the insurance fair buffet; long-term, short-term, life, accident, health, vision, dental (3 kinds), cancer, hand surgery, laser eye surgery, flexible spending, and retirement. i informed the HR officer that i was no "sickie" and to please put my name down for the cheap 'i only go to the yukky doctor once a year, and maybe i should look into finding a good dermatologist' plan.
health fairs are a great opportunity to beef up every employee's pen collection. they also help to expand the office toy menagerie of really useless stuff, like the squishy toy designed to combat work related stress. this years offering was brought to us by 401k retirement plans; a foam brain stamped with their logo, which is quite fortunate because i personally feel the impulse to crush or throw something whenever i browse the literature, obviously written for (and by) someone with a phd in accounting. there is a grant funded study out there somewhere with my name all over it; tracking the high correlation between job retention and complexity of retirement plans. of course i will never complete it because it would involve using statistics and i am incapable of crunching any number over two digits. as i have changed jobs (again) i am also required to navigate my way through and sign several reams of paper before faxing them off to some company in oregon to complete a roll over (and die) of my retirement. perhaps the representative doing blood pressure checks (their booth always seems to be located by the door anyway) should do a pre and posttest service for all staff.
finally, the best of the freebies is usually the abundance of food at these events; today, the muffin and coffee stash was seriously depleted while the pears, granola bars, and apple juice were at overstocked 'depression era' levels. however, conveniantly located next to the carbohydrate addict's nightmare were two middle aged nurses manning the body mass index/body fat composition and pulse oximetry screening table. these ladies were definitley scoring above the 32nd percentile. they convinced me to take the test, which i passed with flying colours.
(i waited to eat my muffin until after they had given me my score).