DODGING THANKSGIVING AWKWARDNESS
Thanksgiving conversation is often a minefield of topics: political divides, your English degree, and Aunt Marjory’s insistence that you meet her neighbor’s cousin’s dog walker’s uncle’s son who’s a fantastic up-and-coming podiatrist. Between constantly passing the potatoes and dodging your relatives’ questions, Thanksgiving can be an exhausting holiday. But it’s a day to be grateful for what and whom you have in your life, so why do so many people leave their annual gatherings feeling overwhelmed and misunderstood? This year, when the conversation begins steering in an awkward direction, try these conversation starters for a more relaxing and fulfilling holiday. 1. What’s your pet been up to? Maybe Fluffy learned a new trick or Oscar is undergoing some intensive grooming next week. Whatever the case may be, people love to talk about their pets. 2. What Thanksgiving dish can you not live without? Without going culinary critic on your grandma’s meal, gush about your favorite dish. Just like with pets, people love discussing foods and recipes. You may start a fun debate or a recipe swap with this question.
3. Dad did what as a kid? Getting to know your relatives, friends, and significant others better will only strengthen those bonds. You’ll likely hear some interesting stories you can share with others and forge a stronger connection with your relatives. 4. Stupid human tricks, anyone? Let’s see those double joints! This one might not be for the squeamish at the dinner table, but it’s a fun, goofy activity that’s best shared over a glass of after- dinner wine. 5. How about we get coffee? Sometimes part of the stress of answering your relatives’ questions stems from holiday pressures. It may force you to address your bank account, love life, and general life choices. If you really do want to talk about your job or your love life with relatives, suggest meeting up again without the holiday atmosphere. While you’re all in one place trying to enjoy a piece of pie, plan a family winery tour, beach day, or camping trip. Family situations will always be a little stressful, but without the pressure of the holidays, you might feel more relaxed.
why being on this side of the process is much more rewarding. I get to help people who have been legitimately hurt and injured and get them the settlements and reimbursements that they need to move on with their lives.” Having worked with insurance companies has many benefits. “I know the process of how they’re going to approach a case — how they evaluate it and what they’re doing to avoid a payout,” Shon says. “I know the different tactics they might use, and then I can counter them. It’s nice to have that understanding when approaching a case.” Shon’s transition from insurance fraud investigations into law was a comfortable one. “I always had an interest in law ever since I was a kid,” he explains. “I had an affinity for it and a desire to go into the field. During my school years, I toyed between business, economics and law, taking several classes in the latter subject.” Coming to work for Travis, Shon says that things simply fell into place. “I responded to the right ad and everything worked out from there — maybe not as planned as one might think, but definitely for the best.” When Shon’s out of the office, he enjoys indulging in some of his favorite activities. Staying fit is an important aspect of his life, so Shon goes to the gym regularly and plays basketball when he can. Shon also enjoys spending time with his girlfriend and taking her out to dinner. When he’s home, Shon relaxes by playing video games, such as the new Spider-Man game that was recently released for the PlayStation 4. SHON CHRISTENSEN CASE MANAGER
Before coming to work at Travis G. Black & Associates, Shon Christensen worked with insurance companies, much like Travis Black did. Now as a case manager for us, Shon’s knowledge of how these companies function plays a huge role in our firm. “Coming from the other side of this industry, working with insurance for several years, has helped me in what I do today,” Shon says. “When I worked for them, I specialized in their fraud investigations department, which involved chasing down fraudulent activity. I didn’t mind putting people through the ringer who were actually being fraudulent, but it didn’t sit well with me when the person had a legitimate loss. That’s
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