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Our Christmas Tale……Rudolph’s Grievance

Santa and Rudolph in a Christmas Scene

Rudolph was sitting in his stable. He was feeling unhappy.

A few days before, he had been cleaning and polishing his reigns ready for the big night.

Blitzen was the only other reindeer in the stable that night, and they were having a chat and a laugh about various aspects of life.

Bullying and Harassment

It was an innocent chat when Blitzen made a comment.

“Hey Rudolph, when are you going to do something about that red nose of yours? It’s huge!”

Blitzen laughed. Rudolph, however, was devastated by her attempted joke.

He had always been conscious of his red nose.

He had even been to the cosmetic vet surgeon to ask if there was something that could be done to alter its prominence.

A cartoon of Rudolph and Blitzen reindeers.

A few days later, all the reindeer were at work.

Rudolph was not feeling well and asked Santa if he could have the day off sick.

As he left, Blitzen and some of the other reindeer shouted over, saying, “Hey Rudolph! Where do you think you are going? You can’t leave us to do all of the work. Come here and let us polish your red nose and you’ll be fine!”

Some of the elves half-heartedly twittered between themselves, seemingly embarrassed by Blitzen’s comment.

Rudolph started to walk off and then suddenly felt pangs of guilt and embarrassment.

How could he leave his colleagues to finish Christmas preparations?

He returned to work and started to help the rest of the reindeer, feeling down and sad.

The Grievance

Blitzen came over to Rudolph and started to make fun of him, saying, “Was it because your red nose was too large and red that you couldn’t do the work?”

That was it! Rudolph ran and hid in the toilets.

He was in there for a while before Santa knocked on the door.

“Rudolph, are you in there?” he called.

Rudolph didn’t answer straight away, but then cried out “Yes” in a teary voice.

“What is the matter?” Santa enquired gently.

“Blitzen and the other reindeer have been making fun of my red nose. It is never going to stop, and I don’t think I can work in their team anymore. I think you will have to find someone else to lead the sleigh on Christmas Eve,” he replied.

Santa with his head in his hands after hearing Rudolph's grievance.

Santa was horrified.

He had never encountered bullying and harassing behaviour before amongst the reindeer.

“Rudolph,” said Santa calmly. “I am going to treat our conversation as an official grievance and help to sort this out.  I want you to take the rest of the day off and come back in tomorrow as normal.”

Rudolph agreed and unlocked the toilet door, his face awash with tears.

“Thank you Santa.”

The Grievance Investigation

That afternoon, Santa called Blitzen to his office.

“Sit down Blitzen,” he said. “Rudolph has raised an official complaint today about you. He says that you have been making some comments about his nose that he has found upsetting and embarrassing. What do you have to say about this?”

Blitzen took on an embarrassed demeanour and explained, “Hey, it was just a joke. I didn’t mean anything by it. I…I…didn’t think…….”

Santa stopped her in her tracks.

“Yes Blitzen, You didn’t think! You didn’t think how those comments would make Rudolph feel, did you?”

Blitzen looked down at her hooves.

She looked up at Santa with a tear rolling down her cheek.

“I…I…didn’t mean to hurt Rudolph. He’s my friend”  Blitzen mumbled.

“Then I suggest you take a period of reflection and then apologise to Rudolph sincerely and whole heartedly.”

Blitzen agreed.

“Yes Santa. I will. I am sorry.”

Santa looked at Blitzen before closing the meeting and said, “I will be putting a Letter of Concern on file for this episode, Blitzen. Don’t let it happen again.”

The next morning, Rudolph was standing by himself in the field, chewing on the cud.

Blitzen approached him with a rueful look.

“Hey Rudolph,” she said.

“Hey Blitzen, how are you?” he replied. “

I’m upset,” she replied. “I have hurt you with some of my comments lately. I wasn’t thinking how they might have made you feel. I want to apologise for hurting your feelings. It was callous and mean of me. Can we be friends again?”

Rudolph looked at Blitzen.

“Of course Blitzen. We will always be friends!” he said.

The Outcome

Rudolph knocked on Santa’s door.

As Rudolph pushed open the door, Santa said, “Ahhh, Rudolph, dear boy, how are you?”.

“I am good thanks Santa. Blitzen apologised to me this morning for making the comments about my nose. I don’t think it will happen again,” said Rudolph.

“Well that is great news!” exclaimed Santa. “I have written up my notes and sent you an outcome letter to confirm everything, including your right of appeal. This will be on file in case anything like this happens again.” Explained Santa.

“Thank you, Santa, for sorting this out for me,” replied Rudolph.

“So, I don’t suppose you have had any time to think about being my lead reindeer on Christmas Eve, have you?” asked Santa.

Rudolph sat and looked at Santa thoughtfully for a moment and then wryly smiled…….”Of course I will be the lead reindeer Santa!”

Rudolph leading the other reindeer after his grievance had been resolved.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Heidi and Jon x

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