#WFH Diaries: Nicole Michels McDonagh of BSSP

As the COVID-19 pandemic gallops along, we're checking in with the creative industry to see how people are doing. Here's an update from Nicole Michels McDonagh of BSSP.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Writer by trade. Group creative director by title. Mom of two crazy boys by luck.

Where are you living right now, and who's with you?

Seattle. In a tiny 6-by-6-foot home office for about 10 hours a day. With frequent pop-in visits from aforementioned boys and husband.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Remote but rocking it. Our BSSP team is doing an amazing job sticking together, creating great work for our clients, and making things interesting while making interesting things.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Zoom happy hours, Google Hangouts, yelling out my window as neighbors walk by.

How are you dealing with childcare?

Both my kids are at home doing e-school. Luckily, my husband, Joe, is a freelance brand consultant and he's able to do an incredible job with things like long division. My teenager emerges from his room every few hours and grumbles something under his breath, so nothing's really changed there.

What are you reading?

RBG words of wisdom book. She's unflappable and we could all use a little of that right now. I'm also fairly consumed with the hilarious ramblings of 16 of my college girlfriends on an epic text thread.

What are you watching?

Tiger King—what else? Also trying to get my kids caught up on classic movies from a long ago decade called the '80s. Field of Dreams, anyone?

What are you listening to?

I'm listening to my sister talk about how her ER doctor husband has to come home every night, wash all his clothes, not hug his three kids, then eat and sleep quarantined in the basement. Dr. Jason Hanley and so many others like him are the incredible heroes in this fight. I know he would say he's just doing his job, but we're so very grateful.

How are you staying fit?

Gave up on that week one.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Guessing when the delivery truck might arrive at my neighborhood grocery store.

Any tips for getting necessities?

See above.

An awkward moment since all this started.

My 10-year-old delivering a grilled cheese sandwich to me during lunch time while on a Google Hangout client call. A hand with a sandwich attached suddenly appeared on the screen—10 percent awkward, 90 percent adorable.

Best work email you got since all this started.

John Butler sent me a note stating that his wife now finally fully appreciates his lifelong obsession of sanitizing every surface in the house with Clorox wipes, but that he'd been banished to the pool house nonetheless.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Human connection has nothing to do with proximity. I feel very lucky to have a new partner co-leading the creative department with me at BSSP who gets my creative vibe, is passionate about making great work even in crazy circumstances, and enjoys a fine glass of wine at 6 p.m. on Google Hangout. (Thanks, Sinan Dagli.)

What's your theory on how this is going to play out?

It's going to be a long journey. But I truly believe it will focus us as a country on being kinder to each other. Looking out for one another. And realizing that we all can do something—no matter how small—to help.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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