GERMANY is facing a Santa Claus shortage in the run-up to Christmas, as new recruits fail to meet high Teutonic standards of jollity and expertise.
Job agencies, which are currently conducting a desperate last-minute recruitment drive, have reported a distinct lack of jolly, rotund, fluffy-bearded Santas with no criminal records.
Among the tough criteria are a suitably low voice, child-friendliness, good German, not too youthful, and a full repertoire of Christmas poems and songs. For good measure, they must show spontaneity and energy.
“It takes a lot to be a good Santa,” said Tarik Kilinc of the Heinzelmaennchen agency in Berlin. “About 10% don’t make it through the casting process.
“Just handing out presents isn’t enough. Our Santas have to sing songs with the families and talk to the parents about their children and the evening’s arrangements,” he added.
“The kids want to see sleds and reindeer and you need calm nerves to deal with that,” Kilinc said. “Every year it becomes harder to recruit people.”
Source: The Times