Why You Should Lie on Your Well-Being Survey (for your own well-being)

I’ve been set up for failure! I could’ve passed this test last Friday, possibly yesterday, and most assuredly today. But not when I took it last Monday. Monday. What was I thinking??!!

(Yeah, you probably don’t need to spend more than a few seconds here – you get the idea…and, no, I’m not a teenager, as my well-being survey would be quick to remind me; but neither were any of the actors in Grease – by a long shot – so I’m sticking with this analogy!)

I was given a sliding scale from 1-10 and asked to place the toggle dial on the number that I was feeling about my well-being AT THAT MOMENT. I chose 6. What can I say? I’d had an unexpected incident with a family member over the weekend, I’d allowed my feelings to be a little too touchy when a church member acted difficult over something silly on Sunday, and I stayed up too late watching the end of the Superbowl game on Sunday night. Then I missed my work-out on Monday morning due to my son’s all-morning orthodontic appointment. By 1:45 in the afternoon, work was piled up, my dissertation table wasn’t formatting correctly, and I hadn’t had lunch (so I figure my blood sugar was down a little); and I received an email saying I was being forced to complete this survey to comply with my health insurance requirements. That’s the series of excuses I’m going with anyway.

As far as my 1-10 sliding scale went, it felt more like a bad joke. You know, the one about how guys give any girl remaining in the pub after 2:50 a.m. a perfect score of 10 – they’ll take her as a 4 and just add a 6-pack. But I was feeling a little better about myself than that – so I went for the 6. It seemed like a fair assessment FOR THAT MOMENT (which is specifically what the question asked). On a better day, I might’ve made that well-being scale tip at a Bo Derek 10, with self-esteem braids bouncing down the beach.

There were a couple of other questions, too, that needed to offer me the ability to add qualifiers, such as…

Did you have your appropriate servings of fruit and veggies today? Helloooo…I haven’t had more than a cup of yogurt at 6:00 a.m. this morning. Does key lime flavoring count for a fruit? Well, it was green. Can I have veggie points then? Technically, the day’s not over yet…but I froze. I answered IN THE MOMENT. Caught off-guard and responding in the moment obviously never bides well when a score’s involved…


Did you cuddle up and whisper sweet nothings in your boss’ ear today?…Excuse me? Okay, maybe it said something more to the effect of whether I felt supported in partnership with my boss. If we were life partners, I might feel cuddly towards him – nah, probably not even then. We’re not partners. He’s my boss. Word your question differently if you want a feel-good answer. That one’s well below a 6.

Apparently, I didn’t get any extra credit for working out at least 3 times a week either. Instead, I got reamed for admitting that it was sometimes an inconvenience to pay for prescription medicines. I mean, let’s get real. I now have the privilege of taking a non-generic (read that as ‘waaayyy over-priced’) heart medication twice a day for an arrhythmia that came out of nowhere this year (then told it drags “young people” down – that must be how my doc was trying to uplift me). After hearing the price from the pharmacy, I was all for putting a car battery to the thing and giving it a good buzz. I figure most mechanics could have gotten the timing down better than this medicine has. So, yeah, I’m a little resentful every time I drop one of those suckers on the kitchen floor and the dog laps it up before I can blow it off. What happened to the 5 second rule??!!! My dog’s heart has so much rhythm these days, he’s leaving me to start his own jazz band. And my pocketbook’s got the blues.

Somewhere along the line, it asked if I was satisfied with where my life is NOW. I figure if I were completely satisfied, I wouldn’t be working towards completion of my doctoral degree; I wouldn’t be trying to improve my program outcomes; I wouldn’t be engaged in a 30-something week study on the gospels or be sending out query letters to try to get my novel published. If someone ever becomes COMPLETELY satisfied, in my mind, that could mean that person has become complacent. Looking back, I guess I left that one too open to personal interpretation.


So, I was having a pretty good day TODAY (I’d give it at least an 8) – until this stupid “Personal Well-Being Report” comes dinging into my inbox.

wellbeingSpectacular, Stunning, Histrionic News, JODY! Your Personalized, No-Nonsense, One-of-a-Kind, Conglomerate Well-Being Report is Ready.

Congratulations. You’re about to receive your Well-Being Report, which is an important first step in your well-being journey. Your report will help you get a better understanding of where you are, which is so important for getting you on the right path to a happier, healthier you. Based on these results, you’ll also be able to create your own personal Well-Being Plan and put it into action.

You hear what’s coming, don’t you? I wish I hadn’t had my passport renewed for this trip.


Image located at http://www.tumblr.com

My phoney-baloney report suggested that my Life Perception needs attention and that I should add something new to my life that reboots my perception of it. This wise little report thought that perhaps I should learn a new skill.

Really? That’s the best you’ve got? Come spend a day with me and I’ll be happy to reboot – into my hiking boots and take you up on a trail in the mountains and leave your smart little ink to dry up there with the mountain lions. Cat-skill that…


It then suggested I wasn’t satisfied with my standard of living, with all the things I could buy or do – that I should write down some things in my life that money couldn’t buy.

Again…you missed this one, little report that’s becoming a thorn in my side. I’m guessing this is your jab back because I refused to answer any financially-related questions. I’m the person who skips the department store sales racks, you see, for the ones that carry my canoe up to the river, where I can paddle along and count my blessings. (Money couldn’t buy me getting out of doing this stupid survey either, could it?!)

Then it suggested that I should let go of my pressures by listening to a comedy sketch or reading the comics to redirect a bad mood.

How about I quit reading this comical report to relieve my ever-increasing bad mood?

Lastly, it placed as my goal to stay in control of my medical conditions, to make and keep regular appointments with my healthcare provider.

Could you write my healthcare providers and ask them to be more considerate of my time? I’m always early for my appointments – only to be left in the waiting room for 2 hours, then the exam room in a paper gown for at least another 45 minutes or so. My goal is to find a healthcare provider whose goal is to keep regular appointments with me.

Without any input on blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose testing or other biometrics (or the knowledge that it was heart medicine I was on), it rated my 10-year risk of a heart attack at 3%.

Oh good. Why am I taking this heart medicine again? Oh yeah, so I don’t stroke out at a premature age over the stupidity of this report.

It went on to tell me that my diet and exercise exhibited “No Impact on my Well-Being in this Report.”

Why was I forced to take this survey again? And now to keep a log of my exercise regimen (or is it now ‘regime’?), and my fruit & veggie intake?

Oh, yeah, so my health insurance (which has jumped significantly in price over the past couple of years so the company’s CEO’s standard of living would flourish) will not remove me from their “Partnership” Plan.

Long of it short — I felt like Sandy in Grease, being scrutinized by the Pink Ladies. I had thought I was making some fairly reasonable life choices until my new “friends” came along.

I don’t drink (no)
Or swear (no)
I don’t rat my hair (eew)
I get ill from one cigarette
(cough, cough, cough)
Keep your filthy paws
Off my silky draws
Would you pull that crap with Annette?

My ‘Rizzo Report’ informs me that I’m on the wrong path. I need a new set of skills…a new set of friends (a.k.a. “health partners”) with their own agenda to point out what’s really wrong with me…

Next I find…I’m going to get a “Greas-y Sandy” make-over. The modules I now have to read and the papers I have to complete are the “something new to add to my life” and I should cuddle up with my new health partner, who is an expert at having intercourse with me (you know, as in the communication kind) without knowing anything about me. And since I get to log my daily goal progress (at things I once enjoyed doing, but now suddenly resent), it looks like it’s going to turn into a dysfunctional partnership quickly – because the stalker report tells me: “We’ll always be together.”


I’ve learned a lot from this relationship already. First, I’m too good for it.
But more importantly, next time, I’ll lie when I complete that well-being scale.
I’ll just give it a 4 and add the 6-pack.

 Rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong, – jody


One of the WordPress Daily Prompts this week was on…Shoulda Woulda Coulda

February 13, 2013

Tell us about something you know you should do . . . but don’t.

I knew I should’ve lied.

But Kant says I can’t.


3 thoughts on “Why You Should Lie on Your Well-Being Survey (for your own well-being)

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