difference one number makes

What a Difference One Number Makes

one number different

What a difference one number makes.

What a difference one number makes. It’s not such a big deal if you’re speeding on the freeway, for example, because you won’t get a ticket for driving 56 MPH instead of 55, but it’s a huge deal if you’re buying, say, office supplies online from Office Depot. You might not even think to check the boxes to verify the accuracy of an order when they arrive on your doorstep the following morning — yes, Office Depot provides next-day free delivery — until you need to replace a black toner cartridge in your printer. That’s when you can discover what a difference one number makes.

It always seems to happen when I’m waiting for my printer to stop printing, which is the signal to replace the toner cartridges; it gives up the ghost when I really need a document. It’s typically an urgent document. And it’s not like I can avoid these emergencies by simply replacing the cartridge when the low toner image appears, because I can often go another couple of months, and I like to squeeze every last drop of toner out of those cartridges. It’s where companies like Hewlett Packard make its money. You think it’s selling printers but it’s not; it’s selling supplies for those printers. HP would like customers to panic and replace a cartridge when the ink is low, but often that warning light is way too early.

I ripped open the package after I asked my husband to tear apart the boxes of cartridges because, for some reason, they were strangely glued together. Tore off the orange strips and discarded. Opened the printer, removed the old black cartridge and discovered the new cartridge would not fit. Gah. What one thing was not like the other things? It would not fit becauseI had bought a 304 instead of a 305. I called Office Depot in Midtown Sacramento and they could not look up my order from last May to replace the cartridge because online and in-store records are different. Even though that store delivered my product.

So, my husband, eager to sit down to dinner, dashed down to the Office Depot on 17th and J Streets to buy me a new ink cartridge. Office Depot’s return policy is 30 days, and I had purchased the ink cartridges last May. It looked like I was hosed. But I called Office Depot anyway and, as a one-time courtesy, Office Depot agreed to pick up my two boxes and credit my account. What are the odds of that? Slim. Unlike the odds that a person will call this Sacramento Realtor and call the wrong number. Instead of tapping 233, often people will by mistake call 223.

That number will get you a woman named Mary. Her answering machine says: If you are calling for Elizabeth Weintraub, you have the wrong number and do not leave a message. Yet, my real estate clients still leave a message. Perhaps they think the answering machine message is a joke, that I was just pulling a prank. Or maybe they figure since they went through all the trouble to call, they should leave a message on the off-chance it would get to me anyway (which it does). Or, maybe they just don’t listen. I feel a lot of empathy for Mary over how many calls she receives for me. What a difference one number makes.

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