"Can I borrow a pen?" The customer looked at me impatiently, her eyes flicking to the Purple Sharpie Ultra-Fine in my hand.
I extended my hand, mentioning, "sure, but be careful with the tip. It smashes and makes the pen unusable." I watched as the customer nodded brusquely, took the pen, and proceeded to smash it into the receipt that she was signing. She handed it back to me, where the newly mangled pen was recapped.
"Thank you." The customer remarked, going about her daily business.
I uncapped the Sharpie, examining the tip. The customer had used enough force to turn the tiny little nub sideways. Tossing the pen into the trash can, I searched for a suitable replacement.
Growling, I took up one of the cheap company-issued ballpoints, staring at it. These were the pens which had a 20% chance of exploding within your pocket. The ink was spotty in delivery, at best. When it worked, it worked well. I'd spent more 'lighter time' with these ballpoints than I did with the smoking habit that I had at the time.
The next customer in line had the same look of astonishment on his face. He reached into his jacket pocket to pull out a Razor Point. "I understand," was all he said to the matter before placing his order. The world had become a better place.
All for a pen.