I Know I’ve Been Changed: My First Visit to the Apple Store

“The power of Apple compels you…”

“The power of Apple compels you…”

“The power of Steve Jobs himself compels you…”

-taken from some random guy on Mac Rumor Forums

I feel like such a whore. I’m sitting here as happy as if it’s payday. Why? Because  have my iPhone back, fully functionally and upgraded. I have officially been pimped and converted by Apple. After four days of an on again, off again screen, I had no choice but to break down and call Apple, which in turn, resulted in my actually having to visit the retail store. That was the last thing I wanted to do, by the way.

Why didn’t even anyone tell me I was so privileged? Why didn’t anyone get to the Apple store sooner? I can’t believe I’ve been missing out the experience for so long. *Slow blink*

I visited the Apple Store for the first time this weekend. Yes, after more than a year of owning an iPhone, I finally took a walk on the wild side. Let me address a few things before you judge me (I’m probably too late):

1. I’m not a techie. I could care less about the latest gadgets, apps and the like.

2. I’m still afraid of the Apple machine, even though I own a product. I don’t understand the culture.

3. I’m drama-free, or atleast I try to be. I cross my fingers that close to nothing goes wrong with my electronics, therefore, keeping me from visiting places like the Taj Mahal Apple retail store.

Now, on with the story. It’s not much of a story, as much as it was an experience. I arrived about 20 minutes early for my appointment. I took one look inside and decided to go window-shopping in the other boutiques first because it looked something like this on the inside:

Yeah, I’ll wait.

You should have seen them on the inside. It reminded me of the cliché scene of a high school 80s movie where all of the cool kids gathered outside for lunch in the beautiful weather, while all of the outcasts sat inside or in a small circle far off. Apple customers are the cool kids, or atleast they act as if they are. Everyone, associates included, was smiling, loving, living…in all things Apple. It was some freaky ish. Even my eyes lit up when I saw that brightly lit ’27-inch monitor. A piece of my heart left me as I ran my hand across an iPad to expand an iBook. I had to snap out of it. I refused to be sucked in by Apple like everyone else in there.

Finally, I went inside only to find out after about 15 minutes of walking around in awe and fooling with the iMac that I was supposed to check in first for the Genius Bar. Again, let me say that the most I do with my phone is sync (which I didn’t do until six months later), tweet, email and make phone calls. Occasionally, I’ll get beside myself and take a picture or two. The Genius Bar is a really cute concept, but rather than have someone fix my phone, I wanted to order a cocktail because my nerves were bad.

Between random people running up to the bar for floor help to sitting next to the kiddie kiosk where Dora the Explorer was yelling “Weeeeeee!!!!” every five seconds, I wished I could order a double on the rocks. Anyway, according to on again, off again phone, I’d only been waiting for 15 minutes. Lies, I tell you. I approached bar and asked how long would it be because I had a 4:15 p.m. appointment, as if that meant something.

“Yeeeah, we’re just a little backed up, but just hang out around the bar, and we’ll get to you ASAP.”  There’s that catch phrase again: hang out. Steve Jobs, you arrogant dude you, you think your customers are so addicted to Apple products that “hanging out” amongst the notebooks, laptops and iPods would suffice? I admire your guts, but not me. Fix my phone now.

Long story, short, John, my associate, was helpful. After I told him I didn’t know my serial number, password or whatever, he got my drift. He didn’t have to, but he offered an upgrade since my warranty was extended. Besides him constantly referring to iPhones as “this guy,” he was absolutely great. He definitely earned his blue logo tee. They were out of phones, so I had to make another appointment to pick one up. That was this evening. I was in and out in less than 20 minutes with no waiting, no issues and no Dora adlibs. I even contemplated for a few eventually buying an iMac. Dammit, Steve, I think you got me!

Mr. Jobs, you have created a monster. I get it now. Customer service rules. Get well, and get money. Now, let me get back to adding apps to my new, fresh-out-the-box phone.