G O A L!


Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO, was about to take the stage at the InterContinental Hotel. I had a ticket and had planned to attend, but I was still at my desk, staring at my computer screen, fighting my way through a meaningless quiz. I needed to get 7 out of 10 correct to get past this roadblock. The questions weren’t difficult. I eventually scored 10 out of 10. The problem was that the quiz was embedded into an animated soccer game. Slowly the question loaded. Quickly I answered. And then the animation, think circa 1994, showed a goal being scored and the goalie reacting. And then, and only then, did the process begin anew for the next question.

Somewhere a six year old is missing a quiz game.

July, August, and September are devoted to my annual recertifications. Medicare requires an online class that takes about five hours to complete. Each section of the class has periodic quizzes and a test at the end. There is a 50 question final exam. This is followed by a 2 hour class and test for each insurer. I tend to represent 3 -4 companies each year. And once I’m done with Medicare the whole process starts all over for the federal exchange.

The insurers’ classes rehash the basics of Medicare, the basic rules, and the highlights of their products. Some companies respect our time. Some, like our soccer people, pretend that they are the only company selling these products. They aren’t.

There are lots of ways to waste time in my business. (Lots. I’m posting this while I’m on a webinar!) I attended a product rollout class yesterday morning. The insurer had the best of intentions, a comfortable meeting room, and useful materials. Unfortunately, the meeting was hijacked by two guys known more for their rants than their talents. I don’t know whether they were running a latte shy or if it was the 5 to 1 ration of women to men, but these guys and their grandstanding added over 30 minutes to a meeting that was already scheduled for two long hours.

These annoyances aren’t unique to my business. Scott Adams has mined the horrors of the cubicle farm in Dilbert, his comic strip, for 26 years. But I can only share with you my challenges and my new found success at animated soccer.