Ross's Christmas letter to Santa

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Dear Santa:

You know, because Mom always warned us kids that you know when we've been sleeping, and so on, that I haven't written to you for a long time. After seeing the cartoonists having a lot of fun about politicians asking the impossible of you for Christmas, I thought, why not?

Being Santa, you must want to leave loving presents under the tree, not the cranky stuff. I hope my simple requests are more in sync with your traditions, not Black Peter's.

To get started, here's a sketch of events that I have been involved with in years past. There was a symposium in London at Fanshaw College. I served on the Tillsonburg advisory committee for several years, chairman for one term. The purpose of the meeting was what now everyone calls innovation. Among the people seated around the table were many bright and eager young people earnestly proposing new approaches to education.

How about... in truth I don't remember specifics but I vividly recall remarking, "We tried that ten years ago. Didn't work then, won't work now."

We oldsters rained on the youngsters' parade. The youths were sincere in their proposals and no doubt some fell back on the belief the mere passing of time makes methods meaningless in today's world. It does in cases where new inventions and discoveries have made old ones obsolete. For example aeroplanes have made a sled with whiffletrees and tugs passe.

Wait! Don't get huffy. There is the value of tradition on your side here.

So, to get to my request. I know you normally deliver hardware but what I wish for is a change in the institution of new procedures in delivering services to Canadians. Make it compulsory for proposed changes to be circulated to the men and women on the front line instead of ordering implementation without question.

See, the way it is now, too often the innovators are fresh out of college or university, have no clue what the staff actually does. This results in degrading services and raising costs instead of saving time and money.

An example? Think food poisoning.

That's one request. Here's another. Remember when letters were delivered right to your slot at the North Pole? Being a senior citizen, how will you like it when you have to hoof it to Baffin Island and dig out the access door to your box in the wall of doors? What if you drive Rudolf or Olive the other reindeer but can't get near your box because all the spaces are occupied by caribou? What if there's a blizzard and you get rear-ended by an Inuit snowmobile?

Remember when the attitude for postal delivery was a neither rain nor hail nor...

Oh yes. That was across the border wasn't it? Still my Uncle Walter used snowshoes here in Bayham to get to his customers' boxes when I was a lad.

Well, OK, it wasn't all management's fault that the cost of delivery went ballistic, but wouldn't it have been in the interests of Canadians to resist demands instead of changing the institution to get rid of letter carriers?

If you can't swing these gifts, would you deliver copies of Chris Hadfield's new book to the appropriate people? It has everything I want them to consider.

Sincerely yours,

Ross Andrews




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