No Ordinary Pen

There is a book called “Dress for Success” by John T. Molloy (ISBN 9780446385527) . I first read that book in 1990 when I was leaving the Navy and learning how to find a job.

In the beginning of the book they explain the raincoat experiment. What they did was dress people in different color raincoats then have them try to get inside to see the boss without an appointment. What they determined was that a black raincoat tested the worst. A tan or beige raincoat tested the best. With navy blue being a close 2nd. The reason, they claimed, was that people who wear a black raincoat are generally poorer and of a lesser class than those who can afford to buy and maintain a tan raincoat (with all those dry cleaning bills). They also claim “a gentleman never writes with a cheap pen”. What was true in 1980 might not be true today. They may have updated it.

Anyway today I accidentally washed a pen with my laundry. In most cases, the pen would be wrecked, the ink would be on the clothes, and I would have to go shopping for a new work wardrobe. But in this case the pen was fine, it still writes. No ink on the clothes. It was not an ordinary pen, not a cheap pen.

The pen is known as a Fisher “space” pen. This sort of pen is very well made, it is pressurized to write on a vertical surface or even upside down. This one was purchased at an AAFES which is the Army/Air Force Exchange store. They are available from other sources but at the military exchanges they are considerably less expensive. Looking at Amazon they have them for $15.

In conducting automotive testing, where the test log forms are frequently on a vertical surface this is the only pen to have. It works in freezing cold and in blasting heat (-30 to 250 F). It is snow proof and rainproof. It works in zero gravity. Comes with an unconditional lifetime guarantee. It is made in Nevada

The matching “rite in the rain” notebooks that are rainproof are also available at amazon for $7.

Another gem from the “Dress for Success” book is the white shirt experiment. They dressed people in different color shirts, took photos of them and then asked people to look at the photos and answer questions about the people in the photos. The conclusion was that a white shirt makes you look honest. And so, to wear anything else to an interview would be foolish. Or in any other situation where you want to look honest.


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