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Master Fezziwig Knew How to Celebrate Employees




Borne there by the Spirit of Christmas-Past the scene opens: It is Christmas once more and Scrooge is standing outside the warehouse where once he was an apprentice. They go inside and Scrooge is delighted to find his former boss – Mr Fezziwig.
Mr Fezziwig is instructing a young Scrooge and his fellow apprentice, Dick, to ready the premises for their annual Christmas party.
The scene fills as in come a fiddler, Mrs Fezziwig, all the other Fezziwigs together with all the employees.
They enjoy music and dancing and when finally the joyous evening comes to a close Scrooge is forced to reflect on his own treatment as an employer regarding his staff.
“When the clock struck eleven, this domestic ball broke up. Mr and Mrs Fezziwig took their stations, one on either side of the door, and shaking hands with every person individually as he or she went out, wished him or her a Merry Christmas. When everybody had retired but the two apprentices, they did the same to them; and thus the cheerful voices died away, and the lads were left to their beds.
During the whole of this time, Scrooge had acted like a man out of his wits. His heart and soul were in the scene and with his former self. He remembered everything and enjoyed everything. It was not until now, when the bright faces of his former self and Dick were turned from them, that he remembered the Ghost, and became conscious that it was looking full upon him, while the light upon its head burnt very clear.
‘A small matter,’ said the Ghost, ‘to make these silly folks so full of gratitude.’
‘Small!’ echoed Scrooge.
The Spirit signed to him to listen to the two apprentices, who were pouring out their hearts in praise of Fezziwig. And when Scrooge had done so, the Spirit said:
‘Why! Is it not? He’s spent but a few pounds of your mortal money: three or four perhaps. Is that so much that he deserves this praise?’
‘It isn’t that,’ said Scrooge, heated by the remark, and speaking unconsciously like his former, not his latter, self. ‘It isn’t that, Spirit. He has the power to render us happy or unhappy; to make our service light or burdensome; a pleasure or a toil. The happiness he gives is quite as great as if it cost a fortune.’
He felt the Spirit’s glance, and stopped.
‘What’s the matter?’ asked the Ghost.
‘Nothing particular,’ said Scrooge.
‘Something, I think?’ the Ghost insisted.
‘No,’ said Scrooge, ‘No. I should like to be able to say a word or two to my clerk, Bob Cratchit, just now! That’s all.”
In contrast to Fezziwig, who treated his employees with generosity and kindness, Scrooge regarded his employee with a particular mean-spiritedness of the cold hearted businessmen that he was. For Scrooge it was always profit over people and the only thing that mattered in his personal and professional life was his bottom line. Scrooge was hard on himself and, therefore, hard on others. It’s a general rule of thumb that one cannot treat others differently than one treats one’s Self. Scrooge was one who lived on the very edge of his own heart. He was a stingy man, a perfect misanthrope and it cost him greatly in terms of his relationships. In contrast, to Scrooge, Fezziwig symbolizes all that Scrooge is not. Fezziwig was lavishly generous and his great generosity was life giving and in a manner that liberated the very spirit of those who worked for him. Fezziwig, it might be argued, fostered a corporate structure of significance in which those on the lowest rung of the business ladder were celebrated together with those at the very top and made to feel significant. Generosity was a characteristic of Fezziwig it was not something he tagged on for profit, rather, it part of the very fabric of his being and lived out in his business dealings. As Dale Partridge has said "When generosity is who you are rather than something you do, it will seep out of your organization's pores Naturally." and that's the bottom line that even Scrooge could accept.

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