Are you tired of people borrowing your things at work—like an expensive pen with your preferred .38mm line size and comfort grip—and never, ever returning them?
If you’ve ever lent a colleague a pen you’d really like back, here’s a quick tip: leave the cap off when you hand it over. Without a cap, there’s a better chance they’ll actually give it back after using it, as u/jothebest75 explained over on Reddit.
They probably don’t want your pen’s ink all over their hands or on the interior of their bag, and it’s a reminder to your borrower: This pen does not belong to you, and if you take it, you are ruining the pen for the both of us. In reality, rather than scheming to steal your precious writing utensils, most people just forget.
I have a handful of pens from dentists and doctors’ offices at home, which I must have mindlessly taken with me after signing. Leaving the cap off before you give a pen to someone is just a simple reminder to give it back when they’re done.
And it’s ok to say no if someone asks to borrow your pen, too, especially if it’s a fountain pen and doesn’t work like your standard ballpoint version. (Just say it’s out of ink.)
To cut down on your own pen-snatching, start carrying those promotional pens from hotels and banks whenever possible, but especially when you know you’ll be on an international flight with customs forms or in line at the DMV. In those situations, pens are a valuable commodity, caps or no.