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When lending out a pen, hand it over without the cap, and you’re much more likely to get it back

When lending out a pen, hand it over without the cap, and you’re much more likely to get it back


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  1. Only lend out pens you are fine with not getting back. Free pens you get from promotional events are good for this.

  2. This works. Buy a pack of pens – those thin felt-tip markers are the best. Borrowers are terrified of the ink tip and hand it back quite quickly!

  3. I used a pen with brown ink for a long time, and because of the color, people would take notice and usually comment on how odd it was, then hand it back

  4. When I took over the flight planning room for my squadron many years ago in the Air Force I was told that we were spending about $250/month on buying sharpies that we use to mark up low level flying maps. The incumbent told me to harass guys and search the lockers because they’d inevitably stuff a set of the expensive markers in their flight bags and forget about it.

    Having a brainstorm I went home with a couple of sets of markers and cut two 1-foot sections of 2×4 board. I drilled 4 holes in each board and super-glued the pens, cap-first in the holes. Then I painted the boards the squadron colors and put a patch on them.

    So now guys would go to the planning room and use the markers, pulling them out the 2×4 where the caps would remain, and having to replace them since they’d dry out quickly otherwise. Nobody wanted to carry around one of my boards, so the loss went from $250/month to about $10, just to replace dried out or depleted markers.

    Edit: thanks for the award!

  5. And if it’s one of those clicky spring loaded pens that has no cap, you can lend it out without the spring and you’ll usually get it back immediately.

  6. A friend of mine in high school had the excellent idea that if you borrow one of his pens, he gets to hold on to one of your shoes until he gets it back. Not only does it severely limit the number of people asking for a pen (who wants to give up a shoe for a class period?) but no one who did borrow a pen ever forgot to give it back.

  7. I use a Mont Blanc pen. I still remember the cost so I rarely loan it out. When I do loan it out I remain within reach of the pen at all times.

  8. LPT: attach your pen to an ID reel, so when someone you’ve loaned it to lets it go, it returns to you within a second.

    It reminds me of the Kids in the Hall sketch where Bruce McCulloch’s character is so paranoid of losing his pen, he attaches it to a string connected to a helmet he’s wearing.

  9. I use a fountain pen; people don’t want to borrow it because they can’t figure out how to work it right workout making a mess.

  10. Guess I’ll keep this in mind in case I ever have need of another pen. I used to carry one around everywhere, but I stopped bothering years ago after I finally had occasion to use it for the first time, and it had dried out.

  11. Worked at a post office. This never worked. We bought a twelve pack of pens for customers to use. They were all gone in less than a month. But they left behind some pretty sweet pens of their own.

  12. I carry a personal pen (I call it mjolnir because its metal and weighty) and like a dozen decoy pens.

    When someone tries to initiate a conversation I just chuck all my decoy pens on the ground and run from the swarm

  13. For some reason I interpreted the title as “When lending out a chicken pen” and i spent a solid minute trying to figure out wtf it was talking about

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