A Business Lesson From ‘A Christmas Carol’ Who Knew Dickens Was Preaching Employee Safety? DECEMBER 2022 GIBSONLAWGROUP.COM (817) 769-4044 DIVING DOWN WITH GLG
labor — they’re human beings, and they deserve to be well-paid, well-fed, and protected.
My favorite Christmas story of all time is “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. I’ve never read the book, believe it or not, because I find the prose almost painful. But man, the story is incredible — and so are the movies and plays that it inspired. As a kid, I watched the 1951 movie every single holiday. I loved the heartwarming message of the film, but it always gave me shivers when the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come pulled open his robe to reveal two creepy kids hiding underneath. The spirit claimed the children were “Ignorance” and “Want” and that Scrooge should “beware them both.” It seemed odd to see those skinny, wide-eyed kids in the middle of a tale about the real meaning of Christmas. But this year, their scary faces suddenly made sense after I finally learned a little bit about the history of “A Christmas Carol.” Apparently, Dickens sat down to write the book in 1843 after reading a government report on child labor. He felt horrified by the stories of kids as young as 8 years old working 16-hour days in dangerous conditions. (Who wouldn’t be!) So, he decided to write a manifesto called “An Appeal to the People of England on Behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.” Somewhere along the way, that pamphlet became
Every employer in Texas would probably like to think they treat their employees well. But unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of employee safety issues right here in DFW. If you really want to get into the Christmas spirit this year, start by taking these steps to protect your team from fires and criminals. 1. If you run a convenience store, restaurant, or hotel, don’t cover your windows with posters and advertisements. If passersby can’t see into your business, it’s much easier for someone to rob it and put your employees in danger. If possible, don’t even ask employees to work by themselves at night in unsavory parts of town. 2. Maintain your indoor and outdoor lighting. You need to have policies and procedures in place to swap bulbs when they go out. It may be a pain in your posterior, but crooks tend to target dark storefronts and parking lots — and if one of your employees gets hurt because you didn’t maintain your lights, their personal injury lawyer will blame you. 3. Don’t block your emergency exits. I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen boxes piled in front of an emergency exist. This is a code violation, and it’s dangerous! If a fire breaks out, those boxes could cost your employee their life and you a fortune. Ultimately, employee safety comes down to the golden rule: “Treat others the way you want to be treated.” Scrooge needed four ghosts to help him figure this out, but I know you’re smarter than he is. If you run into a workplace safety issue or think you might have a hazard on your hands, give me a call. I can look into it and point out any potential legal problems.
the story of Scrooge, his mistreated employee (Bob Cratchit), and Bob’s sweet son (Tiny Tim). If you read between the lines, “A Christmas Carol” is still a story
about workplace safety and taking
responsibility for the health and welfare of
Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season,
your employees. Dickens uses Bob and Tiny Tim to show business owners that their workers aren’t just cheap
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Melanie Shaha is currently fighting her third brain cancer battle. For 15 years, she’s been suffering from a benign tumor on her pituitary gland. Although she doesn’t mind being sick, going to her appointments, focusing on her treatment, and talking to loved ones about her cancer, she doesn’t like looking sick. If you didn’t know Shaha, you wouldn’t realize she was battling cancer. But this suddenly changed once she lost all of her hair. She had two surgeries, in 2003 and 2006, in hopes of removing the tumor on her pituitary gland, but they weren’t successful. Then, when she began radiation therapy in 2017, the treatment caused her hair to fall out. “Not having hair [makes] you stick out like a sore thumb, and well- meaning people can say things that break your heart,” Shaha told TODAY. She didn’t like all the attention and the looks people gave her in public. So, her 27-year-old son Matt had an idea. At first, Matt joked about cutting all of his hair off to make his mother a wig. But the joke soon became a plan, and Matt followed through in 2018. Locks of Love Son Makes a Wig for His Mother
him from cutting it, but Matt wanted to help her feel confident and comfortable in her skin. So, he chopped it off and sent his locks to Compassionate Creations, a hair company in Newport Beach, California, that created a wig for his mother. Now, Shaha has a piece of her son to take everywhere with her beautiful new tresses. “The color is spectacular, and we had it cut and styled with a hairdresser. Matt said it looked great on me. It sure fills your emotional cup,” Shaha says. If you — or someone you know — would like to donate your hair to cancer patients, you can donate to Locks of Love, Wigs For Kids, Chai Lifeline, and Children With Hair Loss. Research donation centers in your area if you would like to give back locally. Holiday Shopping Scams Businesses boom during the holiday season because more people buy their products and services. But this means potential scams can also increase, but you can do a few things to ensure your personal information and banking details are safe. You may see products online or advertisements on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok that pique your interest. But before you click “buy,” ensure the website is legitimate. Search for the product on a search engine to see if the same links appear. Carefully read reviews, look for website security credentials, and research unknown retailers before purchasing. It’s better to take extra precautions to ensure your information isn’t compromised. In addition, never use public Wi-Fi when purchasing items online. You’re more likely to be hacked when the Wi-Fi connection isn’t protected or in a secure network. Hackers tap into public internet sources and intercept your data through techniques like eavesdropping. Although it’s appealing to use public Wi-Fi because you think it’s free, it’s not. You pay with your personal information and data. If you or someone you know is a victim of fraud, report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or by phone at 1-877-382-4357. For more information on scams, fraud, and identity theft, go to USA.gov/scams-and-frauds to learn how to protect yourself better.
After graduating from college, Matt began growing his hair out. In no time, he had long and luscious hair. His mother tried to dissuade
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emails like these are all too common; unfortunately, millions of people’s data is compromised as a result. Understandably, when you first receive these scam emails, you panic because you think they are legitimate. But remember, USPS, UPS, Amazon, and FedEx won’t ask for personal information over email. A good rule of thumb is never to click on links in emails — even from the actual company. Scammers are very good at making their emails look authentic. Instead, go to the delivery company’s website and log in to your account. If action is required, you should see a notification in your portal. Alternatively, you can call the business’s customer service line to check if their email is authentic.
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TAKE A BREAK
We’ve all felt anxious, guilty, fearful, and sad — it’s a part of life. Perhaps you’ve tried to avoid or suppress these emotions, but you’re not a rock. As humans, we experience these feelings all the time. Trying to control them may only make matters worse. So, instead, focus on something you can control — your actions. That’s the central premise of Mark Freeman’s mental health book “You Are Not a Rock.” He aims to teach readers how to build emotional fitness and overcome their struggles and hardships with different techniques. The book is divided into two sections titled “The Basics” and “The Transformation.” The first half is about learning basic mental health skills and unlearning ways of thinking about mental health that cause us challenges. The second half focuses on how to create and build what you want to see in your life instead of trying to avoid and control what you can’t see. As you read, you’ll learn how to recognize your problems, practice mindfulness, prioritize and follow your values, and understand your fears. The strategies in “You Are Not a Rock” are the same tactics Freeman used in his personal life, and he shares some of those stories in the book. There are exercises at the end of each chapter that Freeman highly encourages you to complete. By TIRED OF FEELING ANXIOUS AND FEARFUL? Read ‘You Are Not a Rock’ by Mark Freeman
WINTER VEGETABLE SHEPHERD’S PIE
Inspired by BBCGoodFood.com
performing these exercises, you can
better understand the book’s contents and implement Freeman’s tactics in your life. Before Freeman helps readers begin their journey, he states that strengthening your mental health is like working on your physical health — you won’t see instant results. “Changing your brain takes time
• 4 garlic cloves, sliced • 1 sprig rosemary • 15-oz can diced tomatoes plus liquid • 1/2 cup water • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas • Milk, to desired consistency
• 6 1/2 cups potatoes, cut into large chunks • 2 tbsp olive oil • 2 onions, sliced • 1 tbsp flour • 2 large carrots, cut into rounds • 1/2 cauliflower, broken into florets
1. In a pot, boil potatoes until tender. 2. In a pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add carrots, cauliflower, garlic, and rosemary and stir until softened. 3. Pour tomatoes into mix and add water. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, then remove lid and cook for 15 minutes until thickened. Stir in peas and simmer. 4. Drain and mash potatoes. Stir in milk to desired consistency. 5. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spoon hot vegetable mix into pie dish, then top with mashed potatoes. Bake until top is golden brown.
and effort … I’m not going to share with you any magical supplements or special mantras. This is simply a book about actions,” Freeman says in his introduction. If you’re interested in reading “You Are Not a Rock,” you can purchase your copy wherever books are sold online or in bookstores.
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
The Often-Missed Message of ‘A Christmas Carol’
What Started as a Joke Became Reality
Winter Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie Tired of Feeling Anxious and Fearful?
Protect Your Personal Data From Scammers
We get busy shopping for Christmas gifts online and in-store during the holiday season. It’s the season that keeps on giving — but not for all. Scammers will devise clever ways to con you out of your hard-earned money. Some will take advantage of your generosity. So, as you scroll through shopping websites and wait for your gifts to come in the mail, be sure to protect yourself from scammers. Here are some tips. Holiday Mail Scams Shipping companies will give you updates and status on your items when you order something online or ship a package off. Although this tool is excellent for tracking where your orders are, scammers will send phishing emails pretending to be these shipping companies. These emails claim your package is lost or more information is needed to process your order or shipment. Some may have a webpage link for you to submit personal information. Phishing How to Avoid Holiday Scams ’Tis the Season for Giving — Not Stealing
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