On Returning A Pen…

I was at a meeting in NYC and I realized I didn’t have paper or a pen.  A little embarrassed, I asked the secretary of the person I was meeting with if she had writing utensils.

She took me to the conference room, sat me down and ran quickly out the door to get me the stuff I requested.  She came back with a few sheets of plain white paper and a nice writing pen.

After the meeting was over, I felt a dilemma.  Do I leave the pen and paper on the table and let my new business prospects see I forgot to bring materials for notes?  Or should I just pocket the paper and pen and call it a day?

I pocketed the paper and pen.

That afternoon, back in my office, I had a meeting with a woman who forgot to bring a pen.  You can borrow one of mine, I told her.  As I went to select which pen to lend her the thought that I would never see this pen again crossed my mind.  I guess I should give her a pen that I don’t care if she doesn’t return.

After the meeting was over, I walked her to the door and came back into my office.  Do you know what was sitting on my desk?  The pen she borrowed.  Now I felt really bad that I didn’t leave the pen at my first appointment.

What would you do?

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  1. Mardy Sitzer

    Mail the pen back with a thank you note and maybe even a small gift certificate for a Starbucks coffee. Nice touch and makes it seem like you did it on purpose just so you would have a reason to ‘touch’ again. 

    1. Hilary

      Mardy, what a great idea!  I love it!!!! Thanks!!!

  2. Sharon Yamamoto

    I usually return a pen if I borrow one.  I can understand your not wanting to just leave the materials in the conference room, but I think I would have looked for the secretary who lent them to me and given her back the pen.  Is there any way you can call her and tell her?  Especially if it’s a nice pen. Maybe it was her personal pen and she would appreciate having it back.  It’s worth a try, anyway.  I should think they would think very highly of you for that, going out of your way to return the pen.  Give it try and see what happens.  You can even put it in a little box and mail it back to her…not an envelope, that would get damaged, but if it’s a nice pen, do try to return it.

  3. Sharon Yamamoto

    I didnt see the other comment…I see we think alike…great idea about the coffee card.  I agree completely.

  4. Hilary JM Topper, MPA

    I really should have clarified.  The pen was a bic like pen.  I liked the way it glided on the paper. It wasn’t an expensive pen. However, I do like your comments.  Let me ask you something, if it were just a bic would you do the same thing?

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