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Beads, Beignets, and Benefits

That’s right I’m in New Orleans – Yaw!

It feels right in a way, being back in the South closer to my roots of N.C., warmer weather, sweet tea, and people talking a little slower with that southern drawl.

There are some things that New Orleans is known for; one being the beads and unfortunately / fortunately I missed Mardi Gras and all the bead tossing.  Interesting though the beads come in all shapes, colors, sizes and they must represent something different to the wearer and the thrower – maybe someone can explain it to me later.

Next comes what most people say are the next best thing to Krispy Kremes; which are the Beignets.  Its definition is a deep fried biscuit with powdered sugar.  In actuality it’s similar to a doughnut, funnel cake, or delicious ball of dough covered in powdered sugar.  And if you happen to see the pictures below, they come in all sizes, shapes, amounts of powdered sugar and toppings.  I have on several occasions; fortunately, taste tested many beignets and will truly miss them on this trip.  I had to go gluten free, doctor’s orders; bummer.

But the main point to this trip to New Orleans was to take part in the HIMSS tradeshow that covers anything and everything Healthcare related.  Healthcare Benefits have been at the forefront of almost every discussion I’ve had with HR professionals over the last year.  And just like the beads and the beignets, benefits come in all sizes, shapes, and costs.  HR folks are trying to figure out what the word “affordable” means to everyone working in their organization.  Benefits are an important part of the way we do business and the way we retain good employees with our places of business.

HIMSS was amazing, 37,000 people strong.  New Orleans was great, especially with the 65 degree nights.  And on the last night I had someone throw a strand of gold beads down from a balcony to me on Bourbon St.  It took me by surprise.  Thankfully my benefits are not surprising – I can go to the doctor when I need to and have peace of mind that everything is handled.  Unlike trying to get back to Boston in a snow storm like I’m trying to do today.

So how are your benefits?  Have you had a beignet?  Have you had beads thrown at you?  Let me know.

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