#WFH Diaries: Alexander Kalchev of DDB Paris

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 DDB Paris executive creative director Alexander Kalchev.

Give us a one-sentence bio of yourself.

A self-described introvert who's missing people quite a bit.

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

I'm living in this strange place called Zoom. It's got beaches, space shuttles and even a bar.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Looking at my agenda, you'd think nothing's changed.

Describe your socializing strategy.

Saying hello, calling people out of the blue, waving at neighbours at the 8 p.m. clapping time.

How are you dealing with childcare?

We have two young boys, so no need for a workout routine. Honestly, being with the kids is the best part of this. I'm endlessly amazed by their capacity for creative destruction.

What are you reading?

Whodunits. Locked room mysteries. Makes for pleasant reading when you are, well, locked in.

What are you watching?

Babylon Berlin, a beautifully shot reminder that people can come straight out of a horrible crisis, have a great time, and jump right back into another crisis. We're like that. Although hopefully this time it will be different.

What are you listening to?

No better time than now for small acts of kindness, like my friend Greg gifting me Which Way Now by Harry Miller's Isipingo. That's been my jam.

How are you staying fit?

See kids, noun.

Have you taken up a hobby?

I'm not that anxious yet.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Leave enough for your fellow human.

An awkward moment since all this started.

I'm embracing the awkwardness. It feels so good to be imperfect.

Best work email you got since all this started.

My CEO, Jean-Luc, is #winning this by a mile. His updates to the agency have been a moment of relief in our days.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Reading the definition of crisis: From ancient Greek κρίσις, means "turning point." We are at a turning point, and for once this isn't about fighting each other. The metaphors of war and fighting an invisible enemy are useful shortcuts, but if we swapped them for caring and healing, we'd see this crisis in an entirely different way.

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

"We are waves from the same sea, leaves from the same tree, flowers from the same garden." I have no theories, except that we can only get out of this together. Less 28 Days Later, more This Is Us.

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is a founding contributor to Muse. She is also the co-founder of esports agency Hurrah.gg, and co-author of Generation Creation.

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