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IT’s Getting Better

Posted by Dirck on 7 May, 2012

I had, today, an entirely predictable and usual failure in my computer at The Regular Job (I believe a sticky poppet valve causes a misdirection of pressure when a certain website is accessed, leading to one of the electron conveyors slipping from its pulley).  There are two courses to take with this sort of thing, and since it was going to be inconvenient to wait the half-hour for the central server to get tired of waiting to hear from my computer and reset its connections, I did the thing which sets so many folks these days on edge.

I called the IT department.  One of the beleaguered stokers put down his tiny coal shovel, wiped the buckminsterfullerium from his hands, and came around see what he could do, shielding his eyes against the unaccustomed natural light from the departmental window with a raised hand.  I explained the problem, which was essentially, “It’s doing that again,” and he asked for some of the code-numbers associated with me and the computer to take back to his cubicle under the digit mangle so he could properly realign the server.

“May I borrow some paper?”  Since I have towering piles of scrap paper, associated with The Regular Job’s notion of a paperless office (“we don’t need these 12 pages of that 16 page print-out”), that was an easy request.  He patted his shirt pocket, and discovered it was empty.  He fished to the end of the lanyard around his neck, and found only the key-simulating object he’s chosen to carry in that manner.  “Um… may I borrow a pen?”

The persistent reader of the back-numbers of this effort will know that’s a question I have wrestled with in the past, and I was thus ready to respond without a moments notice– the constant drilling has paid off!  I swept a hand past both of the desk mounts, and settled it on the bait pen I leave about precisely to give those not up on fountain pen handling something they can try without having to listen to me hyperventilating or making little gurgling noises.  After a moment when, as one who was obviously expecting something in the ball-point line, he applied the tail of the pen to the paper, he rearranged it in his hand and hauled the cap off.

You will understand that I was watching pretty closely.  Part of the reward of the bait pen for me is to see people who, unused to even the notion of a fountain pen, find they are having a tiny existential crisis as an object they thought they were entirely familiar with proves to be a novelty.  So when there was only as much hesitation as was necessary to get the point facing right way up, I will admit I was surprised.  The small, petty element in my that enjoys others’ existential crises was entirely disappointed.  Codes noted, the pen capped and returned, the IT chap vanished back into the engineering spaces.

I wish at this point that I could shout about how the fountain pen was obviously riding a great wave of reacceptance, if a random guy is unfazed by finding one in his hand.  However… the random guy in question is from a part of the world where fountain pens are not so rare.  He’s from… well, I’m not precisely sure, having not asked him, but if I say South Asia to the west of Vietnam, I’m comfortably certain I’ve got the right (vast) area.  Rather that blowing this single datum into a trend, I must therefore content myself that there’s at least one other person in the building who is comfortable with fountain pens.  That’s not as much fun, but I welcome the news all the same.

Other welcome news; I’ve recieved the first package of tools for dealing with pens in a better way than I have hitherto.  This package included a reliable magnifier of substantial power (I previously have a rather good 10X and a not good at all 30X), and I was able to make the opening pass of threatened point reshaping.  It was very tentative, and done with a little bit of a time constraint, so I didn’t get right through the attempt, but I can report I haven’t absolutely destroyed the first test subject.  That’s progress of a small sort, right?

Today’s pen: Parker Duofold
Today’s ink: Wancher Matcha

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