The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

Bitter Apple

I’m going to start right off by saying it: I’m not an Apple devotee. It’s not that I don’t like Apple products. I think the aesthetics are gorgeous and I love the generally innovative approach to technology. My husband regularly worships at the Apple altar, and I totally get why. He gets a little bit high from the attention to detail. If I ever want him in a good mood, I just walk him through an Apple Store and he comes out nice and buzzed.

But the thing is, I’ve never had a real need for an Apple product. I’m not a super music person, so the iPods are a touch lost on me. My laptops have always been PC because some of the more rudimentary real estate websites only function correctly on Internet Explorer. I have a Blackberry and not an iPhone. So I’ve never gotten involved in the Apple culture at all. I don’t totally get it. I always forget to lowercase the i and uppercase the second letter. I’m constantly confusing the terminology:

Can you look that movie time up on your Ipod?

You mean my iPhone?

Whatever. The thing that has the internet and plays the music and that never leaves your hand.

I also don’t get Starbucks. I don’t understand why it’s acceptable for them to make up random names for sizes that already have standard names. Would it be ok for me to open my own clothing shop and restructure the sizes as such:

Size 0 – Size Please Eat a Cheeseburger

Size 2 – Size We All Hate You

Size 4 – Size Hot Mama

Size 6 – Size Sexy Lady

Size 8 – Size Gorgeous

Size 10 – Size That Guy Just Totally Checked You Out

Size 12 – Size Damn I Wish I Looked Like You

Size 14 – Size Looking Fine

Size 16 – Size Stunning

And so forth. How is that more ridiculous than ‘tall’ meaning small?

When I do have to go into a Starbucks to get coffee for other people (very infrequently), I refuse to use their conventions. I just order ‘medium’ or ‘large’. And guess what? The check out girl always knows what I’m talking about. Because they’re standard terms; not made up coffee-speak.

But I digress.

Jason bought me an iPad for my birthday this week. It was insanely sweet of him. It’s the first Apple product I’ve really kind of wanted. All of my real estate friends have one and have been filling my head with the amazing ways it can be used in my profession. I have a weakness for peer-pressure. Plus he got me a gorgeous red leather cover for it. I’m a sucker for red and pretty.

*300 words of boring explanation of why I’m trying to exchange the stupid thing omitted here. I read it back almost clicked away from my own post, it was that boring.*

This morning I set out, for the third time, to attempt to exchange my iPad model at the San Tan Apple Store. Jonas and I showed up at the door at 9:55 AM and were greeted by a blond Apple second level cult leader channeling David Spade’s receptionist on SNL.

“Can I help you?” he asked, blocking the entrance with his hipster Toms and rolled jeans. I could see about 15 people inside the store behind him, milling around and being helped by other Level 2s.

“Um, well, I’m looking to exchange my Ipad…” I started. He raised and eyebrow and tipped his head. It was like he could hear in my voice that I’d forgotten to lowercase the ‘i’, and heartily disapproved. The look on his face said, And you are…?

“Well we actually don’t open until 10, so if you could just wait out here for five more minutes that would be great,” his voice dripped with condescension. I leaned to the side and looked around him at the lady wheeling a stroller around the store in confusion. He stared back at me, unapologetic. I started to explain that I’d been there the day before at 20 till 10 and had been told I could come in, they just couldn’t ring me up until 10AM, but it didn’t seem worth the fight. I nodded and stepped away from the door. It was only five minutes. Not a big deal. Maybe the people inside were in a special Apple club or something. Maybe they’d changed the rule yesterday.

As I waited down the time for the store to open, 10 or so other people showed up behind me. The first few said things like, ‘Why can’t we go in? There’s all those people already in there…” to me. I just shrugged and pointed to the Apple nazi still standing at the glass door just watching us pile up outside. A guy in a purple shirt showed up several minutes after me and played with his phone in an uninterested manner while we waited.

Finally the clock rolled to 10AM and the Apple receptionist unlocked the doors and allowed us to come flooding in. Unfortunately, because of the ‘evolved’ checkout system of the Apple Store, which involves a bunch of employees milling around with their own personal iPhones transformed into card scanners, there wasn’t anywhere for the hoards of shoppers to line up to be helped. We all just moved to the back of the store and kind of stood there in a clump, waiting to be acknowledged in any way.

The receptionist guy had followed us all in and walked to the back of the store as well. Without making eye contact with me, he stepped over to the disinterested looking guy in the purple shirt who was playing with his phone and said, “Can I help you, sir?”

This was when my blood began to boil. It was also when I realized the laid-back checkout system was really a way for the Apple employees to pick and choose who was cool enough to get helped first. Dude who couldn’t care less and was hyper involved with his own technology VS. mom in jean shorts who really wants to be helped but can’t remember the difference between 3G and wifi, is clearly no contest. I lost big time.

Honestly, it probably didn’t help my case that I whispered to the guy next to me (who was also getting the cold shoulder) that the only guy who worked there hates me and Jonas heard and loudly asked me several times, “Who hates you? Which guy?”

The David Spade impersonator went on to studiously avoid my eye contact while he helped two more people near me who came in after I did before another employee freed up and I was able to wave him down (in an enthusiastic, super unhip manner). I think he just wanted me out of there; I was harshing the chill vibe.

I left the store fuming and vowed never to set foot in there again. I’m rethinking this, though. I think there’s money to be made if I can create my own credit card reader to fit on Jason’s iPhone. Then I just need a white lanyardish name tag, a blue Apple tshirt, hipster jeans, carefully messy hair and an unaffected 30 yard stare and I can pretend to be an employee and ‘check people out’ to my own personal bank account while milling around the store. I’ll only pick the super cool people too.


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