Dear Office Diary,
The other day, I lost my pen.
It’s a Parker ballpoint, blue ink, refillable, sleek but none too flashy, the sophisticated-but-wouldn’t-stand-out-in-a-crowd kind of pen.
I use my pen to make notes on my to-do list and write the odd post-it message for colleagues who don’t happen to be at their desks. I very rarely use it in anger to complete a work task, which is 90% Excel, 8% Outlook and 2% some other digital format.
However, in losing my pen I became instantly crippled.
Knowing a pen isn’t the be-all and end-all to my work, I dipped in to my top drawer and pulled out a perfectly capable alternative. It was long and thin with a nib at one end and ink in the middle that came out if you brushed it up against a bit of paper.
But I couldn’t move on. I found it hard to concentrate. My handwriting was different. I lost focus and was preoccupied with the thought ‘where did my pen go?’.
And so I spent the next 20 minutes retracing my steps about the office until I finally found it on the coat rack, in my coat pocket. (My sincere apologies to all those individuals who unbeknownst to them, I had suspected of absconding with my pen without permission.)
Now, I would be hard pressed to justify this to my manager as the most productive use of my time. After all, I had a perfectly good alternative writing implement to hand, and as I have already admitted, my work is almost exclusively digital.
But that 20 minutes of unproductivity could easily have turned in to hours, or even days of unproductivity, while I continued to ponder the fate of my pen.
And so I wonder, how did my pen come to have such a hold over me?
Why am I so unusually protective over it?
Why do my pupils dilate when other people pick it up and use it?
Am I the only one that feels this way?
Do I need help?
Does your pen have a hold over you, too?