Celebrating Small Businesses On Canada Day


It’s the Friday before Canada Day, and I’m chatting with Aditi about an important project that we completed over the month of June. It’s sunny outside, and my eyes keep wandering out the window. I think to myself, it’s been a gorgeous month.

“I’m so proud of you all,” Aditi says with enthusiasm. “I know the deadline was tight, but you got it done. And I’m very impressed with the quality of work.”

“Thank-you, Aditi,” I say with a smile. “I think we all enjoyed working on the project so much. I hope it came through in the final draft.”

“Oh, it did,” Aditi assures me.

“Wonderful,” I start. “On that note, I was hoping to give a few of our team members a surprise Monday off for their hard work. Canada Day is on a Tuesday this year, and it would be so nice to give them a four-day weekend.”

“Funny you ask,” Aditi responds, “because I was going to tell you that the whole office has been granted Monday off for a job well done! Also, there’s a special delivery on its way to you right now.”

“How generous!” I beam. “Thank-you very much.”

I hear a beep on the line, and the low buzz of voices. It’s Aditi’s administrator, telling her that her next meeting has arrived.

“Sorry, Rona, but I better get going. Thanks again for the hard work. Enjoy the long weekend!” Aditi says before ending our call.

I walk over to Brigid’s desk with a smile on my face. “Brigid,” I start, “I’d like to give you Monday off for all the overtime you put in this month.” She gives me a big thank-you and then, in typical Brigid fashion, dives right back into her work.

I go around the office giving everyone the good news, and the gratitude is overwhelming. I almost forget about the lunchtime delivery, but then Brigid knocks on my door.

“You’ve got to see this!” she says with excitement.

There is a huge package on Brigid’s desk. Chapman’s icecream, sandwiches from a local deli and mini hockey sticks. There’s a note, too:

“To my hard workers, thank-you for everything. You deserve a treat.”

Office Ice Cream for Canada Day

Before long, we’re all digging into the sandwiches and ice cream, talking about our plans for the long weekend.

“Who’s up for a game of hockey?” Andy asks as he grabs the bundle of mini sticks. He inspects them. “Made in Canada. Nice!”

“You know Aditi,” I say. “Always supporting Canadian businesses.”

“How appropriate for Canada Day!” Brigid responds.

Support Canadian Small Business on Canada Day 2014

“Well, we do it all year,” I remind her. “Most of our clients are small Canadian businesses. And look, Chapman’s icecream is made in Canada. These sandwiches are from a local shop.”

“Even our office supplies come from a Canadian supplier,” she interjects, “Office Plus!”

I smile at her, “You’re absolutely right. We have to support one another, and Aditi has always believed in that.”

We begin to gush about our favourite local businesses. Brigid recommends a local skincare company, and I tell her about my locally-made living room furniture.

“Alright, alright,” Andy says with mock impatience, “but who’s up for some hockey?”

Admin Professionals: A Story Of Extraordinary Dedication to Sustainability


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.

Martha - Admin Professional

Martha – Admin Professional

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.

Eco-friendly Bamboo Desk Set - Office Plus

“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.

Happy Administrative Professionals Day 2014

A Notebook Case That Can “Do It All”


Andy pokes his head through my doorway, “You coming, boss?”

“Be right there,” I call back, stuffing my portable desk into my laptop bag. I’ll be working remotely for the afternoon and therefore need to bring everything with me – file folders, my laptop, charger, tablet, USB stick, wireless mouse… the list goes on. It’s no wonder the old leather case is busting at the seams.Notebook-calculator-and-offic-17412668

I get the zipper up as far as it will close, and then swing the single strap over my shoulder. We have an important meeting this morning, and I haven’t even had a coffee yet – usually I’ve had at least two by now. It’s just going to be one of those days.

I give my desk a quick once-over to make sure I have everything before following Andy out the door. We’re carpooling to the meeting – an hour and a half drive. These rides with Andy are always interesting. I just hope we have time to stop for a coffee along the way.

As I turn the corner to head out the door, I hear an unfortunate sound – a loud tear followed by several consecutive crashes. I look down to see my laptop bag hanging open, and a trail of my belongings strewn across the floor.

“Great,” I mutter.

I bend over and start pushing everything together in one big pile on the floor. Andy comes to my side to help. “Yikes,” he says. “I guess that poor old bag just couldn’t take it anymore, huh?”

I nod, feeling frustrated. Now what am I going to do? I ask myself, scooping everything up into my arms. Andy disappears for a few moments and returns with a cardboard box. “It’s the best I could find,” he says, holding it out to me. I dump all of my belongings into the box and clutch it to my chest. How embarrassing.

Just then I spot the nice black case hanging off of Andy’s shoulder. He catches my eye and looks down. “From the Office Plus flyer,” he says, turning the bag towards me. “It’s the SwissGear Notebook Case with Tablet Pocket.” He unzips it, right in the middle of the hallway. I wonder what on earth he is doing, expecting all of his belongings to fall to the ground just like mine did. But nothing happens. He holds the case open, pointing out all of the different compartments whereBusinessman-Holding-A-Briefcas-7680334 his supplies are stored securely.

“Wow,” I mumble, feeling a pang of jealousy. “It’s so nice and… organized.”

“It’s great,” he says. “You really should get one.”

Clearly. I make a mental note to order the exact same case as soon as I return to the office this evening.

Andy and I walk out to the parking lot, my cardboard box in tow. “Think we’ll have time to grab a coffee?” I ask, opening the door to the backseat and shoving my box inside.

“I think it’s fair to say you could use one,” Andy replies, ducking into the driver’s seat.

I join him in the front, on the passenger’s side, and he starts the engine. “Hey Andy?” I ask. “Next time you order anything from Office Plus – anything at all – mind letting me know first?”

He nods, smiling. “You got it boss.”