Friday 31 August 2007

anonymous call; a poison pen; a brick in the small of the back again

I lost a pen yesterday.

It wasn't an especially nice or an especially expensive pen, but I liked it. It was a blue/black gel pen that I bought in Muji for less than a pound. I liked writing with it and I was sorry to discover that I had lost it somewhere. At the first opportunity I will buy another one.

...and then in my first meeting of the day, I noticed that the guy sitting next to me had a blue/black gel pen from Muji.

I supressed my instincts to decry him as a thief and instead tried to shrug and accept that it wouldn't really be that surprising if someone else had the same pen as me. He could have bought it himself, after all.

...and then he picked up the pen and carefully read the sticker on the side, as though seeing it for the first time.

It doesn't mean anything. Deep breath. Deep breath. Concentrate on the meeting.

... and then he opened up his notebook and started to draw a couple of lines with the pen, examining the nib carefully each time, as though trying it out for the first time.


It cost me less than a pound.

He could have his own or he could have found mine lying around on the floor somewhere and picked it up. It doesn't mean anything. I lost the damn thing and I'm going to buy a new one.

So why do I still find myself to be mildly annoyed?


  1. I'm funny about pens too, and was very cross to discover Colleague E using my favourite (a realy tacky black one which RH gave me - it has corporate messages from his company which roll through the middle which amuse me very much - "Security begins with YOU!") a few weeks back. A bitter dispute followed.

    That said, I'm the first person to walk off with someone else's, so it kind of evens itself out...

  2. I'm similar.

    My little bit of being obsessive compulsive goes towards anything that's "mine."

    About a year ago I had brought a pen a friend of mine gave me that had his bar's name and address on it. Typically, I don't lose pens. I usually keep them around till the ink runs out.

    Gone in three days.

    I still swear my boss took it because he KNEW it would drive me nuts.

  3. Yes, there's something about pens which can bring out the territorial in one, isn't there?

    You could have perked up and, in a happy- not accusatory- tone of voice, said "Oh, there it is! Where did you find my pen?"

    And he would have said "Oh, is that your pen then? I found it near your office, where you were so incredibly hard at work that I didn't like to disturb you to inquire. Please, allow me to polish it before I hand it back."

    And with that, you and your pen would have been happily reunited.


  4. You could try tieing it around the back of your shirt on a piece of string. On one end the pen, on the other the moleskin.

    come on, it used to work when we were kids ;-)