But I just want to pay!!!

You can never know what happened in this case, except for the fact that it was caught on film, so you totally can know. I won’t even talk about employee screening processes because honestly, an alleged “crazy person” (oh take it up with Gawker) can slip through the most thorough of screening processes. Because really? Did you ever wonder how I got hired by a technology company? Technology! Stuff happens.

But the aspect of this that I find interesting is that people can totally believe that this can happen for a legit reason. OK, first of all “genius bar”…gag. I mean, not one trite word but 2? I’m sure we do equally gaggy things. So. And Apple does a lot of things right and I really respect their design discipline and marketing. Their ability to build a loyal following is impressive, even if that following has cartoon-style swirly eyeballs and walks all zombie-like to the beat of anything that Steve Jobs says. Ah, I joke, fanboys. I absolutely appreciated my iPod for many of the years I owned one and before I got a Zune. And there’s a place for both in the market. Anyhoo.

But what this story made me think of is the time I was in an Apple store to buy a gift card for my friends’ kid. And for some reason I cannot even begin to fathom, all of the Apple employees were on the sales floor doing all of their business. So the person that wanted to buy a gift card (me) had to wait in the same line as the people that had questions…lots of questions. The only employee that wasn’t four deep behind a line of customers/inquisitors was the gal at the front who was, like, greeting people.  And when I asked her who could help me (ring up a freaking gift card), she sent me back to the line because she could totally not help me. Not at all. Because she was awesome at “Hi, welcome to the Apple store,” and she was also awesome at “How can *they* help you? Because I’m not a *genius*.” And aside from the fact that my iPod went into a state similar to that of Ted Williams’ head at the slightest contact with car vibrations or stereo volume (because in this household, there is rocking out), this moment was when my product loyalty fell away. It’s when “good enough” gave way to “hell no.”

I’m not saying that anyone deserves to be touched for any reason by a customer. This isn’t about deserve. I’m just saying that I could totally understand how people could get frustrated enough to do that. I once got in an argument with a lady in line at the post office and the clerks looked at me like *I* was crazy. I know of what I speak. So I’m just sayin’.

Comments (5)

  1. max says:

    What’s it with Belzer and "choking"? Trying some moves that Hulk Hogan did on him back in the day. Check YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXCYfpJbaRQ) about 6 minutes in. Apparently he bought a house in France (named Hogan’s Arms) with the settlement w/ the Hulkster.

  2. Nicholas says:

    I haven’t had as bad of a time as you in an Apple store, but I have found them somewhat confusing/overwhelming at times. When I did have to make a "Genius Bar" appointment for my iPhone troubles, I showed up at the right time but ended up waiting ~45 minutes after my appointment time before I was seen, without any apology or anything. And it took some gentle arguing before they would admit there was anything wrong with my iPhone. Finally another tech. came over and authorized a full replacement… what I was asking for in the first place!

  3. HeatherLeigh says:

    max – maybe the lady wants that house? 🙂

    Nicholas – I don’t know…that sounds pretty bad to me! Maybe they wanted to give you that 45 minutes to shop in their store. Grrr.

  4. Bill says:

    Ugh, I would rather go bra shopping with my mother than willingly go into an Apple Store! I find the entire shopping experience to be pretentious, unnecessary, and uncomfortable. The last time that my partner dragged me in there to wait on a consultation with one of the delicate geniuses responsible for iPhone repairs, as I was standing around looking like a moron per lack of a proper waiting area, a staff member actually had the nerve to walk up to me and ask what business I had in the store! I guess I’m not cool enough to bask in the glow of such concentrated flawlessness and intelligence. :o)

    On a different note, I stumbled upon your blog weeks ago while searching for information on interviewing for non-technical positions at Microsoft as well as contracting at Microsoft in general, and I’ve found it very helpful as well as insightful! It’s nice to have some transparency into the organization behind a corporate-approved careers page and an applicant tracking system. I’m happy to report that I had two excellent meetings with my would-be Microsoft on-the-job supervisors yesterday and accepted a contract this morning to work with the HR group. I couldn’t be more excited!

    Never stop blogging.



  5. HeatherLeigh says:

    Aww, Bill. Thanks for the nice words about the blog and welcome!

    You do have a way with words. Somewhere between bra shopping with your mom and "delicate geniuses", you won me over 🙂