Frosty’s Christmas Trees and Cheer

Frosty wrapped his thick gloved hands around the steaming mug of cocoa. Bringing it to his lips he blew softly across the rim, his chill breath puffing up drifts of steam. Lounging in his office chair inside the warm trailer that served as his office, he reviewed the past days sales figures displayed on the screen of his laptop. Suddenly, his eyes lit up. Wow, his new elf sales team broke the lot’s all time sales record for a single night. No, they didn’t just break it, they shattered it. Frosty started to smile, then froze . . . wait, did they sell too much? Brining up the inventory screen confirmed his fears, the lot was half empty and the weekend rush was only a few hours away.

Setting his mug down untasted Frosty moved quickly to the trailer’s single window and threw it open. A small avalanche of snow and icicles rained down from the trailer’s low roof as Frosty leaned out. Ignoring the icy cascade he quickly spotted Hobart, his elf manager.

“Hey Hobart!” Frosty’s deep voice bellowed across the lot. “Are these inventory numbers right?”

“Sure thing boss,” Hobart responded, his high pitched voice confident as he held up his smart phone. “Just finished the count myself a few minutes ago. I was just going to order a new shipment, that OK?”

Hobart may be small, but he sure knows his business, thought Frosty. “Yeah, go ahead. And let ’em know we need them right away.” Frosty watched as Hobart nodded and brought his phone up, using the touchscreen and qwerty keyboard to request the shipment.

Over at the shipping yard, Donner’s phone buzzed from it’s cradle on his bridle. Glancing at the screen, he saw it was a priority ticket from Frosty’s place. Tapping the phone’s keypad with his antler he accepted the order and moved quickly to the loading dock. Their operation was pretty small, only eight workers on staff, but luckily they had things pretty well organized and this rush order shouldn’t be too much trouble. Quickly he had Comet and Blitzen loading tightly wrapped trees onto the loading sled. Donner was careful to use his phone to scan the bar code affixed to each bundle as it was loaded with his phone. This would let Frosty know exactly what was on its way.

Completing the loading, Donner picked up the bright red routing phone and attached it to Dasher’s bridle as he harnessed himself to the sled. Dasher nodded his thanks and, glancing at the directions on the screen, bounded off into the snow.

A short time later, Frosty saw the shipment arrive. He’d known from the shipment notification that it was en-route and had called in extra elves to help unload. As it happened, the elves and trees had arrived at just about the same time. Hobart was over at the gate waving the sled in. He would use the camera on his smart phone to capture the bar code on each tree, simultaneously acknowledging the delivery and adding the trees into inventory. Frosty, meanwhile was at the side entrance. He clocked in each elf as they entered the yard, selecting each name on the list displayed on his phone as they arrived. Elves were generally jolly, but they could be sticklers for overtime.

In short order, the trees had been unloaded and stocked and Dasher was sent back home with warm thanks and cookies. Frosty smiled. “Just in time,” he thought as customers began arriving. Each was met and helped by a sales elf who carried a portable point of sale terminal. This allowed a single elf to handle the customer throughout the purchase process. Frosty knew that this had improved his customer services ratings dramatically and probably contributed to the record sales. Speaking of customer service . . . there was Hobart, meeting with a family as they left the lot. Frosty knew he would ask a few quick customer service questions and then tap the responses onto the screen of his phone. Like he’d said, Hobart knew his business.

Walking back to his trailer, confident that things were being well handled, Frosty noticed that he’d left the window open. Gusts of wind had blown snow and frozen air throughout the office. Picking up his mug, Frosty noticed small ice crystals on the side where the condensation had frozen. The liquid sloshed lumpishly, partially frozen under a thin translucent layer of ice. Looking at it, Frosty smiled and took a huge gulp. “Mmmmmm . . . perfect.” Reaching over he flipped up the lid of his laptop with one hand while he reached for a small pipe sitting on his file cabinet with the other.

“Just perfect.”

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