One bad Apple moment

So, I came home last night and booted my computer. I had three requests for submissions – journals wanting me to submit work to be considered. No guarantees, but still, it was an awesome feeling. Thank you Emily, and the Little Seal Blog.

I open files, begin sorting, thinking, processi…hey wait! the little green light on my power supply isn’t shining green, or orange (meaning not fully charged)! I look at the battery indicator in the upper right corner of my screen: (Not Charging). What the hell does that mean?

Not charging? I unplug the power. The screen dims slightly. Okay, so the electricity is working, it just isn’t charging the battery? I plug it back in and pull the battery. Power off.

That didn’t go well. Ok, so having been dropped into my coffee cup may not have helped it. But I had let it dry out completely—and it was working, I had a little green light when I first plugged it in!

Replace battery, power on. Repeat, this time jiggling the power supply. Same result.

Panic sets in. I have 2.34 hrs of power—and three essays to pull together. And a cell phone and iPad to charge. I picked up the phone to call Apple. I mumbled a lot. I probably sounded Irish, you know, when it doubt, cuss. I got the first (and probably only) bad customer service rep at Apple, Sabrina. I didn’t cuss at her, I promise. She sounded like a valley girl and couldn’t talk to me for less than $49.99. Fine. Make me an appointment at the Genius Bar (where they are not just geniuses, but probably gods).

Sabrina asked for my serial number. I gave it to her, had her repeat it back, then gave it again, because she had it wrong. She insisted I was someone named Marien. With an e. I gave up, and took the 6:15 appointment. I had email confirmation. Poor Marien, now has my email address listed in her apple account. I hope the call was recorded for training. Sabrina, Mr. Jobs, needs some more training.

The Apple store is 43 miles from my house. Time: 5:09. Awesome.

Jamie met me “in town” – by which I mean, beyond the borders of Powhatan into the more suburban environs of Midlothian. She was just getting off work. And we trekked across the river to visit the Geniuses.

I was anxious.

We waited. Got the name thing figured out. And then talked to Zack, the nice young Genius. He was multi-tasking. There was the woman working on her dissertation, keyboard failure. Another woman’s iPad was turned all the way up, and the volume button stopped working. A college-age boy’s MacBook’s camera died, $320 repair. He should just go to Best Buy and get a webcam.  Zack plugged everyone in to do diagnostics. I wasn’t worried about my Pro’s ability to pass this test. I have recently replaced the hard-drive and motherboard. This was a simple power issue.

We were there long enough that I can tell you a little about Zack. He wants to move to California. He’s applied to transfer to Apple stores out there, but hasn’t heard back from them yet. He’s anxious.  The young woman doing her dissertation and I looked at him like, really? Zack, you don’t know the meaning of anxious. Zack’s dad’s name is Clyde and he bought him his first Mac over a decade ago…

I decided that someone should talk to the Manager about the store layout. It is uncool to have children’s computers, with the amazingly loud, clear, speakers blaring Dora and Diego, immediately behind the Genius, where stressed out adults sit concerned their digital reality is imploding. Just a suggestion. It wouldn’t have been a good place for, say, a postal worker with a dead Mac.

My computer passed the diagnostic. Power cord is dead. I nodded and didn’t mention coffee. I was prepared for the $100 for the power cord. Sad, but prepared. And then Zack, the Genius-god did what only a Genius-god can. He said, “Well, we just trade these out, no charge.”

No charge?

Yes, ma’am, no charge.

I looked at the college-age boy, and then thanked Zack profusely. He kept the dead power supply and I went happily on my way.

Yes, Macs are outrageously expensive. Yes, there is less software for them. But man-oh-man their customer service rocks (well, except Sabrina). Try getting a free anything for a PC! I am happily at home writing this morning.

Thank you Zack.

Word count: 751

Post Script: words underlined in blue submit, and prepared. I don’t think there is very far to go in the dumbing down of America.