It was a Wednesday afternoon when I took to the mall, determined to complete my Christmas shopping for the year once and for all. No way was I going to another retail hell this year. This was the final trip – even if it meant getting gifts that the recipients wouldn’t even want (you can return in the new year yourself).
The main mission was getting my sister one of the things she asked for – a new charger for her iPhone. Seemed simple enough. There’s an entire store dedicated to that shit. It’s called the Apple Store. But, here’s the thing; I’ve never once had a positive experience at an Apple Store – any of them at any time of year.
My gripes overall? To start, the employees, who are just sales clerk getting paid (maybe) slightly above minimum wage (but probably not) are some of, if not the most, arrogant sales people I’ve ever come across. I can’t tell if they’ve been brainwashed into thinking or if they genuinely already believed that Steve Jobs is Jesus Christ. To these overly chipper robots, Apple is life. Apple is the messiah. Apple is the ultimate. It’s just unnerving for someone like me to even be there.
God forbid you don’t have an iPhone either. Explain that to one of their employees (if you find one) and you can see their eyes twitch as they question in their heads how people could get through life without owning the all powerful iPhone. This is what the reaction usually looks like:
To boot, there are at least ten employees in there, at any given time, walking the floor to assist customers. But they don’t.
Also, there is the “Genius Bar”. Arrogantly named, my one and only experience with them is when I had an iPhone years ago. I cracked the screen and needed help. I walked into the store and waited in line for assistance. When it was finally my turn to talk to someone, I was told that all I needed to do was go online and make an appointment. That’s ALL I had to do? When I tried to talk common sense, explaining that I was already there, in the store, in the flesh, and that my request for a phone replacement was simple, I was met with a blank gaze and told again to make an appointment. I had to make my own appointment to give them my money. That was when I walked out of the store, went a few shops over, and bought a Samsung Galaxy.
My track record of walking out of the Apple Store disgruntled continued on this Wednesday.
First, I walked in and was already aggravated by the sheer number of people. No employee even looked at me. So, I had to wind through people like traffic cones and find the product I needed myself. I had to take it upon myself to find the right product by reading all the packaging when someone should have been around to easily point me in the right direction. Regardless, I found what I needed. But, then what? The Apple Store doesn’t have the standard layout of a ‘normal’ retail store. No, no – they have to be different. They have to be original. By this I mean that there are no check-out lines. No cash registers. You have to find an employee, who have no set location, in order to check out your purchase – where they proceed to show off with how cool it is that they can cash you out from anywhere in the store using only their iPhone.
So, I wait in line. Finally, I get up to the employee, but he’s not doing cash outs. He tells me to go over to Michelle and she’ll help me out. That’s great – just one problem: who the fuck is Michelle?
So, now I’m in another line. A long one. This Michelle girl is literally the only one cashing customers out. All I wanted was this phone charger and I’ve already been in this store far too long at this point. That’s when Michelle announces that if people didn’t want to wait in line, all they had to do was go to the app store on their phone, download some Apple Store app, and you could make your purchase in the store via the app using your credit card. Again, that’s ALL we have to do?
This is where my attitude came out, as I asked, generally, why she even has a job? This store is telling me that I have to go there myself, find the product myself, read the packaging myself, download an app myself, and check myself out, and then the employee gets paid for their time spent in the store being utterly useless.
Of course, I don’t have an iPhone, therefore I don’t have access to the Apple app world even if I wanted to do all the work myself.
The moral of this rant is that I threw the charger on the closest table and walked out immediately after this exchange of useless information. I went to Wal-Mart, had an associate bring the charger to me and I was in and out of the store in 45 seconds.