I have been flying at 35,000 feet on employee benefits and came crashing to earth last week.

I was getting my hair cut, and the new barber asked what I did. I gave my standard shrug and vague answer, "Eh, I'm a consultant." I assume people really don't care, and am of an age where I have the wisdom to not be overly self-important. The barber didn't give up that easily, and in a few minutes uncovered that I work in employee benefits and that I have read every line of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Over the years I have found that sharing that I am expert in benefits is a buzz-kill for any conversation except for a few specific conferences of HR or CFO types. Most benefits meetings have always felt like a gathering of the tribes, where we finally have an audience of fellow benefits wonks that actually enjoy the topic.  Or, more accurately, the meetings have the feel of a 12-step support group for people who enjoy discussing the fine points of HSA vs. HRA policy. "Hi, I'm Karl.  I enjoy discussing self-funding options." "Welcome, Karl!"

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