Saturday, February 26, 2011

Who took my pen?

I can be a bit absent-minded at times. Having a variable schedule that involves traveling between three different offices does not help. There's days when the only way I remember what town I'm supposed to be working in is because the clerical staff tells me.

I misplace a lot of things as well. I've lost everything from jewelry to eyeglasses, but ink pens are the most common lost object. (In a job interview, I once responded to the "what would your co-workers say is your worst trait?" question with "I never know where my pen is and steal theirs.") I compensate by collecting pens and stashing jars of them at all the offices where I work. As long as it writes, I'm not picky.

GoodbyeNurse has a different approach to ink pens. I walked into the County Seat RCMH office yesterday to find him sorting all the pens in the nursing office by color.

"I don't know why we have so many nonstandard pens!" he exclaimed.

Due to the lack of caffeine in my system, I was unable to come up with a response to his comment. I just stared at him.

He apparently took my slack-jawed silence for agreement. "I was taught in nursing school that blue and black ink are the only appropriate color for nursing documentation, so I don't know why we have so many different colors of pen."

"Maybe it's because most of this office's communication is via sticky notes. As long as they're legible, no one cares what color the ink is."

(In retrospect, I should have pointed out that all of our nursing documentation is done on the computer, so the color of the office ink pens is a moot point. Instead, I settled for taking all of the "nonstandard pens" and caching them in my other office, just in case.)

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