Day Twenty Six

It's been that kind of week. 

First off, I hope everyone had a great holiday week. Mine was a bit up and down, but I did spend some quality time with my family. So, it was worth it in the end.

Today, I’d like to stray from my typical blog topics and talk a little about my ongoing health insurance woes. This week, they hit an all time low and I figured it’s a situation worth writing about.

I’ll begin by mentioning that I have ADHD. I was diagnosed in the third grade and I’ve been on medication ever since. For anyone wondering, yes, I have tried to wean myself off it several times. However, my symptoms remain. Trust me when I say, I would not be on this medication if it weren’t a necessity. I actually lowered my dosage last summer, because I was starting to experience strong side effects, such as paranoia, anxiety and panic attacks.

I feel much better now though. I found a dosage that works perfectly for me and it allows me to focus on something for more than 20 seconds. Contrary to what some think, it doesn’t give me extra energy or some kind of weird high. It simply stabilizes my mind, so my thoughts don’t constantly wander around.

Throughout the years though, my ADHD medication has been the cause of countless headaches. Mostly because insurance companies act like it’s the devil’s handy work. I’m not allowed to get more than one prescription at a time and I can only get a 30-day supply. That means I visit the doctor every single month for a new prescription. Those costs start to add up, but honestly, if that were the extent of it I’d feel OK. However, pharmacies rarely carry it and insurance companies are starting to drop the generic version off their plans, which further limits my options. There’s more to it than that, but I think I covered a bulk of my anguish.

Fast forward to this week. I received my new health insurance card in the mail, only to find it accompanied by a rider claiming the company will not cover any ADHD medication. I immediately called a customer service rep and her exact words to me were, “We are not responsible for anything a broker says to you in order to get you to purchase a policy.” How ridiculous is that? I know I’ll figure something out in the end, but this week certainly solidified my disbelief in the current system.

Simply put, you should always be prepared. It may not be medication, but if you’re ever planning a project or trip of any kind, it’s always good to anticipate issues ahead of time. 

6 days until Boston. 

-Steve-

Day Nineteen

Recess Christmas Party

The holidays are upon us and that means my train ride to Boston is inching closer and closer (12 days to be exact). I don’t think I’ll be posting any blogs next week, as I want to take full advantage of some quality family time. However, I’m sure I’ll continue to be active on Twitter and Instagram. So, I encourage you to follow me, if haven’t already.

Last night, we had the Recess Christmas party and they made sure my time here ended with a bang. We gathered around the Xbox for a traditional gift giving celebration, before heading down the block to a small dive bar. I had never been to this particular establishment before, but I can tell you its odor lingers somewhere between dirty bath water and urinal cakes. All smells aside though, we had a great time with a high stakes skeeball tournament and a few rounds of beer. After a winner was declared, we ventured down W. 6th St. to a smoke-filled pub and ate our fill of fried foods and gigantic burgers. All in all, it was an amazing time filled with food, fun, laughs and booze.

Tomorrow is a different story. I’ll be manning a U-HAUL and throwing the last of my things in storage. I actually had to do this once before, when I ventured to Orlando for my internship. It’s a bittersweet moment to say the least. On one hand, I’m locking away nearly all my possessions. Yet, on the other hand, when I return home it’s going to feel like Christmas all over again. I will say, I’m really going to miss my bed though. Hopefully, couches aren’t as uncomfortable as people say. I have a feeling I’ll be frequenting them over the next year.

To wrap things up before I disappear for a week, I just want to thank the entire Recess team for helping me kick-off this project in style. Everyone here has been nothing short of incredible and I’m certainly going to miss this place. I may not know where this project is going to end, but I’m thrilled to have started it at Recess.

On a side note, I highly recommend everyone watch this spot from Westjet. I’m not even going to lie; it brought a few tears to my eyes. Happy holidays everyone!

-Steve-

Day Sixteen

The desk of Chris Jungjohann

The boss can make all the difference at just about any job. If they’re an overbearing micromanager, chances are you’re going to dread going in and spend every day watching the clock. However, if you have a boss who feels like a true part of the team, things can feel much, much different. The owners of Recess, Tim Zeller and Chris Jungjohann, fit the latter. From the moment I walked through the front door, I could sense a friendly and genuine vibe throughout the building. Tim and Chris truly care about their employees and in return the agency feels more like a group of friends than it does co-workers.

In my short time here, I’ve seen them constantly joke around with us, engage us in NERF battles, treat us to lunch and speak to us—not as employees—but as equals. In the end, I think it creates a better platform for outstanding creative. Recess is proof of that. No one minds throwing in extra hours, because everyone honestly enjoy being here. If someone is tapped out for the day that’s fine too. Tim and Chris have a rare quality, where they understand that the best work comes from happy creatives. At the same time, this place is not a zoo. Everyone here is invested in the work they’re doing and wants to see the agency succeed, but they also know how to have fun in the process.

I think this a shared mentality you’ll find at the most creative and promising agencies around the world. Being "switched on" day in and day out is a demanding process. And any agency that tries to turn it into an assembly line just can’t compete. They’ve lost sight of what creativity truly is — the culmination and expression of our shared emotions, experiences and thoughts. Sure, we all want to win awards and make a profit. That’s fine. You can do that and make the process fun at the same time. Tim and Chris understand that and Recess benefits from it. I also believe this is a trend I’ll be seeing throughout the next 13 months.

Being at Recess has taught me to have fun with what I do, but always remain dedicated to it. In the end, I’ll have awesome new stories to tell and the client will have my very best work. It’s a win/win all around.  

-Steve-