Saturday, November 13, 2010

Know-it-all at your service

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?


  1. Thanks for the well written blog from an expert perspective.

    That wasn't as funny as it sounded in my head.

  2. I agree with Tim, very well written (prejudice aside). Also the "Peanuts" picture was a perfect addition.

  3. Wow, can't even spell DAD. Who the heck is Dan? Writting talent must be from Mom.

  4. Thanks Tim and "Dan" (hehe). You are indeed our blog reader experts. :)