Monday, March 22, 2021

SOL March 22: Defective Product, Defective Me

Yesterday a lightbulb I bought a month ago blew out. And when I tried to replace two ink cartridges on my printer, one cartridge was “not recognized” by the printer. Since I bought both products from local stores, I waited until a weekday to make my returns.

            There was no problem at the hardware store were I’d gotten the bulb. I was asked for my receipt, which I no longer had, because I shred credit card slips after I get my statement and check everything, especially since I’ve been totally off cash since the pandemic started. When I started to show the manager my credit card statement, he waved it away and said he’d take my word. One down, two to go.

            The stationery store was a totally different matter. First, the young man behind the counter (a son of the family that owns the shop) said they don’t carry those anymore. I insisted that I’d gotten the package of three colors from them a while ago but not too long ago, but he said no. I forget how long it took before he finally said they didn’t carry any ink cartridges at all and hadn’t for over a year; their supplier just doesn’t carry ink cartridges anymore. Then his co-worker (a brother?) said I couldn’t have gotten the cartridge I had in my hand from the package I had in the other hand because the cartridge was 222 and the box was 702.

            A hazy memory surfaced: I’d had to get my ink cartridges from another stationery shop in the neighborhood the last time I needed a replacement because the closer shop didn’t have the cartridges i needed (though I don’t think I was told then that their supplier just wasn’t carrying ink cartridges at all). In that earlier episode, the clerk at the further away store sold me a 702XL, which I didn’t notice until I started to install it and saw it was much bigger than the usual cartridge.

            Now I was thoroughly confused. Where had the 222 cartridge I’d apparently been trying to use as a replacement come from? I still have no idea. But at the other stationery store, the clerk again tried to sell me another 702XL, and when I objected he said XL means extra ink. More ink because it’s bigger, I said. “It won’t fit in my printer.” So I still have no magenta cartridge and can’t print.

            I’ll have to order online, which I hate doing. I’d much rather shop at brick-and-mortar stores. However, I have now taped a note to my printer that the first stationery store no longer carries printer cartridges, so I hope I don’t forget that again.


I’m participating in the 14th annual Slice of Life Challenge over at Two Writing Teachers. This is day 22 of the 31-day challenge.  It’s not too late to make space for daily writing in a community that is encouraging, enthusiastic, and eager to read what you have to slice about.  Join in!

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