Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pencil puzzle

This ordinary Office Depot pencil I found in the hallway outside my apartment struck me as odd. I couldn’t picture the academic and professional denizens of my building using a pencil clip or belonging to a union. You’ll note, too, that the point has been sharpened with a pen knife or the like, not a conventional school or office sharpener. This is the tool of a working man, not of a writer, artist, student, or dilettante. This is a pencil that has more important things to do than languish on a desk or in a backpack. This is a pencil with places to go, measures to mark, things to do every day. I wondered.

When I stopped wondering, I realized it must have been dropped by one of the contractors installing The Flamingo’s new fire system. I will leave it with the manager in the hope that it will find its way to useful employment again.

Addition: See Michael Leddy's post about the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers logo.


  1. What a great find, and what an honest finder.

    I love that union logo, and I've been "planning" (whatever that means) to post a picture of it for a couple of months. It makes me feel that I'm in the wrong union. When I do post it, I'll link to your post.

  2. I feel badly because I haven't gotten around to returning it yet! Thanks for stopping by. I have been bad about keeping up to date with everyone's doings and such . . .

  3. What an interesting artifact of the working class. Thanks for sharing! I enjoy your blogs.

  4. Since I've been thinking about the middle class, especially in Wisconsin, a lot lately, I was charmed by your description of your find. Thanks for sharing.