A Visit to the Apple Store
So this afternoon I was wanting some fast food, which I normally don’t like or crave, but I really wanted a Philly Cheesesteak and didn’t feel like traveling or paying more than $10 for it in time and travel from a fancy pub or place. So, I went over to the Willowbrook Mall. The free samples at the food court always tasted delicious, so maybe it was a good idea to make a mistake on a monday after a holiday. Honestly, no regrets, the fries with bacon and cheddar were far better than the sandwich, but my only regret was paying $9 for a fast food combo of sub, fries, and drink. It was not authentic, but it hit the spot.
Now, back on to the real reason I had to go to the mall. To get an iPhone. I have one, but I wanted one for my girlfriend’s birthday. The people in the front of the store are like concierge, and I can appreciate that. So the one young lady asked me to go over to the iPhones and tap on the iPad to summon a iPhone expert. So I did. Then I waited and the young Apple person came over to me and told me I have to tap on the iPad to get service, I told her, I did, and pointed. She said ok. Then I laughed to myself and said, let it go, they are trying a new way of streamlining and serving more customers by helping them to help themselves. No problem. Apple have always been innovative, so I am not going to question why I need to tap on anything and wait to get an simple question answered. So, 5 mins go by, and I drift not more than 5′ to another part of the store out of boredom to look at different items while waiting for a “specialist” the lady again comes over to me and says I have to stand and wait there, otherwise once I leave the area they will not think I am there. I laughed and said ok, rather than make a rash comment. So I am thinking… wow, am I at the Division of Motor Vehicles? I am told where to stand and wait and when? I shook my head and said, ok, now this is silly. Do they have me GPS’d or on camera, or did they detect me by my iPhone that they know I am not standing where I should be? To my relief, my go to guy got off lunch just then and I knew him instantly from his red hair and fully tattooed left arm. I waved to him, he smiled at me, he had another customer, and maybe he didn’t recognize me, but I recognized him and he knew I was there to spend money. So once he took care of his customer, he answered my simple question and I got my white iPhone4 and I was out of there in less time than what it would have taken me to go through “the system”. I have no problem with Apple, known for the extraordinary customer care trying to innovate on that, but if they are going in the direction of “sign in, stand here, stand there, wait, then stand over there”, I am thinking, yea, no, that doesn’t really work for the Government run Motor Vehicle Services, not because its slow, but because its so militant, and I am not sure its going to work for Apple who want to come across as “connected” to its people. No judgements here, just an observation. And, I hope Apple is not taking the wrong direction in the absence of Steve Jobs. If anyone needed to be cloned, it was him. He is not immortal, but he was like Elvis, Sinatra, or one of the Beatles, though they live on, somehow, you really wanted them still around to keep touring to keep the music alive. Let’s hope the vision has not died with his passing, and let’s hope the products and service continue to be something we look forward to in real time, and not an idea or ideal of something processed in the past.