Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Life of 2000

This is a bit of a follow up to my review of the Lamy 2000 mechanical pencil. A while ago I reviewed the Lamy Scribble, and then what my Scribble ‘gets up to’. Well, here’s what my 2000 gets up to.

Basically I use my Lamy 2000 in a rather inappropriate environment. I work in a large warehouse distribution centre. I’m an office worker, a “shiny-a*s” who gets to sit and polish his bottom all day, as some might say, but I end up out in the warehouse most days to see someone or check something out. It’s one of those fancy paperless, computer controlled warehouses – you know, one of those systems where the computer knows how big every one of the 10,000 different items is, how many can fit onto each shelf or pallet space, what’s the shortest walking route for a picker to fill these 10 different customer orders on his way around the warehouse, etc, etc, etc. All fine in theory, until something goes horribly wrong and then its out with pencil & paper, to start all over again and try and sort out what’s caused the problem.

I keep my hi-viz vest stocked with a few requisites so that whenever I grab it and head out to the warehouse I don’t have to worry about such things. So, my Lamy 2000 lives in my hi-viz vest, it fits nicely into the pencil pocket on the vest. That’s one reason I always place some emphasis on a pencils pocket clip, because mine gets used a lot at work.

0.5mm lead really is too fine for this sort of job. It’s good for writing in a note book, but I often end up scrawling on boxes or scrap cardboard and something thicker really would be better, maybe even something like Faber-Castell’s 1.4mm lead. But I guess I’m a creature of habit. I started using 2000 as my ‘working’ pencil when I was in a ‘0.5mm or nothing’ frame of mind. I really like my 2000, it’s a 0.5mm, and that’s all there is to it - I just put up with a few lead breakages.

Like a lot of people I’m not without a bit of stress at work. One way I keep things calm is to have a couple of important objects that make me take a little time out. I use a ‘good’ Wedgwood mug at work so every time I have a cup of tea it reminds me to just chill out for a moment; I’m supposed to be enjoying a refreshing brew from a piece of fine china. Likewise with my Lamy 2000. I’m often out in the warehouse because something’s not right and 2000 gives me a little reminder to just take things a bit easier, enjoy a little stroll around the warehouse, writing a few notes with a fine pencil.

There are two other things that 2000 could be a bit better adapted to for this working environment. Firstly, there is a bit of dust and grime around and that can get on your fingers, and then the brushed finish on the 2000 can trap some of that dust and grime. But a quick wash tidies things up. Secondly the torpedo shape is not the best for anti-roll properties. If you put the 2000 down in a hurry or on a sloping surface you can get a bit of roll before the pocket-clip stops it. It’s not that it’s bad, just something that could be a bit better in this particular situation.

Perhaps these deficiencies really just go to show what a great pencil the Lamy 2000 is, because I choose to put up with them and keep it as one of my main pencils, rather than change. It’s funny, on the one hand I don’t really think of Lamy as one of my favourite brands, but on the other hand, both my main pencils are Lamys, so it must be one of my favourites.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dave,
Good follow up. I've been using the LAMY 2000 in the 0.7 mm version and have come to appreciate the larger diameter lead. I'm not quite ready to use it in my cruiser (forester's) vest out in the woods, although filling out inventory plot cards and taking field notes would take on a more noble air using this fine pencil. I'm sure it would be up for the task since it appears to be a fairly durable pencil. I use this pencil nearly every day and it looks just as good as the day it arrived a year ago. Thanks again for the recommendation.
Winthrop, Washington, USA