Printer Ink, Epipipens, Razor Blades and Bearded Men ~ Reprise
If I can say one thing with conviction, it is that those ink cartridges for your printer ALWAYS run out when you need them the most.
Case in point: The other morning while I was at the gym (trying to find my abs), my husband was in his office busily preparing invoices on his computer for the five or six different jobs he’s working on right now.
We like invoices. Invoices are check magnets. Checks allow us to eat. And we love to eat, so there you go.
Anyhow, when I returned he was circling the printer, cursing a blue streak. It seems his printer had run out of black ink and subsequently had refused to print the invoices. “I thought I had another black cartridge in here”, he grumbled through gritted teeth while rummaging through a cabinet like a bear searching for a baloney sandwich. Slamming the door shut, he slumped in his chair. “Great. Now I can’t print these today.”
What? No money—No food. I could barely hear him over the growling of my stomach.
You’ve gotta know a thing about my husband. He is very old school. Not only does he email his invoices, he prints up hard copies for his files along with copies for his clients to hold in their hot little hands. He has found that these same hands are much more likely to write checks when they’ve just held one of his carefully prepared, itemized invoices. Nobody gives a shit when you email them a bill so basically, paper wins over technology every time.
This stopped me in my tracks. “What? I mean, what about the color cartridge? You could print them in blue or purple?”
He shot me a look that straightened even my pubic hair.
“Listen”, I said, remaining calm. “You aren’t dressed yet, but I am, I’ll make a quick run to Staples and get you a black cartridge. I’ll be back before you’re out of the shower.”
After presenting a few lame protests, he agreed, so off I went.
As I closed the door I heard him offer to give me some cash. “I’ve got it!” I replied, sprinting to the car. I remembered having about $50 in my wallet, I mean, how much could it be?
Not fifty dollars I can tell you that! Not sixty-dollars either. That fucker was SEVENTY-DOLLARS!
“Whyyyyy?” I whined, waving the cartridge at the boy stocking the printer paper. He just shook his head, avoiding direct eye-contact.
“Why is this so expensive?” I hissed, interrogating the check-out girl. “It’s a tablespoon of ink in three dollars of plastic!”Without even looking at me she offered a rebate. A $2 rebate that takes eight weeks to take the two dollars off my SEVENTY DOLLAR printer ink purchase.
“People pay this? This is extortion!” I yelled as the manager walked up. He seemed hardened to this argument. He had talking points. “You save when you order in bulk”, he said, motioning to alert the three-hundred-pound security guard. I knew that guy would understand my plight. We needed to invoice! We needed to eat!
“Ha!” I guffawed loudly, a little bit of spit landing on my chin.
Embarrassed, I mumbled under my breath while handing the cashier my debit card “Bulk? You’ve gotta be kidding me. A bulk order of this ink is equal to a car payment.” I grabbed my cartridge made of gold—and the receipt with the fucking rebate to fill out and mail in. I wasn’t giving them that extra $2 godammit!
“What a racket.” Were my parting words as I passed the bemused security guard. He nodded in agreement even though I’m relatively sure he had no idea what I was talking about.
This whole thing really pissed me off. Our immediate need for this overpriced product stripped away any and all negotiation power leaving me with no options. My husband needed to print invoices. Today.
I opened all the cars windows on the way home, hoping the cool, fresh air would change my mood. It was a beautiful morning. I had already accrued my ten thousand steps. The invoices would be printed and we would live to eat another day.
“Let it go, Janet,” I said to myself. “This is how they’re able to sell printers so cheap.”
Then I started to think about the other NECESSITIES in our lives where they have us over a barrel.
Epipens came to mind. Raising their price 400% is just a crime. Plain and simple.
And Razor blades. Have you purchased a pack of razor blades lately? They’re so valuable people steal them. (Like saffron at the supermarket and Sudafed at the drug store.) You have to ask for them up at the register at Target.
Tell me why? They’re three, one-inch blades of steel, encased in fifty cents of plastic!
That got me thinking, maybe the razor blade price gouging started this beard phenomenon we’re experiencing. Maybe men just threw up their hands and said: “Fuck it!” I can eat or I can shave. (Everything comes down to eating with me.)
BTW: I was wondering who to blame. Not every man looks good in a beard you know.
So the moral of this story is: It’s the principal of the thing. Even if I can afford it, I don’t like being taken advantage of for no good reason.
I know I’m not alone here. Tell me what gets your blood boiling.