Replacing Ink Cartridge in Printer is Dangerous Undertaking

Am I the only person who has trouble replacing an ink cartridge in a printer? I’d rather have a root canal. The task appears simple: Take the old cartridge out and put the new cartridge in. But every time I replace one it’s like wrestling with a greased pig. I grasp the contraption and aim for the spot where it’s supposed to go. It slips out of my hand and my finger gets smashed between the metal flaps that wrap around the cartridge. Oh, it gets ugly.

The last time I went to replace the ink cartridge, I actually called the technical support number that’s on the cartridge package. A guy named Ravi answered and he seemed nice enough but had apparently never installed an ink cartridge. Which sorta blew my mind and I told him that. “Excuse me, Lisa. I’m here to help you, OK? There’s no need to be sarcastic.” I said, “Well, Ravi. Here’s the thing. I’ve already given you the serial number on the printer, verified the account information, given you my mailing address for the third time. And I’m still sitting here holding this ever-annoying cartridge. Can you help me or not?”

Ravi put me on hold for 10 minutes. When he came back, he said, “OK, Lisa. Without actually seeing the printer, I don’t think I can help you. It’s very difficult to envision the problem you’re having without seeing it.” I responded, “Are you kidding me? When we first got on the phone, did you really think I’d bring my printer from Louisiana to Pittsburgh or wherever you are so that you could help me?” Ravi laughed and laughed. “Lisa, you’re very funny! No, I did not think you would be bringing your printer here. And, by the way, I’m at an office in Chicago.”

By this time, Ravi and I have bonded. Heck, who cares about an ink cartridge? How ’bout them Bears? Additionally, knowing he was in Chicago, I asked him if he’d ever run into fellow Chicagoans like Oprah or Michael Jordan. “You’re so funny Lisa! I never did see Oprah, but I saw Michael Jordan at a restaurant.” I wonder if Oprah or Michael Jordan have problems with changing ink cartridges. Nah, they probably have designated ink-cartridge-changer people.

But back to the problem at hand. Ravi had an idea. “OK, Lisa? Are you still with me? Maybe you can take the cartridge, hold it at an angle and slip it into the printer.” He says this in all seriousness, as if I’d never attempted to do that. I remind him I’d been trying to replace the cartridge for well over 30 minutes when I broke down and called the technical support folks, who turned out to be not very technically supportive at all. I told Ravi that, just before I’d called him, the metal flap that’s above the spot where the cartridge is supposed to slip into actually attacked me, drawing blood from my index finger! He laughed at my run-in with the vicious printer.

Ravi, ripe with ideas, had another one. “Lisa, here’s something you may not have thought of. Tomorrow is a new day, and you can bring your printer to a place that sells printers and ink cartridges and see if they can help you.” With my luck, the person helping me would be Ravi’s brother or uncle. I told him I’d take my chances and try to beat the printer at its game. Ravi sighed with relief, saying, “OK, Lisa. I wish you much luck. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

“Oh, Ravi,” I said. “Now, that’s funny.”