You Can Never Have Too Many Pens


I’m sitting in the boardroom at our monthly staff meeting, listening to Aditi go over our reports, when my pen suddenly runs dry.

I search frantically through my purse for a backup, trying to memorize the numbers Aditi rhymes off so I can be sure to jot them down for review.

Brigid, who is sitting in the chair across from me, slides a pen across the boardroom table and smiles warmly. I mouth the words “thank you,” and start scribbling away to catch up.

But I can’t help becoming distracted by the pen’s smooth, soft grip and archival quality. It glides across my notepad, leaving a smudge-free line of black ink behind.

woman-writing

Aditi’s voice trails off and everyone starts to gather up their things and head for the door. I follow closely behind Brigid, handing her pen back to her.

“Keep it,” Brigid says. “I just got a pack of 12 from the Office Plus e-flyer.”

“Thanks!” I respond. “I’m going to have to get some for myself.”

“It’s the Jimnie Gel Rollerball Pen,” Brigid tells me, pulling the flyer up on her tablet as we walk back to our offices. “You save when you buy a pack of 12.”

I glance over her shoulder as she flips through the pages, stopping her as she scrolls past images of notepads. “I’m running low on these too,” I tell her.

“I like the Recycled Perforated Pads myself,” Brigid says. “High quality legal rule on one side and blank on the other – and made with 100% recycled paper.”

“Sounds perfect!”

“I’ll email you the flyer,” she says over her shoulder as we reach my office door and she continues down the hallway.

I sit down at my desk and carefully place Brigid’s pen in my penholder. Minutes later, I hear the familiar ding coming from my laptop and Brigid’s name pops up in my inbox.

I waste no time finding the pens and pads and sending in my order. Who knew you could get so excited about note taking? I decide to purchase two boxes of 12 – just in case someone asks to “borrow” a pen at the next board meeting. It doesn’t hurt to have a backup. Plus, you can never have too many pens.

Preparing for a Printer Failure


I’m walking by the printing room where Brigid is finishing off the last of our office summer barbecue invitations when I hear the noise. It’s the kind of sound that makes the muscles in your back tighten up – a loud crunching as the paper grinds up into a crumpled and shredded mess between the rollers.

The machine exhales in three high-pitched beeps and the small screen on the front starts flashing.

Brigid looks at me with wide eyes. “Well, that can’t be good.”

She hurries over and reads the words on the touch panel aloud, “Printer fail.”

I follow along and look over her shoulder just as Andy walks in behind me.

“What’s all the commotion in here?” He asks.

Business lady with a printer

“The printer appears to be kaput.” Brigid responds, after checking the paper tray and opening the rear access door to peer inside. She pulls out the torn invitation, which is now covered in ink splatter and not in any way legible.

Normally, after removing the jam the printer would come back to life. But the machine has now completely shut down and refuses to respond to Brigid’s prompting, as she methodically pushes a combination of buttons.

“Ah, yes. It was only a matter of time.” Andy sighs, as if he had been expecting this for a while.

I eye him curiously.

“The printer has been… uhh…disagreeing with me quite often lately,” he says. I can’t help but notice a hint of guilt in his tone. “I was prepared for this moment, which is why I went ahead and placed an order for the All-in-One Inkjet Printer in this month’s Office Plus flyer.”

“With the instant rebate, we saved 55 dollars,” he says, “I figured we couldn’t go wrong.”

Good recovery. I raise my eyebrows, impressed by his proactive efforts.

“It should be in tomorrow, actually.” He smiles.

Brigid lets out a sigh of relief. “Ah, you’re my hero, Andy,” she says, adding, “I never thought I’d hear myself saying that.”

He gives her a wink and struts back out the doorway. I can’t help but laugh. “Oh Andy,” I mutter as I turn to leave the room.

Brigid chuckles behind me. “I can only imagine what the office barbecue will bring!”