Inside an Impromptu “Nerdy” Conversation

While I don’t make a point to discuss work here, I will occasionally discuss work indirectly, insofar as it may pertain to organizing and the like.

A couple of weeks ago I attended a countywide meeting for work.  The purpose of this meeting was to discuss various programs each library had done.  One woman talked about a series of programs her library had done, and in particular discussed how all publicity for these programs were designed alike to show that it was a series and not independent programs.  During her discussion, she mentioned how OCD she and her team members are, that they all needed to have a cohesive look where the flyers were concerned, etc.  (But as any good designer/marketer will tell you, this is how it should be.)  I was excited because I can totally relate.

As we all know, I am OCD in many ways.  And while some of my coworkers might be considered OCD, they cannot be classified as such in the same way that I am.  They might be very particular about how something looks or gets done, but they are not necessarily an everything-needs-to-be-in-right-angles-and-or-parallel-lines, I-know-when-something-has-been-moved-from-its-place OCD.  They don’t need to have their calendars color-coded; they don’t even necessarily use calendars.  (How people function without some sort of calendar system, I will never know.)  I am the only member of my breed at work.  (I used to have a cohort but she transferred to a different library, leaving me all alone in my color coded, multi-tabbed world.)

In any event, after the meeting, I approached the woman, laughing and telling her how I completely understand her OCD type of mind.

Well, let me tell you that that sparked an entire conversation I did not see coming.

We talked about being nerds: calendars and pens and binders and tabs and yes, even color-coding.  She referenced her calendar (which I had noticed from the beginning, perfectly aligned with her notebook, and what appeared to me to be a weekly Moleskine based on the size and shape and thickness).  At one point she pulled out her pen bag and was telling me all about her promotional 4 color pen she got from a vendor and how she was worried that once the ink ran out she’d never find something as great.  She loves the pen because it allows her to carry 4 colors in one pen and reduces the number of pens she has to carry.

Strike up the angels’ chorus of Alleluia. 

This was my golden opportunity.

I, too, pulled out my pen bag and showed her my Pilot Hi-Tech-C Coleto pens—two pens, each with 4 colors, resulting in an 8-color system.  I showed her my refill inks that I also carry in my pen bag.  Then I told her to visit JetPens for all of her pen and ink needs.  She was so excited to have found a possible solution for her pen dilemma.  She quickly jotted down “” in her notebook, as any organized nerd would do.

Of course, we received a few comments from bystanders and onlookers, who made some remark about comparing pens and pen bags.  (Little do they know the half it—I’m willing to bet that no one knows about the super secret underground community of office supply lovers, organizers, and nerds.  I tried to refrain myself from jumping up and down and pulling out my iPad to actually show them the magnitude of it all.)

Sadly, this was the extent of our conversation, seeing as we all had to head back to our respective libraries.  I wish I could know whether or not she visited the JetPens website, know whether or not she found what she was looking for, know whether or not she found her way into this super secret cult community of ours.

Perhaps she and I will meet again someday…


  1. I was smiling throughout the the reading of this entire post. The Coleto has been on my list to try for ages, but I can't seem to color code consistently!

    1. I have tried many colored pens, and by far the Coleto is my favorite for the simple reason that I can have 4 inks in one pen. It cuts down on the amount of pens I have to carry with me. For me, color-coding allows me a very quick glance at what I need to do. Without reading the details, I can see at a glance if I have to work or if I have a meeting, if I have a social engagement, if I have a bill due, etc.

  2. Fun! I have had these too. I am SO not OCD but have trained myself to be good with lots of details.

    I was at Kinokuniya across from Bryant Park a couple of weeks ago and picked up a 5 barrel coleto with three colors, pencil, and eraser. Very handy. Happy to replace my old one. I don't really color code but I do write some recurring information into my planner in specific colors, and do all scheduling in pencil (to facilitate the constant changes).

    1. Ooo, I didn't know Kinokuniya carried Coletos. This may have to be a routine stop when in NYC from now on. ;) As mentioned in my comment above, color-coding helps me to see where/what I need to do at a glance without reading the details. Plus, it gives a little color to my pages without going all washi and stickers.

    2. Oh man, Bryant Park!!! Where all the Malden trouble began...

      I really wish I liked the Coletos more - thankfully I did come across the StyleFit and I'm happy as can be!

    3. Lol! Yes, those mischievious Maldens!

      Hmm, I vaguely remember a post about the StyleFit. I might have to look into them, if only for reference purposes. ;)


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