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Happy 25th WONGDOODY! (And the Night Security Guard Test.)

Happy 25th WONGDOODY!

This week marks WONGDOODY’s 25th anniversary. It came and went pretty quietly — lots of people were out of the office, and we had a blowout for our 20th anniversary that most of us are still recovering from.

Twenty-five years in business is a huge accomplishment in our industry. Tracy Wong, always gracious, gave the credit to Pat Doody for being the “brave one” when they first started, and to all of us for being part of the WONGDOODY family that keeps it going.

But what has kept our doors open when other hugely creative shops have come and gone? What has kept some of us around here for the lifetimes of several dogs, while others, who have moved on to other jobs, still hold a place in their heart for the agency that sounds like a major gastrointestinal disorder?

Here’s a story about someone who has never even worked here that I think illustrates the true magic of this place.

A few weeks ago, I came back to the office late after a concert. It was about 11 p.m., and I hopped on the elevator with our building’s night security guard — a pleasant, shy guy in his mid-30s.

I got in and pushed the button for the 9th floor, and making pleasant small talk, the guard asked me where I worked. I answered, “WONGDOODY,” expecting the usual conversation about our crazy name. Instead, his face lit up and he said enthusiastically, “That seems like a really great place!”

I agreed and said that it’s a lot of fun most days and we’re like a big family. He continued, “Yeah, Tracy Wong … wow. He’s such a great guy. He must be a really good boss. Everyone likes him a lot, right?” I smiled and agreed again, saying he is indeed a great guy and we all feel really fortunate to work for him.

When we got to my floor, the guard said goodnight and I walked out, kind of in awe.

‘Cause here’s the thing — the night security guard, who clocks in at about 5 p.m. and clocks out in the early hours of the morning, doesn’t know Tracy for burning the candle at both ends. (Although TW is always willing to stay, offering guidance or an extra set of hands on big projects and pitches.)

The guard doesn’t know Tracy because he drives a fancy car or brags about his accomplishments in the elevator. In fact, Tracy’s beloved early 2000s Scion screams intern, not ad legend. And I’d be willing to bet the guard isn’t even sure what WONGDOODY does.

He knows Tracy Wong because, on more than one occasion, Tracy has said hello and asked him how he’s doing. He knows Tracy from the positive things he’s heard us say in passing. For the camaraderie he can feel between us in the hallways. He knows and respects Tracy mostly because Tracy takes the time to know and respect everyone, including him. And that respect is contagious.

So I walked off that elevator with a new appreciation for the man I already feel lucky to call my boss, and a new career goal: Be a leader who the night security guard knows by name. Not because your name is on the door, but because your name represents something others feel grateful to be a part of.

Congrats, WONGDOODY. Here’s to 25 more. Maybe Tracy will have a gray hair by then.

Jennie Moore
Creative Director

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25th anniversary