A nudge especially for delivery drivers

Reader Quinton Cheney passes along a nudge for anyone who is constantly losing pens when they ask other people for their signatures.

I’ve worked as a delivery driver for two years, and I’ve given away countless pens in that time to customers who pay with credit cards. True, asking for my pen back is only a minor inconvenience (unless the customer took the receipt to the next room to sign). Regardless, when I realized most of these thefts were accidental, I started to wonder if I might somehow nudge customers into giving my pens back.

What I came up with has been a definite success: I wait until the customer answers the door to remove the pen cap (or click/twist capless pens). My hypothesis is that customers seeing me briefly manipulate the pen helps cement it as mine in their minds, at least for long enough to complete the transaction.

If you’re someone who is always losing pens because of your own absent-mindedness, you might take a tip from comedian Mitch Hedberg: “I bought a seven-dollar pen because I always lose pens and I got sick of not caring.”



2 Responses to “A nudge especially for delivery drivers”

  1. sherfelad Says:

    I found that just taking the cap of a pen and then giving the other person the pen without the cap works as well. When people finish writing they automatically look for the cap to cover the pen and then they realize it is not their pen…

  2. BarrettJ Says:

    Take a fake flower and tape it to the the (non-writing) end of the pen. It’s small, light, sticks out of the end of my pocket making it easier to grab, and everyone returns the pen without even thinking about it because there’s a noticeable reminder that it’s not their pen.

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