We've all had this happen before. Some more often than others. You reach for your trusty pen in your pocket/desk drawer/briefcase/purse and, to your dismay, IT ISN'T THERE!
Before you know it, panic sets in, sweat starts to bead on your brow and wild accusations are being thrown out like daggers to coworkers and family members. You've lost, or as I like to put it "temporarily misplaced" your pen. To prevent also losing your mind, take a deep breath and follow these five tips to search for your M.I.A. writing instrument in an efficient and cool-headed manner.
- Firstly, calm down. Losing, or thinking you've lost a prized pen can be a cause for great stress, but taking a moment to relax and objectively assess the situation will help focus and have the clarity of mind to locate the lost item.
- Think, "when was the last time I used the pen?" This may be easier to imagine than when was the last time you saw it, because there is usually a paper trail to give you a better clue. If you were signing forms, the date on the form will tell you when the last time you were using your pen, and may also give away the location.
- Gently ask people around you if they have seen your pen. Pens can sometimes sprout legs and mysteriously appear on the desks of coworkers or in other places that you would never imagine to look for your pen. Be respectful and politely ask people who may have seen or used your pen before. Refrain from using an accusing, annoyed tone when asking the "suspects." Sure, they may have pen-napped your Waterman, but there are a majority of people that do not understand the value of a fine-writing instrument and will pick up and use anything they can find. Usually, they mean no harm and would have kindly returned it to you at some point.
- Trace your footsteps. When you have an idea of when you last used or seen the pen, back-track your steps until you reach that time and place. Let's say, you reach into your pocket at your office desk and realize your pen is missing. You believe that you wrote a check yesterday at the bank with the pen. That is your end point. Think of all the things you did leading up to being at your desk. "I was in the break room talking to Kurt, then bathroom, then in a sales meeting when I took out my pen to lend it to the cute temp." Bingo.
- If all else fails, do a complete Spring Cleaning of your office or home. You remember all the crazy stuff you find when you move furniture around? That works for finding lost items as well. Instead of waiting for the next big move, rearrange some furniture or reorganize the cabinets and drawers to make sure that no stone is left unturned.
Have a story about a lost pen that magically found its way back? Please feel free to post your Lost and Found pen story in our comments section.