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Who is in charge when Santa leaves the North Pole?

I was shocked when Elf Hugo came walking into my office this morning with a cart that contained 22 bags of letters. We do get a lot of mail here in the newsroom but we’ve never had that much in a single day. When I asked about them Hugo laughed and said that they weren’t for me. They were actually letters to Santa. Hugo wanted to show them to me though because all of these letters asked the same question. Who’s in charge when Santa leaves the North Pole? I thanked Hugo for the tip and headed out to find Santa to get the answer for all of you.

When I found Santa he was getting ready to head out to a mall to visit with the children. So I thought the timing was perfect. I told Santa that we had received 22 bags of letters today all wondering the same thing. With this being the busiest time of year at the North Pole and Santa constantly leaving to visit with the kids, who was in charge?

“Who’s in charge when I leave? Is this your way of asking for a promotion Ernest?” Santa said jokingly. I assured him that I was happy in my current job and I was just trying to get an answer to the kids question.

“Well that’s kind of a complex answer” Santa said. “Even when I leave I remain in constant contact with the North Pole. So if something big comes up I’m still the one making the decision. Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t delegate. Every department has a leader and those elves can make decisions on how to run their departments. We have a meeting every morning and they fill me in on any thing major that is going on and how they plan to deal with it. If I have a different solution we will talk about it and figure out whose idea makes the most sense. There are also times that I am in locations that are so remote that I can’t get a signal out. In those instances Mrs. Claus will step in and take over if there is an emergency. If Mrs. Claus is with me then that role falls to Elf Gloria. She is the senior elf and has the most experience. Therefore she is the one best equipped to handle any thing that might come up. I’m still the head elf though, so ultimately I take responsibility for everything that here at the North Pole.”

-Elf Ernest