A Jolly Life By D.I. Jolly

People think that working in Santa’s workshop is a dream, but in reality, the elves live a much harder life than you’d believe. With only 1 day off a year and enormous corporate pressure to keep up with modern trends. It creates a working culture where if an elf cannot keep up, they’re laid off. In this series, I plan to shine a light on the darker side of Santa’s workshop and get … The Real Story.

In recent years children’s toys have gone from trains to complex computers and their games. Where in days gone by an elf with a solid understanding of carpentry was enough to secure his employment for decades, now it seems as though if they aren’t totally up to date with electronics and programming they can be out of the street within minutes.

I managed to catch up with one such elf, who has asked to remain nameless. In our interview, he spoke of how conditions charged overnight and he, like so many others, were simply handed the task of building trademarked games consoles with little or no training. As expected it resulted in Christmas day system crashes and layoffs. Which lead to many an elf facing legal backlash from the trademark holders, and no one to stand for them. Several elves faced massive fines and in some cases jail time. In a tender moment, he mentioned a few friends who crumbled under the stress and eventually took their own lives.

He himself had managed to skirt the axe by working in fabrication, building the cases the machines came in, but once that got streamlined and done by the machines he’d help design, for no additional compensation, he was tasked with game programming and that’s where it all fell apart. Having no experience in the field he quickly fell behind on his tasks and was fired.

Although working in Santa’s workshop would seem like it carried significant weight in the job market, most people’s belief that it wasn’t real made it nearly impossible for him to find work. He turned to alcohol and drugs for escape, and eventually prostitution to afford it.

But not all stories have an unhappy ending, our friend did eventually manage to correct the course of his life and cleaned himself up, he found a job working as a sales assistant for a DIY supply store, and at the time of the interview was engaged to be married. So although things were hard on him, and his time at the workshop was difficult, and in some cases impossible, he would tell you that he’s happy and has made quite the Jolly life for himself.

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