As the new year approached, being the creepy me, I sent out a form for everyone at Tonic to fill out, so I could learn more about them without them knowing anything about me. Obviously, Eline (copywriter) suggested that I write the Tonic blog about 2015 in review (dammit). Out of 60 people in the office, only 22 cool kids filled them out. They all also happen to be my favorite drinking buddies. Knowing they’re comfortable sharing their thoughts with me, I’ve decided to make this as uncomfortable for them as possible.
The form consisted of the basic questions such as age, which some refrained from disclosing. Surprisingly, they weren’t women. From what I could gather, the average age at Tonic is 28.5. That’s young for an ad agency. Next was the most important question of all time – favorite food. Most of us are hardcore carnivores that love a lot of spices. Indian, Thai and Japanese are in the top 3. Reem N. made a point that she isn’t a ‘foodist’ and loves all food equally.
Moving on to the actual review of last year, 2015 has not been the kindest to Tonicians but yet one of the most memorable. We raise a toast to those who struggled finding a job. You’re all now proud Tonic newbies we can pick on. It doesn’t last long so enjoy the attention for now. They had the usual complaints like surviving the first summer in Dubai, exercising and saving up. For Ermie, it was training for a marathon and achieving a medal for 5k. Tiya has adopted 3 new kittens off the street, all the while struggling with her medical condition. We’ve all heard a lot of heartbreaking news about the Middle East that affected our GM, Wael, the most. Which is probably the reason why the greatest lesson he learnt this year was that peace comes from within.
Furthermore, we’ve had a lot to celebrate in 2015. Highlights are: the unforgettable fabulous weddings of Ghada and her now-hubby Ahmed in Amman (undoubtedly, the elegant Arabic calligraphy invitation was designed by herself) and of the dancing duo Stephanie and her life/dancing partner, Dillon, who said their I dos in India. Of course, we can’t forget the 9 little Tonicians that were introduced to the world; starting with Alice’s twins. Walaa was blessed with a beautiful boy, Ali’s son Zamin now has a baby brother, Michelle has named her new-born Merliah Cailee, Jinto is a papa bear to a baby boy, Amr had his first baby and to make the festive season more merry, Karen had her boys at the end of the year. Stephanie graduated her MBA while working part-time for a while at Tonic. Tony and Saniya went on their first scuba diving experience and Eline is now a certified advanced scuba diver.
As for 2016, we all look forward to upping our game. The agency as a team is focused on solving problems in the world and being recognized for pencils and lions. We have high hopes for our house chef, Valerio to cook up some new ideas while he learns to prepare Indian recipes. As for Ahmed, he’s looking forward to settling down. Who’s the lucky girl? It’s learning French for Reem A., so she can eavesdrop on the strategy team – Arnaud and Wally on the development of upcoming projects. Phil’s only wish is for Eline to stop annoying him on a daily basis. However, we all know that it’s the one thing that makes him smile during a stressful Thursday evening. Usman plans to launch his own project this year. The adventurous squad, Eline, Renaud, Wael, Tony, Alba, Panda and I (Saniya) plan to travel the world, making the most out of our unlimited holidays policy. Maybe not literally the whole world but combined, we sure could cover half. I’m not going to mention all the lies that people promise to do every new year, how they’re going to exercise, save money and be a better person. I like you the way you are – fat, broke and sarcastic.
To conclude, last year was pretty awesome for the people at Tonic but this year seems to be looking better already. I’ll make sure to check-in on everyone’s “resolutions” during the summer to give you all an update.
– Saniya Saifi