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Wasted Energy: Musings from the Corner Office

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As a famous frog once said, it’s not that easy being green …

With companies looking for a little positive turn in the spin cycle, even corporate brass has taken a shine to “doing the right thing,” polishing up the old image with some flak-friendly environmental outreach.

You know me well enough by now to realize that I sometimes radiate a bit of negative energy. It’s not that I don’t try to do the right thing, I’m all for saving the planet for the next generation, but I find all the environmental self-promotion a little annoying. You think my CEO is going to ground the Gulfstream and go commercial anytime soon?  Yeah, right.

Which is why all this green business has me starting to get a bit red-faced. There should be a way to embrace conservation without all the inconvenience and annoyance.

Let’s start with the climate change in my office now that the company has embraced energy efficiency. Call me cynical, but ever since the barrel rolled up, I think corporate America has frozen the thermostat somewhere between saving money and Siberia. Dress for success has taken on a whole new meaning now that I have to gear up for the gulag, packing pashminas and cashmere cardigans. It’s enough to make we wish global warming would hit my corner of the floor!

And who had the bright idea to install those irritating “intelligent” overheads supposedly designed to detect an empty office and self extinguish? I can’t count the number of times I’ve found myself suddenly sitting in the dark—stop multitasking for long enough to actually think and it’s literally lights out.

The motion sensors seem equally insensitive in the “smart” sinks we now have to contend with in the ladies room. First off, you have to wave your hands around like mad just to get the water to turn on, and after all the effort, all that comes out is a tepid trickle.  And I’m all for saving water, but at least set the timer long enough to let me actually wash the soap off my hands! 

And I don’t want to get too detailed on the topic of emissions, but since they upgraded the toilets, now I have the added guilt of forgetting to flush the right way. After all these years of kicking everything down, I’m having a hard time getting a handle on the new up or down options. While I appreciate the concept, it’s all too much to think about!

What else annoys me about painting the office green? Self-righteous hipster assistants who sign emails with an earnest save-a-tree message discouraging readers from printing—and then burn up the color copier with personal party pics to post in their cubes. Corporate communications churning out releases about “profits with purpose” after every little contribution but refusing to release actual donation amounts.

 I know what you’re thinking—leave it to Betsy to pollute the positive corporate environment.  But someone’s got to make sure we don’t just hop on the hybrid bandwagon without bringing a bit of common sense in our Birkin bags … After all, green might be the latest fashion, but black will always be my best color.

Remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, my door is always open …


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