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’.