One of the latest viral videos shows Czechoslovakian President Vaclav Klaus pocketing a fancy jewel-encrusted pen just after it was used in a signing ceremony with Chilean President Sabastian Pinera.
Whether or not Klaus’ sticky fingers have created an international incident isn’t a big concern for me. But I do know what it’s like to lose a good pen.
For many years, pens have been seen as status symbol. It’s cool to pull out a fancy one and dazzle someone with it. But pens, especially ones that you like, can have a nasty habit of disappearing.
Who hasn’t had someone ask you at a business function or networking event if they can use your pen? Often this is by a boss or someone else in a higher position than you. So it’s tough to refuse them.
But before you know it, you realize that your pen was never returned. Whether or not it was done on purpose isn’t the issue. The problem is that you’ve lost your pen.
Some businesses splurge on fancy writing utensils and see them disappear at an alarming rate.
If you want to prevent an ink stink, here are a few suggestions for holding onto your pens:
- When attending an event, carry two pens. One is your signature pen, the other some cheap pen that you won’t miss. Guess which one you lend to people?
- To prevent people from taking your pens, remove the caps if possible. An uncapped pen is much less attractive.
- Many companies brand their pens, thinking this will prevent thievery. While I like the idea of a logo on your pen, add the words, “Don’t steal this pen,” to it. If anything, this will generate a conversation. Perhaps you could even start a slogan like, “We hold onto our customers like a good pen.”
While pen theft may seem like the least of our problems in today’s economy, it’s one of those things that can take up a lot of time. Do you want your team playing pen detective or working toward your big picture goals?