Guess what most of the typical software engineers (I don’t know about the nerds and the geeks) are constantly looking out for? I know the answers would be something like – some place to hide their ass off when an important report is late and boss is sniffing them all around, some time to search Google to get that new code which their boss is not smart enough to have searched himself, a corner to talk to their girl friend (or say any girl), searching for a moment of isolation with that never before seen girl in that weekend pub.
But what I have found from personal experience is that what they look out for most is a PEN while in office. Yeah, though it might sound very stupid, and none of us would accept it or may not have even given a thought to it, the fact is that the moment you put a new pen on display on the desk, someone will come to you asking for one. And the most interesting part is that no one bothers to get a pen from the service desk guys. They will always search for it when they knew exactly where to get it from. Typical engineers you know! If something can be done easily, create so many hurdles that the task would assume unassuming dimensions (whatever that means).
I had so many pens registered in my name that service desk guys have started thinking that I must be making quite some money selling them off in the buses I took to commute to office, HR thinks that I am adding to my CTC (cost to company) by doing these tricks, while my colleagues have penned a new name for me – penwallah. Why shouldn’t this post sound like frustration?
I have worked for three companies now in my career and whatever has changed in the environment, work culture or whatever, this habit has been similar everywhere. Sirens sounded for a meeting, and these guys will check out every nook and corner of the office to find a pen. Someone has an idea and needs paper to explain it, the search for a pen would start. You can pull the paper out of the printer, but the pen is not found anywhere. And by the time, you get one; a few bits from that idea have fallen apart. Now you have a pen, but not the idea!
So all those pen manufacturers, your biggest customers are we software engineers. Though we will keep saying we haven’t put pen to paper for years, we keep letting your products sell in wholesale in our own nifty ways like those little nifty code tricks we keep inventing all the time.