Red Pens

I love pens and markers.

Mr. Sketch markers, where I can put them directly to my nose and take a sniff down sensory pleasure lane; brown root beer, yellow lemon, red strawberry, green lime – yummy and functional.

Pentel, my prized possession pens saved for my best coloring work.

Gel pens, reserved for my most intricate coloring books.

Pens are tools that have allowed me to express myself on paper through different ball points and colors.  They’ve seen me through cursive, and short hand.  They’ve made me step up my spelling skills, as I hate to see words misspelled and crossed out due to my error.  Most of high school I was obsessed with erasable pens.  Remember those?

As a working professional pleaser, I’ve played favorites to a few sets and brands of pens; a blue pen for signing and notarizing as it shows up best as an original, a red pen to point out needed changes, and a black pen for applications. I love Ink pens, or the click and retract pens, and especially the metallic pens that stand out on black paper.

Despite my undying love for pens and markers, here’s the thing, and where in lies the rub:  A certain boss has forever ruined red Pilot Precise V5 Premium Rolling Ball pens for me (wow, I just really “nerded out”).

In my early twenties, I was working for a real-life clone of the boss portrayed in the Devil Wears Prada.  My cubicle desk, was positioned about yeah feet away from her typically open doored office.  One day, my intercom function on my desk phone (we literally had the same ringer from the show “24”) buzzed, and it was, her.  My name rang out of her throat, “Alyyyyyyyyse.”  I was shocked that my phone even had an intercom option, and perplexed that she couldn’t just come out and talk to me in person, like I was a person.  “Yes?” I hesitatingly replied. “Come here please.”  Thinking that she must literally be on fire, I get up and take three large, extremely quick, steps to enter her office.  Her body is turned away from me, facing her computer, but she speaks to me as if I, Alyse, am a thought in the air, and will catch her verbal feathered words as they float around the room, purposefully intended to land on, no one.  “None of the red pens in my office work.”  Me: (Seriously?) “Oh, okay.”  Her: “Pleeeeeease, (Alyyyyyyyyyse), get me some new red pens, right away.”  Me: “Okay, sure.” I send my words back to her in an imaginary capsule that shoots back up the invisible tube between us.  There is no acknowledgement from her that she has received my verbal deposit reply.  I look down at her inbox and outbox organized on her free standing, executive desk.  These are the tools I have put in place to foster communication between the two of us, as in person conversations are one way, and emails are vague pieces of news, advertised sparingly.  In the outbox, are 8 red pens, some with caps on, others without.  As I prepare to leave, she hurls her last remarks; “They, are in my outbox.”  Dumbfounded, I reach to take the pens out of her outbox, turn around and take my three big steps back to my cube.  I pull out a white piece of paper from my printer and begin to test each pen, just for S&Gs.  Sure enough, her Ivy League education has allowed her to correctly make the diagnosis of 8, non-working, red pens.  As a last-ditch effort, I do the spit test onto my finger, to see if I can revive any of the bled-out pens.  Having failed to resuscitate, probably because I am only degreed in music, I then proceed to throw them away in my garbage can below my cubicle desk, because I know that in doing this, these once trusted, and now busted, pens will rightfully travel home to be returned to their maker.  Surely, they would have lost their delicate way, and future opportunity for pen reincarnation if the CEO had decided to throw them away herself, in her own garbage can, in her own office, that has a door.

Click, click, click…Staples order, more red pens, 8 to be exact. Click.  Solved. Done.

I was DONE.

The pens came, and I left for good, the very next day.  I left my resignation and 8 pens in her inbox.


Professional Pleasing Self Wear and Tear Uncategorized


Alyssa Castro View All →

Isn’t this what the blog is for? ;)

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