minalisms


    Archive for the ‘work’ Category

    Analyze this

    Friday, November 13th, 2009

    I have seven more days to sign up for 2010 health benefits at work. I’ve been putting off this very big responsibility because I’m not in the mood to decode legalese.

    While poring over 50-page Summary Plan Descriptions for each option, comparing the costs versus benefits, I stopped to surmise, “This is outrageous.”

    Then one of my coworkers came to my aid. She told me that once upon a time, before our company lost its identity due to mergers and acquisitions, she was charged with taking the HR benefits documents and simplifying them with the use of plain English for the masses to understand. What a concept!

    Toward the end of our session, my coworker had summarized scores of pages in less than 10 bullet points. She is a god.

    So it got me thinking: Why must our corporations, our courts and our congress — entities that essentially serve the people — communicate to us in Pig Latin? Pages and pages of Pig Latin! Case in point: the House of Representatives’ version of the health care reform bill, which comes in at 1,990 pages and includes paragraphs like this one, according to Poltico.com:

    β€œ(a) Outpatient Hospitals – (1) In General – Section 1833(t)(3)(C)(iv) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1395(t)(3)(C)(iv)) is amended – (A) in the first sentence – (i) by inserting β€œ(which is subject to the productivity adjustment described in subclause (II) of such section)” after β€œ1886(b)(3)(B)(iii); and (ii) by inserting β€œ(but not below 0)” after β€œreduced”; and (B) in the second sentence, by inserting β€œand which is subject, beginning with 2010 to the productivity adjustment described in section 1886(b)(3)(B)(iii)(II)”.

    What. The. Fuck. This kind of shit infuriates me. It’s inexplicable and oppressive. It makes me almost thankful that my benefits materials are as coherent as they are.

    But the fact still remains that policies and laws that affect laymen are rarely communicated in laymen’s terms. Which makes for more blind, deaf and dumb Americans than we’d ever imagine.

    Friday Funnies – 2

    Friday, October 30th, 2009

    I’ve changed the name of the Friday series because the first moniker was lame and caused me a great deal of annoyance when others inflected improperly when reading the title.

    So anyway…

    Top ten ways that you know you are suffering from job burnout:

    3. You’re so tired; you now answer the phone, “Hell.”

    2. You wake up to discover that your bed is on fire, but go back to sleep because you just don’t care.

    1. You think about how relaxing it would be if you were in jail right now.

    Purgatory

    Thursday, October 29th, 2009

    My brain turned into mush around 2 p.m. because I had the bright idea this morning to clean out my Inbox at work.

    So yes, it was one of those days.

    Determined, I managed to organize and purge three-fourths of the way through the mailbox (translation: about 900 e-mails) before my eyes rolled to the back of my head and my tongue stuck out the side of my mouth.

    People were staring at me. No joke.

    OK, joke.

    As a reward for my diligence, I allowed myself to consume a King-size Reese’s, two white-chocolate-and-macadamia-nut cookies and a pumpkin-spice latte. All of this even though I haven’t hit the fitness center in three weeks.

    I am chock-full of accomplishments today. And I think I’ll stop writing now.

    Protected: Workerbees

    Thursday, March 26th, 2009

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    The 20-minute rule

    Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

    Early in my relationship with Ben, he explained to me his 20-minute rule.

    Basically, in St. Louis,” he said, “If you can’t get somewhere within 20 minutes, then it’s probably not a place worth visiting.”

    It just so happens that because of the second phase of a year-long highway shutdown, my daily commute downtown has become 35 minutes long β€” further proof that work isn’t a place worth visiting.

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