#WFH Diaries: Joni Williamson of Whitehouse Post

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the world, we're checking in with folks in the creative industry to see how they're doing. Here's an update from Joni Williamson, director of new business development for Whitehouse Post.

Give us a one-line bio of yourself.

I am a mom and a wife and an executive, and I do all three of those things at a solid 8.

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

I'm living in a beautifully destroyed home that used to come with a cleaning lady and a gardener.

What's your work situation like at the moment?

I sit at my kitchen counter daily with my laptop working while I scream at my 9-year-old daughter sitting right next to me about geometry. 

Describe your socializing strategy.

Drinking wine daily on Zoom. Literally daily. If the Zoom starts before 5 p.m., I'll have sauvignon blanc. If after 5 p.m., a nice pino noir. These are the rules and they are never to be broken.

How are you dealing with childcare?

I've decided teachers have the hardest job in the world and are the most important people in the world.

What are you reading?

Educated by Tara Westover and any OK Magazine that I can get my hands on. 

What are you watching?

Cheer on Netflix and High Fidelity on Hulu. Both undeniably awesome.

What are you listening to?

Amos Lee, Bob Marley, Garth Brooks, Eric Church, 2Pac, Whitney Houston, anyone who can drown out the news on TV.

How are you staying fit?

Peloton, baby!!! Cody is the BEST. 

Have you taken up a hobby?

Yes, breathing. I find if I breathe, I don't want to kill anyone. When I breathe, I appreciate my family and my home and my neighborhood. 

Any tips for getting necessities?

Bring a shiv to the store. Don't use it, but just make sure people can see it. 

An awkward moment since all this started.

One of my best friends lives down the street. Now, instead of hugging her when I see her, I stare at her nervously and question everything. Who has she allowed near her? If I touch her, will I get sick? Has she brushed her hair or her teeth since this has all gone down? Have I?

Best work email you got since all this started.

I got what I thought was a very cheesy chain letter from Katie McCain at Wieden + Kennedy. It asked me to send her an inspirational note, and then I was to send her chain email to 20 other women that inspire me. What I DIDN'T know was that I'd wake up every day to a few emails from some pretty amazing women in advertising. Their messages have, in fact, inspired me daily and I'm so glad I did it.

An aha! moment since all this started.

Aha!!! SLOW DOWN. Take this time to figure out what's important. (And time is on our side right now.) People are important. All of them. 

Put your phone down for a minute and make eye contact and listen to what your loved ones are saying. Listen and respond thoughtfully … because there is enough time now to give thoughtful answers. Everything will speed back up again before we know it. 

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

I have no theory. A wise old friend of mine takes one day at a time … so I'm going to do the same. 

See the full #WFH Diaries series here.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards, editor of Muse by Clio, and host of the podcast Tagline. He is the former creative editor of Adweek.

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