When renewing our health insurance information earlier this year, my husband and I were expected to fill out a questionnaire. The answers were in multiple-choice format, which means that I was not allowed to say exactly what I was thinking. I am an at-home mother to two great girls. Unfortunately, that type of job did not exist within this survey. Here are the actual questions and my totally honest answers that I would have LOVED to submit (but didn’t)!
1. Which of the following best describes your main job? If none of the categories fits you exactly, please mark the category closest to your experience.
- Executive, administrator, or senior manager (for example: CEO, sales VP, plant manager)
- Professional (for example: engineer, accountant, systems analyst)
- Technical support (for example: lab technician, legal assistant, computer programmer)
- Sales (for example: sales representative, stockbroker, retail sales)
- Service occupation (for example: security officer, food service worker, janitor)
- Precision production and crafts worker (for example: mechanic, carpenter, machinist)
- Operator or laborer (for example: assembly line worker, truck driver, construction worker)
Answer: All of the above.
I am the CEO of my company (company/household …whatever). I consider myself the key accountant (I don’t bring in the big bucks, but I do designate where and how they will be spent!) and counselor for the company. I keep the company running smoothly and am always evaluating the processes looking for leaner options; therefore, I am the chief engineer and systems analyst. Technical support comes my way in the form of knowing how to correctly operate the main systems in the company (e.g., dishwasher, oven, washing machine, microwave, clothes dryer, and vacuum). My sales experience is wrapped up in debating with my five-year-old why she should eat the supper I prepared for her rather than go hungry, and convincing my two-year-old to pee in the potty instead of on the lawn.
And service occupation? Please! I won’t go into detail here. Let’s just say that I am in charge of all services in and around the main facility. I am also the janitor; I am the main diaper-changer, vomit cleaner-upper, and child washer. Okay, I’ll have to give a little in the area of precision production, since my husband is the one with the woodworking skills. But crafts worker? I’ll go on record here and say that I know how to work a Popsicle stick, tissue paper, and a pipe cleaner and make it look like a fabulous Christmas present for the grandparents! As for an operator or laborer, well, that’s a no-brainer. Assembly line lunches! Substitute “mini-van” for “truck” and I’m your driver. Construction worker ties into that Popsicle stick/tissue/pipe cleaner creation mentioned above. Enough said. Think all this will fit on my resume?
2. About how many hours altogether did you work in the past seven days? (If more than ninety-seven, enter ninety-seven.)
Answer: Hmmm, let’s see here. There are twenty-four hours in a day, times seven days in a week, so that would be 168 hours. I guess I get about six hours of sleep per night, but I’m still on call. Yeah, ninety-seven hours would be a light week.
3. How many hours does your employer expect you to work in a typical seven-day week? (If it varies, estimate the average. If more than ninety-seven, enter ninety-seven.)
Answer: Varies? I would LOVE if it varied! But see the above question: 168 hours. They are real workaholics!
4. About how many hours altogether did you work in the past four weeks (twenty-eight days)?
Answer: Now here’s where you’re going to test my math skills. Okay, twenty-four hours per day, times seven days per week, times four weeks is a grand total of … 672 hours. Wow. I think I’m going to pass out.
5. In the past four weeks (twenty-eight days), how many days did you …
Answers below …
Miss an entire work day because of problems with your physical or mental health? (Please include only days missed for your own health, not someone else’s health.)
We can miss days due to physical or mental health?!?
Miss an entire work day for any other reason (including vacation)?
HAHAHA … oh, sorry. Seriously?
Miss part of a work day because of problems with your physical or mental health? (Please include only days missed for your own health, not someone else’s health.)
I guess the closest I’ve come is the time I actually took a nap after having five fillings replaced and having one whole side of my head numb for four hours. The nap was about two hours. Two glorious, delicious hours. Sigh.
So you can see my dilemma. I just didn’t feel that I was accurately represented with what my job entails. Although if they had all this information, they may deem me unstable and deny my insurance benefits. Thank goodness for multiple-choice!