Workplace Hazards of Being Santa

by Joe Lavelle on November 20, 2009

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Most jobs come with some anticipated level of risk.  If you work at McDonald’s, there is a small chance that you may have an unfortunate encounter with the hot oil in the fryer.  If you are a flight attendant, your pleasant journey may be disrupted by the need to restrain a belligerent drunk who enjoyed his time at the bar during a layover.  If you are the CEO of a large corporation, you may have Michael Moore blocking the entrance to your office while holding a picket sign!

But, I was thinking as my wife and I took my 3 year old for our annual trip to see Santa at the mall this weekend, have you thought about the job hazards encountered by Santa Claus?  MSNBC’s website recently featured an article about the lobbying efforts by mall Santas everywhere to get preferred access to the H1N1 flu vaccine.  These necessarily jolly seasonal workers have a real reason for concern.  Dozens of children are within prime coughing distance every day, and how many three-year-olds remember to cover their mouths or wipe their noses while telling Santa about their desperate need for a new Barbie or video game?  Since obesity increases the threat of catching the flu, Santas have an additional reason to worry.  Two-thirds of all Santas are overweight, and a third are morbidly obese.

Did you know that there is an Amalgamated Order of Real Bearded Santas?  I didn’t.  The organization featured a seminar about the swine flu at their recent conference in Philadelphia.  St. Nick is taking his health seriously!  I half expect that the Santa at my local mall will be handing out hand sanitizer instead of candy canes this year.

Whether you are Santa Claus, a successful business owner, or a recent college graduate just starting your career, there are obstacles that you will face in your workplace.  Our mall Santa was equipped with healthy supplies of Purel!  You should also be prepared to greet these problems with a positive, solution-oriented attitude.    With this approach, you will be able to offer a feeling of holiday cheer in your office year round!

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