That Was Easy

02Sep13

It’s my fault, really. I knew it was coming. And, of course it always happens right in the middle of something important.

My printer ran out of light cyan ink. Mind you, I was printing a black and white letter, but apparently color printers use a little squirt of color to achieve that nice deep, dark black one rightfully might expect to come out of the black ink cartridge. Go figure.

I’m no inkjet printer guru and apparently,  I can’t even be trusted to respond to the, literally, weeks of warning my printer gave me. I just never quite got ‘round to picking up a light cyan cartridge. Usually, what I like to do is order a complete set to have in reserve but I’ve been a little more busy than usual these past few weeks.Image

While I’m sitting at my desk, pondering my blinking and beeping printer with just half a print job resting in the out tray, I remember I have some money left in my Staples Rewards account.

So, off I go to Staples. Certain that I’ll save some dough by virtue of my rewards money.

I quickly enter the store, find my cartridge among the 17,356 other ink cartridges and head to the register.

“Hey, I have some rewards to redeem, can you scan the bar code off my phone?” I ask expecting a reply in the affirmative.

“No, you have to print it out,” she says.

I look at her like she’s got two heads. “You can’t?”

“No, you have to print it out,” she repeats.

“You mean Starbucks can scan my ‘gift card’ off my phone and Jet Blue can scan by boarding pass off my phone, but you can’t scan the rewards bar code? Is that right?”

“No, you have to print it out,” she says again this time with a slight eye roll.

“You understand I’m here because I can’t print it out because……….I’m out of ink,”

“Usually, people print it out before they run out of ink,” she says, looking like I must be the biggest moron to grace her POS station in recent memory.

With a sigh, I pay full price for my ink and head back to my blinking and bleepin’ printer.

My problem with printing it in advance is that I don’t want an extra piece of paper on my already littered desk. I’ll lose it, then have to print it again…..oh, wait…….light dawns on marble head.

That’s the plan.

Why on earth would Staples like to have 300 million people print out one extra piece of paper each?  Especially when Staples sells them both the ink, the paper and probably the printer?

Higher profits, of course.

That was easy.

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