This weekend, I'm celebrating the end of my biggest, annual project at work—benefits open enrollment. It's like the Super Bowl for an HR communications consultant (except without the cool halftime show or a trip to Disney World at the end).
Open enrollment is the time when the lines of my job responsibilities become blurred and I go—unwillingly—from communicator to benefits expert. Each fall, my desk becomes the office hot spot with colleagues stopping by to say "what medical plan should I enroll in?" That question inevitably leads to a discussion about past doctor visits and prescription drugs people are taking. Everyone is careful to not give me too much information, but I always have this fear that someone's going to start talking in great detail about the infection they have on their big toe and the surgery it requires.
I feel like I should start charging for this kind of advice. Or maybe our employee service center folks—the ones who are trained to answer these questions—could throw a little extra on my paycheck one of these days.
It's true that I've learned a thing or two about benefit plans over the years and can even hold my own in a meeting with insurance gurus talking about health care reform, but I often have to remind people that I'm a writer, not a benefits expert. That's actually the thing I love about being a writer. I get to do a ton of research about things I know nothing about, then make it sound like I know it all! Often I'll write something and send it to a client for approval with a note saying "please review carefully; I made some of this stuff up" (no joke).
At any rate, I'm glad to have this project mostly complete for now. I wonder what I'll become an "expert" in next?
It’s November…the birthday month of my soon to be firstborn. Of course, the actual birthday could be hours, days, or weeks away at this point. Personally, I don’t deal real well with unpredictability, so between that and being physically uncomfortable, it’s been a drag at times lately. However, I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to maintain a pretty normal routine even into the final days of pregnancy. For me, that is both physically and mentally a very good thing.
I can’t help but think what it would have been like to be my mom (or several friends I know), pregnant with twins, and on bed rest for several months. So yes, I can say that overall I appreciate being able to go to work every day. I’m also thankful for the occasional evening out, like the comedy/magic show I went to last weekend with the hubs, the Sara Bareillis concert I’m heading to tomorrow night with my sister, and the chance to get together with friends for a meal now and then. Who knows how frequently I’ll have those opportunities in the next few months, so I’m going to waddle my way around town and enjoy being as social as I’m physically capable of at this point.
And if this little story makes me sound like I’m handling things well…that’s just because I’m leaving out the part about how I end up whining at home most nights to my sympathetic husband about how I’m ready for pregnancy to be over.
But we’re always waiting for something, right? So fill in the blank: “I’m waiting for ____.” Bonus points (redeemable for absolutely nothing) if you have any advice for handling those waiting moments. Here’s hoping you all find ways to make the most of them!