Free pens at seminars, why god, why?

You know when sometimes you can’t sleep at night and the quietest noise sounds so loud? The tick of a clock sounds like you have your ear pressed up against Big Ben, and once you’ve heard it, it’s all you can hear, all night long.

You imagine the clock and taking a hammer to it, smashing it into tiny pieces in order to regain the silence you long for. Of course you never do, you put up with it, it’s what we do. Although I must admit I did take a battery out of a clock once, when staying around someone’s house. I mean come on, a night on someone else’s spare bed is bad enough, but to add the torture of a ticking clock to that. Too far!

Clocks have nothing to do with today’s torture, this is far, far worse.

In my current role I get to go to lots of meetings, seminars, conferences, symposiums and others buzz words they use for learning as an adult. Each of them differ but one thing that is similar, they like to give you free stuff, branded free stuff. The most popular being the pen.

Mightier then the sword so I’ve heard and today I believe that to be true. Nothing fills me more with dread then walking into a room and seeing free pens.

2nd lot of freebies at the same seminar

I suppose it’s not actually the pen itself, that is fairly harmless on its own, but in the wrong hands, a deadly weapon in the art of annoyance.

I’m sat in a conference room, listening to a brief about mental health, it’s really interesting but I’m struggling. We are having group discussions about mental health and then after each topic we all go silent and listen as the instructor goes round the class to get answers, adding input when required.

Thing is, it’s never actually silent because at any one time, there will be at least 4 people tapping or clicking their free pen. For me, once I’ve heard it, it can’t be unheard.

Pen clickers don’t even know they are doing it, they are completely oblivious to the noise and the irritation it causes to non clickers. I try and zone out, I’m watching the instructor, his lips are still moving but there is no other noise then the click click click of the clickers.

Pen clicking in action.

I really want to shout out “for fuck sake, STOP clicking” but I know it’s not the right thing to do and might go down as being slightly aggressive whilst we discuss mental health.

There is no answer, I will just have to put up with it but I can assure you this, if I EVER run a seminar, there will be no free clicky pens.

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