When Shahzad Ahmed used his FLEXBenefits to reach a personal fitness milestone, he also ended up helping to support his own community. Shahzad, who already has two full marathons and a few half-marathons to his credit, competed in the Santa Cruz…
FLEXBenefits helped me get in the game
Edward Hall, Systems Engineer
I spent my FLEXBenefits Bonus on trying out board games like Dominion, War Chest and Aquatica, which are made for two to four or five players, so you can play them with family or a bunch of friends. I also am using the benefits to explore and play trading card games.
Basically, the Bonus allowed me to do something that I had always wanted to do but couldn't justify the cost for. So, I thought this was the perfect chance to get in and get caught up, and it's been pretty cool because I've been able to help other people get into the games as well
The board games are similar to your Monopolies and Candylands of the world, but obviously the games I have bought are a lot more complex because they're oriented toward adults. Most of them are strategy games and almost all of them have an objective to obtain.
But the cool thing about board games, versus playing an app on your phone or something, is that you have to get together with people. You must socialize, especially when you have multiple people, you have to talk to other people and kind of figure out what they're doing, or if you're on a team you have to try strategizing together.
It's a lot more social interaction, I would say, than playing video games, which is something that I have done a lot of and which is more of a solo experience. Even if you are playing video games with other people, you don't have to talk to them or anything like that.
My FLEXBenefits Bonus is also helping me get into trading card games, and I have been to several events at the local game store. I get to meet a lot of people that I never would have otherwise.
We all have something in common, which is the game, and then even when you're not in a game at that point, you end up just talking to people about random stuff. I think that’s also been helpful to increase my social interaction, especially with everything that's going on in the world right now.
In the trading card games, you build up a collection through boxes or through events and then you play against other people. It's more like trying to figure out and strategize, ‘okay, I got this card, or this card's available,’ and then other people pull from the same pack, or the same set of packs. So that is something else that opens up a lot more discussions.
I've also been helping out at the local card store by being a judge, so I've been able to really get into the games with a small cost to myself, thanks to FLEXBenefits. It’s something that I really enjoy. I like opening the packs and stuff, and doing something that's not just for fun, but also has a bit of strategy to it, something that lets me use a different part of my brain. And I do enjoy the artwork on the cards.
Overall, FLEXBenefits make a difference because you're able to do something outside of work. And I think that's beneficial because you get to take your mind off whatever it is that you're thinking about while you're working and just be able to relax and have fun.
Rebecca R. Hastings, ICE-CCP, Certification Exam Development, Senior Program Manager In January 2022, after I took advantage of the Palo Alto Networks FLEXWORK program to relocate from Virginia to North Carolina, I joined a couple of Facebook groups…
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