Dear Lord Aelfstan,

Good day, I hope this carrier pigeon found you well. So it comes to pass that Lord Wulfsige will be needing your assistance for an epic battle against dreadful Mercia, for the month of November, this our blood month. Lord Wulfsige asks for your expertise and guidance as we blue-sky some strategies for taking the kingdom of Mercia completely and without clemency.

Would you be available?

Many thanks,

Godiva

High Administrative Assistant and Eminent Controller of the Carrier Pigeons
Lord Wulfsige
East Anglia

**

Dear Godiva:

Polytheistic blessings upon you! On this our Lord Woden’s day, I take pause and look out over my stronghold, past the heads on pikes and far beyond the festering moat where surely, to the east, the evil kingdom of Mercia is indeed setting forth grand ideas to launch a full-scale six-sigma attack on our Anglo-Saxon lands. This, we cannot have. However, it saddens me to tell you that my wife’s birthday is November 11th and we had made plans to take a trip to the nearby woods and sacrifice two black grouse and possibly that cousin she doesn’t like. We have been planning it since last blood month – can you believe a whole year has gone by?

Is it possible that Lord Wulfsige would be agreeable to a rain check?

P.S. Your pigeons are enormous and fed better than my own servants. May I inquire into what it is you give them? I am surprised the big guy made it all the way over here! :)

Praise Woden!

Sincerely Yours,

Lord Aelfstan

High Ruler of West Saxony
Six-Sigma Black Belt

**

Dear Lord Aelfstan,

It is unclear whether you understand the pressing need for swift action against Mercia. Though family is important, where would we be if instead of strategizing we spent our days in the woods slitting the throats of birds and unlikeable cousins? I can tell you: we would be out of jobs. Our spies tell us the Mercian army has ordered a shit ton of those Sword Point presentation markers that erase with a little water, which indicates a serious strategy is unfolding and soon. We hope to be ahead of the eight ball, and so with this note I have attached a presentation with visuals on our strategy. If you cannot make it to the meeting, which is now scheduled on the morrow, please send a competent delegate in your stead. Need I remind you that the particulars of the initial charge into battle and the first spear attacks are in your swim lane.

Lord Wulfsige has also made it clear that this absence will impact your annual review. Additionally, though no confidential disclosure agreement has been written up, Lord Wulfsige will be sending one via courier in the coming days along with an auditor, to ensure that you have not been consorting with the kingdom of Mercia, as your expertise is and always has been vital in these trying times.

Sincerely,

Godiva

High Administrative Assistant and Eminent Controller of the Carrier Pigeons
Lord Wulfsige
East Anglia

P.S. I feed my pigeons the regular amount of food. Are you insinuating that they are fat?

**

Dear Godiva and Human Resources:

At this juncture, I must CC our HR department, as this has been an ongoing issue over the last few months and must be addressed. Please note that though I am the only one officially addressing this, the matter of a healthy work-life balance has been weighing on the minds of unnamed higher-ups in West Anglia and lower Saxony respectively.

When I signed on to be High Ruler of West Saxony, I knew it would be a trying and difficult career path. But I did not go to the War-ton School of Deadly Business for four years and graduate top of my class so I could sit back eating pig tongues and swilling mead with no sense of responsibility or duty. What I am about to say may be taken as a betrayal, but I believe (perhaps wrongfully) that this is a safe place where I can be above-board with you. I believe our country has lost its values. I understand the importance of invading Mercia and overthrowing the king, but it’s my wife’s birthday and I proudly consider myself a family man. If you can recall I was unable to make her birthday last year as I was traveling to Scotland for a Quarterly Strategy Review that, honestly, resulted in nothing but more planning and more scheduling of meetings and very few decisions. Additionally we were all a bit hangry as the food didn’t arrive until well past two due to a mix up with the order. In short, there is a plethora of planning and very little action in this kingdom and it frustrates me.

Therefore I choose not to travel all the way to East Anglia to sit through another Sword Point presentation only to come to the conclusion that we do not have enough manpower or resources to run a successful, six-sigma attack on Mercia – which we don’t.

Yours Respectfully,

Lord Aelfstan

High Ruler of West Saxony
Six-Sigma Black Belt

P.S. Forget I said anything about the pigeons. It was a compliment but it’s clear you failed to see it that way.

**

Dear Lord Aelfstan:

Greetings! I’ve decided to step in and mediate this little matter, so Godiva’s taken a breather until it’s settled. Please also note that Lord Wulfsige is privy to all correspondence, and he is very disappointed with your comments about Godiva’s “fat pigeons”, as she takes much pride in their care. It is not necessary that they fly over the water, and so can be a little heavier as they can rest in trees as needed on their little journeys.

That said, let’s sideline the matter about the work-life balance and discuss your overall core competency during the past year. This would usually be tackled during your annual review, but I am cutting to the chase as time is of the essence! :)

In short, we are unsure if you are a spy or simply an incompetent “family man” whose core values are gravely unclear. Therefore, a tiger team is approaching on horseback to unseat you and place your delegate, now to be referred to as Lord Eadwulf, in your place. Your fate is up to the committee, but there will most likely be a generous severance that will involve a swift termination with no loss to your servants and most importantly, to your wife Eoforhild. Most likely she will be placed on horseback and sent to Wales to live out her years, widowed and in exile with her cousin’s family. I do hope you haven’t sacrificed him yet – the holidays could prove to be a little awkward! Your head will be displayed on the wall of fame, and you will not be forgotten as this has been a big learn for us all. So make your peace with Woden and do not run, as by the time you read this, they should have already arrived!

All the best,

HR