First conference call of the year

Things are definitely getting back to normal at work; I had my first conference call of the year today, and, of course, it was at lunchtime.

IBM changed their health plans for 2006; they no longer offer a $150 “rebate” for not smoking; instead, they’ve taken that money and made it available to employees who go through a “Preventive Care” assessment and commit to taking at least some of the actions recommended. It worked on me; the assessment reminded me that I needed to schedule a physical (well, a screening) with my doctor, and I did so.

They also offer a $150 rebate for following an exercise program for at least ten weeks; the requirements were very low last year, but they’ve beefed them up a little bit for this year. You either have to exercise four days a week or exercise two days a week and do an online assessment and coaching. The required “exercise” is not hard to attain — 20 minutes a day is sufficient — but I’m doing the assessment and coaching, too. So far, it hasn’t been as effective at changing my behavior as the Preventive Care one was.

Tomorrow, my schedule features four conference calls. It was nice while it lasted…