Keep Your Pen

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[edit] cheapo ballpoints

  • Keep one or two packs of Bic Stics, etc. around, and a few of them scattered on or near your desk. These are the ones you want people to "borrow", because odds are good that a "borrowed" pen will not come back. Then keep a "good" pen for yourself and guard it with your life. I actually learned this tip while waitressing (never leave your good pen with the credit card slips!). --TresWife 22:04, 25 Mar 2005 (EST)

[edit] Leave the cap off

  • When somebody asks for a pen, hand them an uncapped cheap pen (bic or similar), and keep the cap to yourself. The fact that the pen has to be recapped is usually enough to remind people to return it, if they're just forgetful, and to make it almost worthless to "souvenir collectors" --Chacal 22:23, 06 April 2005 (GMT)
  • Use a trick my father learned while doing his medical residency. Medical residents (doctors in training) are required to keep three pens on them at all times, so he bought three nice pens and every time someone asked to borrow one, he handed over the pen...without the cap. Most people, especially when handling a rollerball or similar liquid-ink pen, won't be silly enough to put it in their pocket without the cap, and the act of hunting for the cap gives you a good excuse to snag the pen back. --Firdarrig 10:34, 19 Apr 2005 (PDT)

[edit] Put your name on your pen

  • A coworker got tired of having pens walk away from her desk. She used tape to stick her name on her pen. If anyone took a tagged pen they would know where it came from. It works great for cheap pens that you don't mind tagging. --JMiner 12 May 2005
  • Toys R Us and other "kid" stores frequently have pens and pencils for cheap with first names already on them. I used this technique when I worked as a cashier, and my pens kept walking off. Doesn't work so well if you have a unique name.
  • Return address labels from charities let you do this quickly. --Scrim 3 July 2005

[edit] Get an odd pen

  • My mom (a nurse) had the same problem with people taking her pens. So she bought one of those fat pens with 6 different colors in it. It was odd enough that people didn't keep it, and if someone saw it lying around they knew it was hers. As an added bonus, she was able to write notes in a different color than just about everyone else so people could identify at a glance charting she had done. --bfordham 1 Jul 2005
  • Me and my entire debate team all became madly addicted to the Pilot G2 pens around the same time, and since we would always meet together for strategy sessions, inevitably a session of 14 people would end with 12 identical pens scattered onto the table. My partner and I solved this by always buying the pens in the variety packs [4 pens, 4 colors] and dissassembling and mix/matching the various barrel parts. Eventually, other members of the team started doing the same, but by maintaining unique permutations, my pens always managed to get back to me. Even now that I'm not on the team anymore, people borrow my weird-looking pens, but the odd color scheme is almost always enough to remind them to return them. --shidobu 26 Feb 2006
  • My mother is an OBGYN and she gave me some pens advertising birth control and other female medication. I have found that nobody will steal my pens. Actually if I lose my pens or leave them in the server room they are usually returned to me. The "female medication" pens usually return the fastest. --erin 12 Sep 2006

[edit] Use a fountain pen

  • That's enough for most people to take one look and give it back instead of using it. Or get a vintage pen, and say that you don't want anyone else to use it because it's "worn in" to your way of writing.
    • The second phrase of the last sentence above brings to mind the adage: "Never loan your wife or your fountain pen." GH 17Jan2006
      • That explains what I've been doing wrong! I thought it was "Never loan your wife your fountain pen!" --JanEcoReality
    • Added benefit: fountain pens are more sustainable. Even older ones that use cartridges you can no longer buy can be refilled from a syringe. Keep those ball-points out of land fills! --JanEcoReality 15:33, 17 January 2006 (EST)
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