#WFH Diaries: Jill Applebaum of Wunderman Thompson NY

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the globe, we're checking in with creative people to see how they're faring. Here's an update from Jill Applebaum, the brand new chief creative officer of Wunderman Thompson New York.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

I am the newly minted CCO at Wunderman Thompson NY. Started the job under lockdown.

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

In an 850-square-foot apartment on the Upper East Side with my husband, 14-year-old daughter, 10-year-old son and their pet rats, Gracie and Cheerio.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

Oh, you know, just onboarding as CCO whilst under house arrest. NBD.

Describe your socializing strategy.

I'm on videoconference all day during the week, so once the official work day is over I try to unplug so I can stretch, make dinner, help with whatever remote school work has to get finished and maybe work on a puzzle, bake brownies or do something analog with my family. I also FaceTime my parents every night. We have nothing to say because nobody has done anything at all, but even if we just talk about the garnish on our respective dinners, at least we connected.

On weekends I'm doing Zoom reunions of all kinds with pinot noir in hand.

How are you dealing with childcare?

I'm lucky in that my kids are kind of the ideal age for this. My daughter is 14, so she can remote learn on her own and prefers to entertain herself for the most part anyway. My son is 10. He needs a little more help with the school stuff, but he won't get hurt if we leave him unattended. Roblox is our co-pilot. 

What are you reading?

Just Twitter. My commute time is usually my reading time. I'm not making time to read anything meaningful these days, which is sad because I have a stack of books I'd love to devour, but when I'm not working I'm cooking or cleaning or hanging with the family. And then I pass out. I'm also admittedly very distracted these days.

What are you watching?

See above. I'm struggling to get engrossed in anything. By the time this is over, though, I'll have streamed the first 10 minutes of an impressively eclectic mix of shit.

What are you listening to?

I'm addicted to the Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast. He takes me on a daily ride to the outer reaches of the multiverse. I don't even know how to describe it, but he gets me—and I need it, even if it's an old repeat, in order to fall asleep.

How are you staying fit?

I'm not sure that I am. I take the occasional Zoom yoga class with the kooky and fabulous Mindy Levine. I really miss my true love, Rumble Boxing.

Have you taken up a hobby?

Andrew Cuomo.

Any tips for getting necessities?

Some boast of fancy lounge access with their respective airlines. I have none of that. But I do have Chef's Table status with Fresh Direct. Forgive me for bragging, but I have a weekly delivery slot held for me in perpetuity. If you need anything, please let me know.

An awkward moment since all this started.

Our neighbors are having A LOT of day sex which we—all four of us!—can hear through our paper-thin walls.

Best work email you got since all this started.

A new business win that I'm not allowed to talk about yet.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Andrew Cuomo.

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

You can't make me go back out there.

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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