I have this issue and I found that a bug already exists at least 6 months ago. Also, auto reporting in Ubuntu reports sends a report every day as well.
The issue is, if you suspend the laptop and come back, the wifi icon in the top bar is gone. I guess that is what you called the nm-applet. You cannot choose which WiFi to connect, disconnect WiFi or anything related to network connections.
I get it. There are volunteers who have a lot of things to do and all. But this bug is around since more than 6 months now. But, I have to go to system settings > network every time to deal with my wifi connection. I am doing it since more than 6 months now. Is there any chance highlighting here would make the fix any faster ?