I don’t suppose there will be too many people writing the insider scoop on Post Office Ltd’s pen supplies on their blogs. I’m here to fill that gap! ‘Finally,’ I hear you all cry. Yes, I’m a whistle-blower and I’m proud! Not quite on the same scale as Russell Crowe in that tobacco movie, but still, it’s a risky business!
I’m subpostmaster in a rural Post Office. I’ve been doing that for just over five years and I’m here to share the pen news I’ve encountered in those five years.
Our masters at Post Office Ltd supply us with pens to use in Post Offices across the land. When I started in 2008, we had the POSP15.
All of the pens have black ink labelled as ‘security ink,’ in other words, it doesn’t fade. This is particularly important for motor vehicle licences, or tax discs are they’re more commonly known. The interesting thing about the POSP15 is that it has a red cap on the end. The urban myth about this is that it stops people from stealing them, because they think the pens have red ink in them. It didn’t work on my Post Office, that’s all I can tell you. These pens wrote well once you got them going, but all too often I’d pick one up and get nothing until I scribbled on a scrap bit of paper to get the ink flowing. It was annoying enough that, when I was cranky, I’d throw them straight in the bin after one failure. Well, I wasn’t paying for them and they got one chance only if I was in that kind of mood.
For some reason, these pens were discontinued and replaced by the truly awful SP15B 091445.
These felt cheap and nasty, probably because that’s precisely what they were. The refill moves around inside the pen, and when you lift the pen off the paper, the nib stays on the paper. Yes, really! It was really annoying. I gave these pens about a week before I switched to a Stabilo Write-4-all, which worked really well for tax discs. I’d see cars around the village with 11-month-old tax discs that I’d issued and they looked like I’d written them up that day. So the SP15Bs went out onto the customer side for customers to steal at their leisure. Which they did.
Turns out the ink in the SP15Bs fades! Ha! So much for their ‘security ink’! Last week we got our replacements: the Truline 20SPEN1. What a super name, eh?
These pens are chunkier and feel like a return to the POSP15. They have a cap that has a nice ‘click’ when posted and they write quite smoothly. But now I’m out the closet as a pen addict, I shall not be using the cheap, Chinese 20SPEN1s. Next time I order from Cult Pens, I plan on adding a few pens, including the Sakura Pigma Micron, which I’m sure will make a perfect pen for writing tax discs. We issue quite a lot of them, so I might as well make the experience as good as it can be, right?!