Well, it was about this time last year that I sat down and pecked out my first ever top ten annual prediction list with the article “Top Ten Predictions for 2012”. I thought I would take a moment to review those items, and see how well I had done:
· 2012 will be longer than the average year In fact, I predict it will be a full day longer, with 366 days instead of the anticipated 365.
Assessment – Nailed it!
· The Work Comp Analysis Group will reach 1 Bazillion members Burdened by the excessive weight of membership, the LinkedIn group managed by Safety Nationals Mark Walls, will unexpectedly break free from its moorings and drift out to sea. It will last be seen heading in the general direction of Tahiti.
Assessment – Damn close, but no cigar. As of this writing, the WCAG has swelled to 17,500 members. Impressive to be sure, but as I always say, it ain't no bazillion.
· Technology will continue its relentless march The workers' compensation industry, which prides itself on its use of cutting edge, innovative technologies, will discover that the internet is on the computer now. Some in the industry will launch an aggressive, 10 year implementation plan, or at least put together a feasibility committee, to exploit, or at least study the potential to exploit, this stunning new capability.
Assessment – Mixed results. An Internet Analysis and Utilization Deployment committee was indeed established by a consortium of leading workers' compensation firms, but they ran into serious process delays and technological problems, the most notable of which was the Etch A Sketch tablet computing devices that had been requisitioned for them were not wifi enabled.
· Mark Walls will be crowned King of Tahiti Having proven himself a true leader by vowing to “go down with his ship” after learning it was headed to Tahiti, Walls safely guides the runaway WCAG to that island paradise, where he is hailed a conquering hero. Given a hero's welcome and a key to the city (presuming Tahiti HAS a city), Walls vows to leverage the WCAG and oversee the repopulation of the species.
Assessment – Wrong. Much to the disappointment of the anticipated “King to Be”, Mr. Walls was not crowned King of Tahiti this year. His collection of (mostly unused) grass skirts is now available for sale at a significant markdown on Craigslist. Ever the optimist, however, he has recently issued a tweet on Twitter declaring his continued availability re the repopulation of the species.
· Florida will fix its pill mill problem Facing severe budget cutbacks and fiscal challenges, the State of Florida discovers that selling Oxycodone on the street at $80 a tab is a quick way to stop the fiscal bleeding. The state bypasses the middlemen, and starts selling the drug directly to its addicts, creating an enormous cash influx while simultaneously eliminating its pesky pill mill problem.
Assessment – Not even close. In fact the state did itself one better, by making sure that through enhanced physician dispensing, not only could we expedite the delivery of narcotics, but could do so at outrageously inflated prices.
· Congress will nationalize workers' comp But it will only be for 8 weeks, until after the Easter break when they return and take up the debate once again. They will ultimately fail in agreeing on an extension; similar to how they fail at virtually everything they do. A commission will be appointed, comprised of an even amount of diametrically opposed members. President Barack Obama will travel the nation between vacations and rounds of golf, urging somebody to do something. Ultimately we will be returned to the states, tired, hungry, and wet, but none the worse for wear. Congress will vote itself a raise – the one thing they can seem to agree on.
Assessment – Wrong. In fact, you can likely take this prediction and replace the phrase “workers' comp” with “fiscal cliff” and it will be entirely suited for the New Year.
· Sedgwick will buy Joe Paduda After full consolidation, the new subsidiary will be renamed Paduda Joe's, and will feature industry observations, critical insight, experience based wisdom, imported cheeses, gourmet groceries and Two Buck Chuck by the truckload. David North, president and CEO of Sedgwick, will be quoted as saying, “Well, we'd bought everything else. It was this or those guys at WorkersCompensation.com, and frankly we're not even sure what it is they do.” Unfortunately, Paduda's position will be eliminated in the merger.
Assessment – Wrong. In fact, they bought everybody but Joe Paduda. Rumors that the sale fell through due to Paduda's unreasonable demand to be “Prince of Tahiti” in line of succession to Mark Walls are completely false. I am sorry I started them.
· From Bob's Cluttered Desk will be successfully censored Mark Walls, Joe Paduda, Sedgwick, and retailer Trader Joe's will successfully obtain a court order preventing me from ever mentioning their names again. Trader Joe's will also refuse to continue fulfilling my monthly case allotment of Two Buck Chuck.
Assessment – Blissfully Wrong. Turns out Walls and Paduda both have a pretty decent sense of humor, and Trader Joes actually opened a store here in Sarasota to better serve my insatiable need for Two Buck Chuck.
· WorkersCompensation.com will be sold for $45 Billion The sale will close on December 20, 2012, making me a very wealthy man. Several others here, who have toiled in near poverty for over a decade in hopes of eventual financial reward, will also see their dreams realized.
Assessment – Wrong. Last I checked my meager checking account, it did not appear that this occurred.
· The Mayan Calendar will be proven accurate The world will end on December 21, 2012. The irony will not be lost on those of us here at WorkersCompensation.com.
Assessment – Obviously wrong. This was a crushing blow to those of us who woke up on the 22nd and realized we needed to do our Christmas shopping after all.
So there we have it. I officially suck at annual prognostications. That doesn't mean I won't try again. I might just try to crank out a Top Ten Prediction list for 2013. I might be able to improve my success rate. Couldn't make it worse, that is for sure.
In fact, I can ensure that I can do it with 100% accuracy. How, you ask? Simple. I might not write my “Top Ten Prediction's for 2013” until early 2014.
Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
Bob has a couple unique personality characteristics. He firmly believes that everyone has the right to his (Bob's) opinion, and while he may not always be right, he is never in doubt. Enter at your own risk, and like all of our blog areas, we encourage you to read the disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
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Bob is an accomplished speaker for the workers' compensation industry. He is available for conferences, corporate events, children's birthday parties and Bar Mitzvahs. You may access his Speakers Brief here.