Monday, March 4, 2013


I work in a very busy office.  So busy that sometimes we answer two phones at once.  It's not terribly productive to do so, because when you have a different person talking in each of your ears, it's kind of difficult to understand either of them.

While the phones are busy ringing and ringing, people are also coming up to our desks, telling us things and asking all sorts of questions and leaving notes, so incidentally, we gets lots of requests to borrow our pens, and when people borrow them, we're not always paying attention to make sure those people are also giving them back.

Before I was at this desk in this office, I was guilty of asking to borrow a pen too, and there were times I accidentally walked off with "said" pen, not realizing I took it till later on in the day, after I had forgotten whom I took it from.  No one really takes your pen on purpose (at least, I hope not) but short of tying a name tag to my pen (when they signed for their checks on Friday, I gave them all the Name-Tag-Pen, and I got about  5 comments of, "Oh, wait, whose pen is this?  Oh, it's MELINDA'S pen!"  The, "Can I borrow your pen?" question is starting to freak me out because I can go through 2-3 pens a day like this.  At this rate I'll have to get a second job to keep my desk supplied with pens.  Out of this desperation, two weekends ago, I made a few ostentatious pen covers for myself out of inexpensive ball-point pen sleeves and some Sculpey clay.

My favorite pen looks like a large piece of swirled, colorful candy.  I was doing well with the pen, spotting it quickly amongst the piles of papers on my desk, and suggesting they use the pen that's attached to the desk when they needed to borrow one, and then... tragedy struck.

"Oh my GOD, where's my PEN?"

Did you see my pen??  I asked everyone.  I searched the floor, under the papers the floor again - I scanned the room discretely... did someone take my pen?    I remembered having it when I went to lunch the day before...  did I leave it in the faculty room and forget all about it?  I went back to search for it.  Nope, not there - DAMN!  My search widened.  I asked more people.  Damn, someone TOOK my pen!  I considered making an announcement, offering a reward.  How much do you offer for the safe return of a pen?  People asked helpful questions, "Where did you see it last? at lunch yesterday?" "Yes," I answered, "it's possible I put it somewhere, I just don't know where."  Humm...  Did I just put it somewhere unusual?   Finally, I thought I really should look into this possibility.

Well, someone took it, alright.

Apparently, I took it.  It was in my handbag in my desk - I must have put it there the day before at the end of my lunch break.  So what I've learned from all of this is that you can make yourself a pen that people won't be likely to take, but that still won't prevent you from forgetting where you put it.  

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