I feel the warmth of the sun’s rays shining through my office window and it’s like a weight is lifted from somewhere deep within my shoulders. There’s just something about spring that makes me feel rejuvenated. Perhaps it’s the way the change of season inspires a fresh start – or it could just be the extra Vitamin D, which we have all been missing out on this winter. Either way, there is definitely an extra spring in my step today.
It might also have something to do with the meeting I have this morning with Martha, our intern who was recently promoted to administrative assistant. Martha has been actively pursuing green opportunities for the office ever since she started here. She has already driven a lot of change, especially considering she’s worked here for just over one year now. Today I want to make sure she knows her efforts are recognized.
With that, I hear a light knock on my door. “Come in,” I call out.
Martha walks in wearing an enthusiastic grin and clutching a recycled notebook to her chest.
“Good morning, Rona,” she says.
“Morning Martha, take a seat,” I gesture towards the chair across from my desk.
She sits down, opens her notebook to a fresh page and retrieves a retractable ballpoint pen – made of water bottle waste plastic – from her pocket.
“You won’t be needing to take any notes today, Martha,” I say, as a slightly mischievous smile spreads across my face.
Martha looks slightly confused. “Oh, okay,” she says.
Here comes the fun part.
“You know, you have been doing some really great things for our environmental program,” I say.
She looks at me curiously.
“You’ve trained all of the employees here to be much more conscientious of their recycling efforts. You’ve taken initiative and helped us gradually replace the majority of our products with those made of previously recycled materials. There’s no question you’ve lead us to make some substantial changes in reducing the business’ carbon footprint.”
Martha’s cheeks take on a slightly rouged tint. “I enjoy doing it,” she says. “It’s something I’m passionate about.”
“I understand that, and I called you in here today to let you know we all appreciate your keen attitude and your hard work.”
I pause for effect.
“That being said, we’d like to take the opportunity to show you just how much we value your efforts. In celebrating both Administrative Professionals Day and Earth Day, we have decided to upgrade your desk with the Bamboo Desk Set from this month’s Office Plus Flyer.”
Martha beams in excitement.
“Everything is made from environmentally preferred materials…” I start to explain.
“Yes, I know. I saw it today!” She interrupts. “Wow, thank you, that’s great.”
I nod. “You’re very welcome. That’s not all though. We’re also offering you a raise.” I take the envelope out from my top desk drawer and slide it towards her.
We take some time to discuss her pay increase in more detail, and as our meeting comes to an end she stands up to shake my hand. “I hope you know this is only the beginning,” she says. “I still have so many ideas to talk to you about.”
“I’m glad to hear it,” I reply. “We have some big plans for you, too.”
With that, she heads out of my office and I can’t help but notice a bit of an extra bounce in her walk. I sit back down in my chair by the window, looking out at the garden view. I really do love this time of year.