Where Pens Go To Die

A reader emails:

Today I opened my desk drawer and saw over 50 pens I probably will never use again...(and this is only at my office desk, not including home)... Where do unlucky pens go to die? I can't seem to get rid of them because the day I try to throw it away or give it to the school supplies drive, I find a newfound respect for it but then it goes back into the black hole of pens that haven't made the cut.

Have you written any posts about this?

I have never written a post about this, but I think I did mention something in a long lost comments thread on what I do with pens I don't like or never plan on using again.  In a nutshell, I play Pen Fairy at the office.

I work with and around a bunch of computer geeks.  Heck, I'm one of them myself.  Except I'm the one in the pink gingham button-down as opposed to a black or grey t-shirt.  Not there is anything wrong with that, but it's just not my style.  So you can imagine their choice in writing instruments: generic office supply cabinet rollerball, Marriott Courtyard Bic Stic, chewed up eraserless #2 pencil, capless dried-up Sharpie, etc.

From time to time I purge my pen collection, getting rid of the ones I no longer use or plan on using to make room for new ones.  I do this at home to keep the wife happy, and at work to keep myself sane because I don't have a lot of room to spare.  This usually results in 20-30 pens probably twice a year or so.

The Pen Fairy kicks in from there, leaving some out in the open on a communal office table, and otherwise dispersing some of the better rejects on a few select co-workers desks.  Only once during this time have I overheard someone say "Where did this pen come from"?  I just grinned a bit and kept quiet.  Most of the time I see the pens scattered about, caps missing, or hanging from peoples mouths.  Oh well, hopefully they enjoyed the pens for a minute or two.

I received another email just yesterday from The Pen Guy, who has a Mercedes covered with thousands of pens, so donating them is certainly an option.

What do you do with your extra pens?


Posted on August 13, 2008 .