3/5/19 - Out-of-Ink Chronicles
The stark reality is that a pen is just a pony tail holder or a semi-dangerous weapon once it runs out of ink. In fact, the hair-tie-up and weapon usage is so few and far between that we might be able to unanimously agree that a pen without ink is garbage (or best fit for the trashcan anyway).
The story I’m telling you today is a common, but important one. It’s the story of one of these former pens that’s pulled at random from the cup on any workspace desk in the world. Unbeknownst to the chooser, this pen is out of ink. At first attempt, the ink doesn’t flow right, so the holder of the pen shakes it and goes back for another try at writing on the pad. Some go to drawing circles elsewhere on the page. In dire circumstances, the writer will even try a few circles on a new surface: the palm of her hand. Some have been known to suck the end of the pen as to draw remaining ink reserves to the surface for a few more lines of handwriting.
This pen is done. It’s shot. No amount of shaking or ink beckoning circles will bring it back to life. Here, though, is the critical element of the story. Where does the writer put the pen? Of course, not in the trash but back in the pen cup. This cycle may go on for dozens of iterations like this. I once heard of an empty pen that stayed in the rotation for two years completely out of ink.
While this sad, but true, account is tongue in cheek, it represents an important lesson. The human tendency to succumb to a diffusion of responsibility. This is especially true when humans are working in groups. Take a quick inventory. Where are you passing along responsibility that could stop with you?
Then, AMRAP 6
12 Cal Row
12 DB Shoulder-to-Overhead (50/30)
-Rest 3 min-
300′ Shuttle Run
12 Pull Ups