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?