What’s the matter with Ohio?
So recently, our organization’s officer came to see the gang at work about how we are feeling. It was, as always, a well-intentioned event, and I do think he takes our comments seriously. Unfortunately for everyone, it was at 8am, and I showed up about 50 minutes late, because I forgot about it.
When I came in, though, I walked into a conversation that quickly turned to employee benefits.
Good Buddy #1 was saying that the health insurance is too expensive (I have to paraphrase a little here). “Yeah, I really wish there were some way we could get some kind of basic level of health benefits for free. You know how the pension works, you just get it automatically?” (We are the last people alive who can actually expect a pension.) “That sure would be nice. Or maybe if there was some way we could choose not to have certain other benefits in exchange for better health insurance.”
Good Buddy #2 chipped in. “Well, you know, my wife quit her job to take care of our new baby, and we had to sign up for health insurance through Nationwide instead of through her old job. And I know she’s a teacher and she worked for the government, but the benefits we get here are nowhere near what they gave us, and the cost is so much higher. I mean, it was a real factor in her making the decision to leave work, you know? If things were different, we might have decided for her to keep working just to keep the insurance.”
I said, “Hey, wait, didn’t you guys vote for Bush last year? Yeah, OK, just checking.” And the Iranian and I shared a rueful laugh.