. Someone would have to pay and he didn’t want it to be him. Retribution from Santa often came in the form of sending the offender to clean up after the reindeer. Llewelyn was in charge of the production department and he knew that Santa would think it was his lack of planning and not the purchasing department’s shortcoming if the toys weren’t completed on time. There were no suppliers in the proximity of the workshop, so everything had to be shipped to the North Pole. This was a serious oversight. If the parts didn’t arrive soon he was going to be in big trouble and he knew it.
The truth was, it was his lack of planning but he didn’t want to admit that, not even to himself. He should have had the supply list to purchasing before Arowyn’s retirement, but he had been busy wooing Trixie and was–well,– a little bit distracted.
Trixie Everbloom was every male’s ideal elf. When her blonde curls inched out from beneath her red cap, and her elfin grin teased it was impossible to resist her; and Llewelyn had been sucker punched when he discovered that he was the object of her attention. He had been completely immobilized for months. Then just as quickly as she had noticed him she moved on to her next conquest.
Llewelyn left the office slamming the door behind him. Just as he rounded the corner he found himself face to face with Trixie and her latest beau, Erie Leafspinner. Leafspinner was the suave young newcomer in the accounting department. The females fawned after him much as the males fawned after Trixie.
Trixie smiled. “Oh LLewie,” she purred. “I haven’t seen you in weeks. How’s production coming along?”
Llewelyn grimaced, snorted and pushed past.
While LLewelyn paced and growled and made everybody miserable, Jinx spent his morning on the telephone. He called every supplier on the list to see what had been sent, when it had been sent and when it was scheduled to arrive. He downloaded all of the purchase orders and tracking numbers for UPS. He checked UPS on the internet to see if anything was early. Nothing was scheduled to arrive until tomorrow.
Jinx relaxed. They would be fine. If things came in tomorrow the production department still had time. He wondered if he should tell Llewelyn. Naw, he decided. Retribution could come in many forms and knowing that Llewelyn wouldn’t sleep tonight made Jinx laugh out loud.
(Three word Wednesday: immobile, proximity, retribution.)