’Tis time for Steinhoff cutbacks

'We’d like to squash the toxic rumour going around that the delay in the publication of our financial results points to fraud in the company and that this might have an effect on Secret Santa'. (Reuters)

'We’d like to squash the toxic rumour going around that the delay in the publication of our financial results points to fraud in the company and that this might have an effect on Secret Santa'. (Reuters)

THE FIFTH COLUMN

Hi all,

Just a heads-up that this year’s Secret Santa cap has been dropped to R500 000 post-tax, down 50% from last year’s record high of R1-million.

The focus on this year’s event will pivot away from material values to the much more meaningful principle of giving for giving’s sake — for isn’t that what Christmas is really about?

We’d also like to extend a sincere apology for the awkwardness of last year’s event that saw gifts exchanged between our chief executive and chairman only.

A thorough, and fiercely independent, audit revealed that buying the world’s foremost racehorse, wrapping the animal in gold paper and delivering it via drone down a chimney was indeed out of reach for most Steinhoff employees.

That being said, it’s a bull market and nothing says you care like a controlling share in a top performer such as Walmart, so get out there and buy, buy, buy! Enjoy Spring Day and good luck with the shopping spree.

Happy Movember everybody,

A quick update on Secret Santa: R100 000 is the maximum you can spend this year. That’s an additional 50 percentage points lower than the grossly inflated amount we communicated previously.

We know this is highly irregular, but it seems we’re heading for a highly irregular Christmas that will have to be celebrated in the highly irregular shade of an irregularly small Christmas tree.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to inform you that your Christmas bonus will come to the irregular sum of zero.

But keep those chins up guys and don’t let it dampen your appreciation for your colleagues. Our very own Pep Stores is having a remarkable sale on socks and soaps with up to 80% markdowns so go out there and buy, buy, buy!

Hello everyone,

We’d like to squash the toxic rumour going around that the delay in the publication of our financial results points to fraud in the company and that this might have an effect on Secret Santa. Secret Santa will go ahead regardless of hearsay drivel.

To keep the event afloat our intrepid chief executive made the snap decision to buy himself a Christmas gift in the form of all the R5 Stores and Cash Crusaders in the country. There is no shame in shopping at these stores so go out there and buy, buy, buy!

Dear staff,

It is with great regret and sadness that we have to inform you that this year’s Secret Santa has been cancelled. The Steinhoff family will not be exchanging gifts in 2017.

Instead, we’d like to ask you to write a message of hope on stationery brought from home and slide it under a colleague’s door. For isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Giving each other the things that money can’t buy?

Season’s greetings everyone, and a happy New Year from all of us in top management.

JS Smit

JS Smit

JS Smit is a Cape Town-based freelance writer. Formally trained as a copywriter, he took a break from ads in 2010 to write a blog for the Mail & Guardian's Thought Leader and since 2015 has written for the Mail & Guardian. Read more from JS Smit

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