#WFH Diaries: Scott Conway of Mering

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on everyday life worldwide, we're checking in with creative industry folks to see how they're faring. here's an update from scott conway, creative director at Mering.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

Creative director. Family man. Third cool thing. 

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

Have you seen the movie Panic Room? Very similar, although no one is trying to get in, everyone is just trying to get out. I'm currently being asked to move from room to room in my house in Sacramento by my wife and two daughters. 

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I miss my office more than baseball at the moment. But outside of that, we're certainly staying busy. As many of our clients at Mering are travel and tourism destinations, it's incredibly important that they have messaging that is sensitive to the current environment, and reminds people to stay home, while also thinking through how those messages will change once it's appropriate to travel again. 

Describe your socializing strategy.

From a distance of at least six feet. My wife is on the front lines as an essential healthcare worker, so I'm trying to keep my distance from just about everyone at the moment. 

How are you dealing with childcare?

As parents, I think it's really important to cut yourself some slack right now, as balancing the needs of your children with the needs of work is nearly impossible, yet neither can be ignored. Typical restrictions on screen time and such have gone mostly out the window. That said, we are utilizing online resources to keep up the kids' academic skills, and for physical education we've blown the dust off the Nintendo Wii. My 10-year-old and I recreated the French Open on Wii Tennis the other day. (Spoiler alert, I win Roland Garros in straight sets.)

What are you reading?

I found a great thread on Fishbowl where someone asked, "What's the best book you ever read." Many people agreed that A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara was incredible, so I started that tome of depression. 

What are you watching?

I'm like a doomsday prepper with my TV shows. I happen to fall into that very small percentage of the population that has never seen Game of Thrones, so all you who gasped and couldn't believe I was missing out at the time, and now have nothing to watch … who's "the crazy one"?

What are you listening to?

For music, I've found the Chill Beats playlist on Pandora to be extremely helpful during work hours. Really drowns out the noise of the rest of the house, without the distraction of lyrics. The new Childish Gambino album is in heavy rotation as well after work, and I'm pretty excited for Pearl Jam's new record, which drops on March 26.

Podcast-wise, Bill Burr's bi-weekly podcast "Monday Morning Podcast" is great. I also patron a podcast called "Action Boyz," which is three comedians watching old action movies from the '80s (think Roadhouse and Predator) and basically doing a Mystery Science 3000 treatment over them. It's the most ridiculous thing ever, but any port in a storm, right? Wow, I'm already into sailing metaphors. 

How are you staying fit?

LOL.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Does drifting into a place where enjoying the sensation of pressing on a hangnail count as a hobby? No?

I've played guitar for the past 14 years or so, so that's been a great distraction. My family is tired of hearing me practice the chord progression to the intro of "Panama" by Van Halen, but it rocks so they can pound sand. 

Any tips for getting necessities?

Small rural convenience stores are supplied with things the grocery stores ran out of weeks ago. I literally found toilet paper in one a few days ago. My face looked like that Chris Pratt "surprised" meme from his days on Parks and Rec. 

An awkward moment since all this started.

OJ Simpson on Twitter posting a picture of himself in the White Bronco running from police with the caption "Trying to stay away from that #COVID-19" was breathtakingly awkward.

Best work email you got since all this started.

I suppose it was the notice that we could WFH. Which happened pretty early on in this process, so I applaud my agency's leadership for prioritizing our people. 

An aha! moment since all this started.

In a pinch, coffee filters can substitute as toilet paper. Although I don't recommend.

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

I think if we all just listen the people in the white coats, we're going to be fine. We're in uncharted waters at the moment, but that's the thing about uncharted waters—you gotta wade through them to find your path … wait, was that another sailing metaphor? I've officially become my dad. 

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards and the founding editor of Muse by Clio.

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