(From my draft folder, circa 2011)
I always knew that we would eventually feel the hook in the benefits bait offered by giant corporations to their employees. Now I'm finally being reeled in.
My husband's employer, Big Corp, implemented a plan whereby to get the best rate on their premium health insurance plan, the employee and his/her significant other (gag) have to earn a thousand points by the end of the year by participating in various "health" programs. First, I had to complete a questionnaire online and answer a lot of nosy questions about my health history and food choices. Right away there was a problem because I disagree with them about a few things. Like butter for one thing. They think it's bad. Same with eggs. And they like industrial seed oils. I like lard. It was stressful to complete that durned thing. I don't think it was good for my heart. But they didn't care.
Next, I was supposed to have a phone interview with a Big Corp rep so that, based on the results of my online questionnaire, I could be advised of their recommendations for improving my health. I took the questionnaire in January. They started calling me and sending me post cards soon after, "encouraging" me to submit to the phone interview. Hmph. Call me recalcitrant. I dug in my heels and steadfastly ignored their reminders. Last week they sent me a large, glossy post card that said, "Wendy Haught, you have 0 points." Gee, thanks for the encouragement, Big Corp!
I had been not-so-secretly hoping that my husband would get a job at a different company and save me from having to run this politically correct health gauntlet, but the end of September came, and I realized that I was running out of time for wriggling out of this predicament. Feeling miserably defeated, I called the number on the post card and pretended to be cheerful, cooperative, and stupid.
The lady on the other end sounded terrible, all congested. "You have a bad cold," I informed her. "Are you following all the diet recommendations?"
She said that she just needed a decongestant. Then she started go over my results. She said that I was fat and needed to get off my b_ _ t and exercise. She didn't use those exact words. She used some soft and cushy words, that would not infuriate me and make me hang up. I looked at the clock. Only ten more minutes of chit-chat to get my 250 points.
Would I like to get a physical for 500 points, she asked. "NEGATORY," I thought wickedly. Somehow that would be letting them win totally. I wasn't going to let that happen. I took the offensive and said that I would take the 3-session telephone coaching option. She set up that appointment, and two days later I got call from Tom in Minnesota.
He asked, "How many pushups did you do last week?"
"Uhhhh. Let me count. . .That would be ZERO," I said cheerfully.
"Ohhhhh," he groaned in consternation.
He asked me some other questions like that, and I answered them the same as the first one. He asked me if I was ready to implement some regular exercise into my schedule, and I assured him that I was. "Oh, yes, indeed!" I crowed.
He wanted to know how I was going to stay motivated. I said that I expected him to motivate me with his little phone calls. He laughed politely and asked if there was somebody at home who could help me stay motivated. I said, "Sure! My daughter Emma can do it!"
Sounding immensely relieved he asked, "And she exercises regularly?"
It's hard being such a disappointment to folks who are only trying to help you.