The Blind Leading The Blind (or what not to do in the Apple Store)

I am writing this blog on a lovely shiny new Apple Macbook Air which I purchased in a fit of excess last week. Now, bearing in mind that I am possibly the least computer literate and tech savvy person in the bloggersphere do not worry, I am not going to make this a blog about the pros and cons of laptops vs tablets, RAM vs Cloud Based Storage or POP Servers vs IP addresses. In fact, I have really only just about mastered email (you just have to be on email these days*) so a tech blog is still way beyond me.

No, this blog is all about something which has over the last few years become a semi-regular occurrence for me… a case of mistaken identity. As regular readers of Tireddaddy.co.uk will know, previous evidence has suggested that I may have rather a generic face (see my earlier post regarding an incident at Kings Cross Station where a man took a selfie with me believing me to be an Irish comic actor who is a good 12 inches taller than me – https://tireddaddyuk.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/a-curious-case-of-mistaken-identity/). It would however also seem that I have a generic dress sense, as proven by the tale I am about to tell.


It all begins with me walking into the Apple Store one late July lunchtime.

Having gone straight from the office, I have around my neck a lanyard with my work pass on it. I am wearing dark blue jeans, and a blue shirt… nothing particularly out of the ordinary…

I have a quick walk around the store, feeling that familiar sense of intimidation and trepidation when confronted with the shiny and oh so casual modern retail environment. I try to get my bearings amongst the sea of hipsters, weirdos and clearly lost tourists (this is Covent Garden after all).  I start by fiddling with an iPad, then move on to paw at an iPhone for a few minutes before attempting to get excited by an apple watch… all the time homing in on the product of my choice… a very snazzy looking Macbook Air.

As I reach the computer in question, I look around me to see if there is an Apple-helper elf (or whatever they call them) to give me some advice and assistance, and as I do as if by magic a friendly looking young chap with a blue polo shirt catches my eye, and walks over to me. He every bit the typical Apple store type, that unique combination of hipster, computer geek and uber-trendy nerd that they seem to clone over at Apple HQ… The sort of guy you know is a fan of bands like The National and drinks Flat Whites out of jam jars on the weekend…

“Hi” he says…

“Hi” I reply…

“Hi”, he repeats…

“Erm… Hello?” I stutter… fearing this could go on for some time…

“So, the Macbook Air…” he exclaims, somewhat distractedly with a half-hearted gesture towards the computer as if swatting away a particularly lazy mosquito…

I pause… I guess he is just one of those cool Apple types, I think… all vague hipster sales pitch and vacant 100 yard stare…

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“Yes, lovely looking machine” I reply… trying to sound like I know what I am talking about, but becoming increasingly self conscious of the fact that I am shuffing awkwardly as I always do when under cross examination in a retail environment

“Yes” he replies “It looks really portable, would be great for commuting”

Ah ha!… I think… here we go, now he starts his sales pitch…

Trying with all my might to sound engaged and informed, I reply by asserting confidently,

“Yes, it certainly would be. It has 2 USB inputs too doesn’t it! Handy on such a small computer”.

‘Yes, it does…” he replies, becoming moderately more animated, clearly impressed by my extensive technical knowledge.

“So… tell me why else you like it” he follows up with…

“erm…” I reply, hesitating, slightly confused by his line of questioning. This man has clearly been on some zeitgeisty Californian non-aggressive sales training course I think…

…So, anyway, the conversation goes on in this ilk for the next 5 or 6 minutes… Me complimenting something vague about the computer, and him nodding and then adding something he likes…

And then it dawned on me what was going on…

This man is not a sales assistant … he is a customer, and he thinks that I am trying to sell him a computer. We have spent the last 10 minutes or so discussing the pros and cons of a computer with each other, both thinking the other is doing a slightly bizarre but strangely effective sales pitch on the other… and the funny thing is, we are now both even more convinced that this is the computer for us than when we walked in.

The big question now though, is how do I get out of this situation… At some point this man is going to ask me something I can’t answer, or worse still say he wants to buy the computer off me… How do I extricate myself from what could become an excruciatingly awkward end to the conversation…

apple-t-shirtWith the full realisation of the situation now pressing down on me, and my innate British awkwardness beginning to rear its head, I take the only action I can think of…

Cutting him off mid flow I take my phone from my pocket, apologise and say, “I am so sorry, I have to take this, trouble in the stock room”, and put my phone to my ear and as quickly as I possibly can, I walk/jog straight out of the door…

I know what I did was probably wrong, cowardly and rude. Leaving this poor chap confused and alone in the Apple store with no one to discuss RAM with… but in my panic I could not see another way out…

Now, a week or so later, I have to admit I do feel a bit bad. Somewhere there is a man complaining about the terrible service he received in the Apple store, and since then I have not gone back into that shop I bought my laptop from Currys in the end!). So, this is my apology to the man in the apple store, and to Apple in general for creating an unintentional blot on your usually impeccable customer service copy book.

And the moral of the story… Don’t wear a blue shirt if you are considering going to the Apple Store!

 

*for those eagle eyed/eared amongst you, you may have spotted that this is a reference to a running joke on the fantastic Elis James and John Robins Radio X podcast. If you are not familiar with this, check it out on iTunes as it is currently my number 1 go to listen (and something I will be writing a blog about in the coming weeks).

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