I noticed something odd today.

There is a clipboard on my desk where people sign in, it has a pen attached to the top with one of those long plastic springy things. Earlier today someone asked to borrow a pen and I gave them one of the loose ones I keep in a jar. They did their business and went about their way and I got busy and forgot all about the pen.

And then I noticed something odd. People were signing in more and more using the loose pen, even moving the regular pen out of the way at times so they could use the loose one. Both pens work equally well; both are the same color, the same size, almost identical save one has a leash and one does not.

But they used the loose pen about two-thirds of the time without even testing the leashed pen to see if it worked.


Did they assume the pen was broken or in some way non-functioning?

I got curious, so I scrounged up a loose pen that was almost empty and scribbled it dry. I replaced the good loose pen with the dry one.

A good majority picked up the loose pen, scribbled a bit, and then tried the leashed pen. Some tried the dry pen and then asked me for a pen, assuming the leashed pen did not work either. Very few picked up the leashed pen and ignored the dry pen altogether.

And then someone stole the dry pen.

I will never understand people.