Monday, August 17, 2015

My Solution For Disappearing Pens

A few weeks ago I got a package left on my desk at the office. Just like every other item that I have delivered to me at work, someone inevitably asked what I had ordered. This is especially true when the items arrive from overseas and most of the writing on the envelope, with the exception of the address, is in another language. However, this time, when I responded to the query I received a somewhat blank stare followed by another question of “what is that?”

For much of my working life, I would do to the supply area and pull out a pen or two to keep at my desk… not everything is done on the computer contrary to what some people may say or the younger generation thinks. This has pretty much been a weekly routine as I would either run out of ink or, what was more common, I would leave it in the conference room where someone would inevitably pick it up and bring it back to their own office. These are just disposable pens so it was no big deal to just go get another one from the supply drawer.

However, I have always been one that enjoyed a good pen while at the same time, I don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that I could easily lose. Those aforementioned packages contained something to solve a large part of my problem of going through so many writing instruments (while also saving my hand). What I found out in those simple questions from a younger colleague was that many people are unfamiliar with fountain pens.

I have always been a proponent of fountain pens as I can write almost all day without my hand getting tired and it is easy to replace the ink cartridge in something that I have become used to. What I am finding now is that if I do leave it somewhere, it is brought right back to me. Some of those returns are because people are unfamiliar or uncomfortable using them. It is actually quite amusing when you see someone use a fountain pen for the first time… it is almost like they are learning to write for the first time.

It is a unique pen to carry these days but, for me, it is completely functional as my hands are no longer sore after a long day of taking notes or writing and I know that it will always come back to me should I leave it on the conference room table. And, frankly, I am rather surprised with the quality that I received in these shipments from China given that I spent about two or three dollars (including shipping) on each pen (under a dollar for the disposable ones)… especially when you consider that the prices for the ballpoint and rollerball pens of similar quality are about five times higher. It is nice to enjoy the practicality of the fountain pen even though many may wrongly believe that it is an absurdly outdated writing instrument.