So there we were, some years and some moves back, gathered for an all-hands meeting in the conference room with the new CEO and our local health insurance provider's representative. And he starts off with announcing some Great News! for the company: now, instead of employees paying 50% of their health insurance tab, the company would cover the entire cost except for $50.
And then there's something mentioned about changes to the company's willingness to pay for health insurance for dependents... [insert record player scratch here
] And suddenly people realized that while the company was willing to pay for their employees, this company full of late-20-somethings and early-30-somethings with families was pulling support for spouses and children.
The best part was, the poor health insurance rep didn't have any of the new pricing information. So employees had just been told:
- If you don't have a family, your health insurance costs are going down!
- If you have a family, your health insurance costs are going up.
- We don't know by how much!
That was a good day. It's nice to be able to laugh about it now. What's your favorite company-wide announcement disaster story?
[Of course, there's the conversation about the fairness of basically having single folks basically subsidizing the cost of other people having families. I think that's totally a legitimate conversation. Also, there's the whole mess of employer-based health insurance, which is a historical anomaly pretty much unique to the United States. Plenty of other places to argue about the latter on the internet, don't you think?]