It’s OK to be a Pen Snob

I love that time of month when it’s time to order office supplies. I start to get a flurry of emails requesting various items and often times, many of the requests are for specific—very specific—types of pens. Elyse only likes Rolle Foray, but Ryan insists on the Uniball Jetstream! Jim prefers the twin tip red sharpies, but Mark will only use ultra-fine point red pens. The list could go on…and so could our bill to Office Depot.

I got to thinking, why is everyone so fussy about what kinds of pens they’re using? We’re a digital agency after all! Our clients rarely see our written work, and most of things we share with each other around here are nicely typed up.

But then I have those work days when I hardly write at all, and I don’t feel quite… human. I’ve found that the act of writing—even when it’s certainly easier and more efficient to type—ultimately helps me remember more, care more and simply feel more for my work. There is something so genuine and personal about writing up client notes or scribbling a note to a colleague for a job well done. Because those words will find nice homes on someone’s desk, a file folder or even a trash can…but will not join the sterile abyss of my PC. Those words will resonate just a little deeper and kindly remind me that I live in a physical world—even if I work all day in the digital one.

I suppose if my Symmetri colleagues share my sentiments, I can justify the hefty pen bill each month. But then again…I’m not the one “writing” the checks.