How Not to Send a Pen

Normally I’d be pleased to receive a pen I’d won on eBay, but when I drew this wrinkled envelope – resembling a small lumpy pillow – out of the mailbox and saw the postage label I became annoyed. The seller had charged USD15 for shipping and only sent the pen First Class International from the US – the cheapest possible rate. No insurance either. What a jerk.

But even worse: he was a negligent jerk. The seller hadn’t bothered to protect the pen. See what came out of the bubble envelope:

This joker had simply dropped an expensive decades-old pen in a sandwich bag, loosely folded some bubble wrap around it, and dumped everything into a thin bubble mailer with some crumpled brown paper and a couple of packing peanuts.

Many sensible sellers enclose their pens in a length of PVC piping – cheap and effective. Would it have killed him to at least use some scotch tape and swaddle the pen snugly in layers of bubble wrap?

The pen now has a significant crack running down across all the barrel threads and a hairline crack on the cap lip. Who knows whether the damage was already there or whether this idiot’s negligence is to blame. I’ve already asked for a refund.

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