Sunday, April 13, 2003

Inks reflect attitudes, survey says



By Gregory Weaver
Gannett News Service

Have a passion for workers who are helpful and eager to please? Then keep an eye out for those who have a penchant for purple.

That's write - er, right. People who prefer purple pens make perfect personnel.

PEN PROFILES
Check out the color of ink your co-workers are using, and see if they fit these profiles developed by Pilot Pen Corp.:
• Most likely to think the boss is nice: Women using red ink.
• Least likely to think the boss is nice: Men using expensive pens.
• Most likely to have been promoted or received a raise: Men using red ink.
• Least likely to have been promoted or received a raise: Men using green ink.
• Most likely to be criticized by the boss: Women using expensive pens.
• Least likely to be criticized by the boss: Women using black ink.
Or so says a survey conducted for Pilot Pen Corp. by the Opinion Research Corp. International of Princeton, N.J.

More than 85 percent of workers who pen in purple say their bosses are totally satisfied with their work - compared with 75 percent of the overall work force. This is based on a national random survey of 645 workers.

Another plus for possessors of purple is their placating disposition. More than 82 percent say they try to help their bosses even when not specifically asked, the survey said. That compares with 67 percent of workers overall.

Finding purple pen users may prove difficult, however.

For example, purple pens account for less than 5 percent of all the pens sold by Indianapolis Office Supply in recent months. Black is the most popular, said marketing manager Susie Johnson, followed by blue and red.

"Purple's definitely a little more expensive," she adds.

But then, so are erasable pens, and Pilot Pen's survey warns employers to be wary of workers wielding those mistake-correcting instruments.

Users of erasable pens are twice as likely as the average worker to have had a bad performance review.

Perhaps the worst news for pen manufacturers is that workers most likely to work long hours without extra pay are those who prefer using a computer keyboard rather than ink and paper to communicate with co-workers.



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