I've been back just over a week. I hit the ground running, starting my new job a mere three days after landing. While still a little jet-lagged, I started absorbing the changes that have occurred in the three years I've been gone. I feel a bit like I'm awakening from a long coma. My old company is much the same, except it's growing at an exponential pace. Terms, processes, policies and even people seem foreign at first. Then, as if emerging from a fog, they become familiar and recognizable to me.
It appears I'm going to be traveling... a lot. The company is expanding beyond the city of New York into the entire state. There will be new staff to be trained in our model of care, our way of doing business and what we will expect as deliverables and outcomes. Guess who will be doing that? Yup, me.
Today was corporate orientation. I sat and listened to the benefits expert describe the various options for insurance and retirement. How do families with kids afford to insure themselves? For a moderate plan, the employee contribution was around $300 a month! It really made me appreciate the concept of the National Health Service in England, which is free at the point of contact for everybody. The tax rate in the UK was similar to what I'm paying here, so when you work the numbers, aren't we really paying more here?
People have been asking non-stop since I'm back, "Which is better, the NHS or what we have?" I respond simply, "It depends on what the goal is. If the goal is to provide basic care to everyone, the UK is better. If the goal is to foster competitive innovation at the risk of large numbers of people never being able to afford to take advantage of it, the US is better."
This week provided enough material for three blogs, but this will have to suffice. Cheers!