I learned something at the special blogger session at the National Workers’ Compensation Conference this week. I learned that the 5 of us who were on the panel should just be allowed to run the entire workers’ comp industry, since we apparently know everything there is to know. In reality it would not likely improve anything, and in fact could prove a complete and absolute disaster, but like a slow motion train wreck, it would be damn fun to watch. 

The panel consisted of Joe Paduda, David Depaolo, Rebecca Shafer, Peter Rousmaniere and yours truly. It was moderated by Mark Walls. 

So what would the Blogger based Workers’ Comp Governing Board look like? It would of course utilize all of us in direct relation to our skills and expertise, or in my case, people’s poorly conceived perceptions of my particular skills and expertise.

Paduda would be the Medical Director on the board. He would be responsible for establishing appropriate standards and methodologies guiding medical care for injured workers in the system. He would also be given the key to the boards liquor cabinet, since he seems to have such an obsession over the distribution and use of controlled substances. 

Depaolo would be the Director of Indemnity and Disability. He would be responsible for developing and deploying proper payment standards and settlement protocols. He would also be responsible for telling employers and stakeholders (whom he refers to as “Special Interests”) to shut the #%?! up and quit whining so much. He would be given exclusive use of the phrase “grow a pair” within standardized disability guidelines.

Shafer would be made the Director of Employer Education. Her primary function would be to help employers lower their exposure and control costs. She would also direct all Return to Work efforts, and have to explain to employers why Depaolo keeps telling them to shut the #%?! up. (The answer may lie in Paduda’s compulsive unwillingness to open the boards liquor cabinet. )

Rousmaniere would be Director of Alternative Services, and be in charge of self insurance and opt-out standards. He would also be responsible for coordinating the “Welcome to America” orientation sessions for new workers entering the workers comp system following the broad immigration reforms undoubtedly headed our way. Having rejected Depaolo’s suggestion that the orientation sheet be titled “Welcome to America. Now Speak English and Shut the #%?! Up”, Rousmaniere would ensure that goodie bags distributed at these events would include literature and FROI’s printed in 17 languages and 32 dialects.

Walls, who seems to have developed an irrational obsession with bringing “sexy” back to workers’ comp when the rest of us were never aware it was missing, would be Director of Communication and Branding. This would be a departure from his recognized skill sets as just a claims guy, but it is his true calling. As part of this important post, Walls would designate the song “I’m Too Sexy” as the industry’s official theme song, and be responsible for the production of the annual “Disabled Girls of Workers’ Comp” calendar. He will also be responsible for coordinating the boards exorbitantly decadent outings.

And me? Well, as I indicated, we would be placed based on our skill and expertise. Since I have no perceivable skills or expertise, and therefore am incapable of actually doing anything, I naturally will be in charge. I will be Chairman of the Board. My job will be to make sure the others on the Blogger based Workers’ Comp Governing Board do their jobs. My primary responsibilities will be diverting criticism and placing blame, as well as ensuring that I have an adequate golden parachute for my inevitable demise. 

I recognize that you may not understand why I have assigned these bloggers in the manner that I did if you were not in attendance at the actual session. The true logic may only be evident to the few hundred people who were there. You’ll just have to trust me. This makes sense.

I should note that as Chairman, there is one more thing I would do. I would have a second key made for the boards liquor cabinet.

Don’t tell Paduda. I’ll never hear the end of it, even if I have Depaolo tell him to shut the #%?! up.


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