Andy’s Good Vibrations

In the past week, I’ve heard every Beach Boys song under the sun. On repeat. Andy is feeling very excited about summer’s arrival and his enthusiasm is infectious. As a result, our office stereo has been working overtime.

Andy’s summertime energy is spilling over into other places, too. The break room fridge is full of coconut water, new office plants are popping up everywhere and Andy’s desk looks like the inside of a piñata.

I stop by on my morning walk through the office.

Andy,” I smile at him over a sea of blue binders and yellow tulips, “it’s looking very seasonal over here.

He smiles back. “I’ve never been so excited for warm weather!

After the winter we had…” I respond.

“Exactly! I thought some colour and music would really lift our spirits. You know, remind us what it’s like to see blue skies and sunshine.”

I think it’s working,” I say, gesturing around us. The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds is playing and, though it’s first thing on a Monday, spirits are high. “What made you think to do all of this?

It was a study I read online about boosting office health. It talked about plants, music and healing colours. You know — blue is energizing, green is calming, yellow boosts creativity — that sort of thing.

I nod, scanning his desk. “This is why we love you, Andy!

Andy blushes and gives a shrug. “We spend 40 hours a week here, Rona. I think we should love where we work.

My heart feels full. I completely agree. “Well said. Thanks for reminding us all of that.

We share a smile and I continue on to my office. Maybe it’s the warmer weather or the cheerful music, but I feel especially lucky today. Who says an office can’t feel like home?

A Clean Fix for Earth Day

That long, cold winter is finally behind us! With the sun shining through our office windows, everyone is a little cheerier today.

Spring Cleaning for Earth Day

Brigid seems especially motivated. She’s finished all her tasks and has decided to give her workspace a thorough spring cleaning.

Her filing cabinet has been sorted, unnecessary documents shredded. Her desk is clutter-free and even her inbox is spotless. Next up, dusting and disinfecting her surfaces. She visits the break room to look for a bottle of bleach-based cleaner.

Martha is there, brewing a pot of coffee as Brigid rummages through the cupboard under the sink.

“Martha,” she asks, “have you seen the cleaner?”

“I just made a bottle!” Martha responds, leaving the coffee and motioning for Brigid to follow her. “On my way into the office today, I heard the most awful report on the radio.”

“Oh yeah…” Brigid says with a skeptical tone.Bottle Of Chemical Liquid With Hazard Symbol

“Yeah.” Martha says with a nod, “It was about chemical cleaners. You wouldn’t believe the harmful ingredients found in regular cleaners at the store. They can cause skin and eye irritation, not to mention that the chemicals linger in the air for hours after you use them. Imagine what that does to the environment –”

“But we need chemical cleaners to really clean our surfaces. I don’t want to catch a cold just because I’m afraid of a little bleach.” Brigid responds.

“No need to! A mix of tea tree oil, plain white vinegar, soap and water will disinfect just as well.”

Natural Cleaners. Vinegar, Baking Soda, Salt And Lemon.

“That seems like a lot of work…”

“Well,” Martha responds, “it sort of is. That’s why I’m putting in an Office Plus order later today. They sell all natural cleaners, too!”

“Really?” Brigid says, a bit surprised.

“It’s true.” Martha hands Brigid the bottle of natural cleaner. “Give it a try. It won’t irritate your skin like the regular stuff.”

Brigid looks it over. “Why not?” she says, heading back to her desk.

Moments later, Brigid returns to Martha’s desk with the bottle.

“Thanks,” Brigid beams, “now my spring cleaning is officially done! And my desk smells wonderful.”

Martha nods. She loves the smell of tea tree oil, too.

Brigid returns to her desk and takes a long, deep breath.

Just then, she hears, “Martha, where’s the bleach cleaner?” It’s Andy, Martha’s next green cleaner convert.

The Case of the Pen Thief

Pen theft may not sound like a serious crime, but it’s a big problem at our office. It seems that everyone has a favourite pen and we can never keep up with demand.

Sharon and Carl write only in green. Leslie and Brigid prefer a good grip. And then there’s Andy. The snob of all pen snobs, Andy refuses to use anything other than the PaperMate Inkjoy. This is the Cadillac of pens — it comes in a variety of colours, with a varietypapinkjoy of grips and always writes smoothly. Naturally, everyone in the office wants to steal these pens. They want to steal the green ones or the grippy ones or whichever ones suit their mood of the day. For Andy, this is a problem.

“Ugh!” Andy grunts as he scans the supply closet. “Why is it always the Inkjoy?”

He grabs a handful of non-Inkjoy pens. “Sharon, these ones come in green, too! Why is it always the Inkjoy?”

Sharon shrugs as she walks by, “They were the first ones I saw.”

“And you,” Andy gestures toward Brigid as she walks by, an Inkjoy pen dangling from her clipboard. “Why did you have to take the Inkjoy?”

“I like the grip!” Brigid says.

Then, it’s just sad ol’ Andy, standing alone in front of the supply closet. It’s stocked full of pens, but he’s not satisfied. He wants an Inkjoy. He probably won’t get a thing done today without one.

Andy feels a hand on his shoulder and straightens up. It’s Martha.

“Andy,” Martha says, “you can have mine.” She holds her hand out to Andy, an Inkjoy gripped between her fingers.

“Won’t you miss it?” Andy asks with mock-concern. He’s already taking the pen out of Martha’s hands.

“Can you keep a secret?” Martha says, gesturing for Andy to follow her.

Martha leads Andy to her desk and, crouching down, she whispers, “I love Inkjoys, too.” She opens her desk drawer to reveal two full packs of Inkjoy pens, hidden perfectly under a stack of blank paper.

“So, you’re the one who’s been stealing all the Inkjoys!” Andy shouts.

Martha shushes him and takes a box out of the drawer. She offers it to Andy but as he reaches to grab it, she pulls back. “Don’t forget this when… I run out of Inkjoys,” she pleads.

Andy smiles, “Deal.” He takes the box and slyly conceals it under his sweater. On the walk back to his desk, Andy feels triumphant. He’s got the office’s most coveted possession. That is, until the next pen thief strikes.

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