Aarty is our team leader of the service desk, who started her job as an intern at BookerZzz in 2004 and has worked here ever since. After many years of building her career, she noted that something in the company must be changed and that was the name of one of our meeting rooms.
On the very special day of her 15th anniversary, she got surprised when the whole office was there in the official ceremony of changing the name of one of the meeting rooms for her. There was a ribbon that she got the honour to cut and announce the name changed into Jemison. “This will be my legacy, If I ever would leave for any reason I would still be here”, Aarty laughs.
The importance of adapting to changes
It was her idea. She was in a meeting with her colleague Danielle when her eyes glimpsed on the picture of Darwin on the wall. All the four meeting rooms at BookerZzz were named after an inspiring explorer, strangely, three out of four rooms were named after a man. This did not make sense to Aarty since in the company we are with a lot more women than men, why not make it equal?
Or even better, why not name the room after a coloured woman? What could present our time better than this. We all know Michelle Obama and Beyoncé but you don’t hear often about the achievements made by women from an Afro-American background before them. At BookerZzz everyone is equal and their opinions matter, which is one of the things Aarty highlights among colleagues when asked what the best things are at working here. She decided that for the anniversary of her 15th year in this company, she would make a change and a trademark that would have a lifelong imprint here. Her colleague Danielle laughed at her, but she was serious, Aarty wanted to make a difference by waking up the whole office to the fact that the company must adapt to changes, and to follow its time when it comes to equality.
Appreciated employees will be rewarded
“Aarty is really committed to the company, which is special. She always comes to me when she wants something to be done or changed. And always when she trains the new employees, she is as excited about the company and the story of it, as it would be her first day“ tells Remco, our CEO.
Remco and Aarty have a special bond that has built over the years –15 years ago, a lot more was done by hand and a mobile website had not even cross anyone’s mind. Back in the days they were sitting in a tiny office together around one desk, folding the confirmation letters by hand. After a workday, they might have gone shopping for clothes together: they had become friends. That’s why when Remco joked about changing the toilet name for her as an answer to her request to change the meeting room, it was not taken personally but more as a challenge to achieve what she really wanted.
After all, the determined attitude and the arguments of hers had made Remco think. Appreciating the effort made, idea behind it and having his own desire to give something special for Aarty’s anniversary in the company changed his mind.
A story about an astronaut
Later, when searching who the new explorer could be Aarty got inspired by a book called “Bedtime stories for rebel girls” -where she found a story about an astronaut: Mae Jemison. Born in 1956 and selected in 1987 to the NASA’s program, as the first African – American woman astronaut she flew into space in 1992. Following her historic flight, Jemison noted that society should recognize how much women, and members of other minority groups during that time, can contribute when given an opportunity. Aarty highlights that it is important to adapt to changes and was fascinated by the idea behind it. She believes that if we all work hard for something, we can even reach space if we want to. This is what she also wants to tell her daughters at home.