I have no strong feelings about technology. I’m a basic white suburban lady who plays Words With Friends and attempts to be crunchy on Pinterest. I have an iPhone 6S but prefer to use Google myself than ask Siri. (She’s wrong way too often for my liking.) I like Apple products in general because they’re incredibly intuitive in their design and easy to use, but I have no need for the Apple Watch or the homepod or anything.
I’ve long suspected that with each new software upgrade Apple is nudging customers to buy the latest phone, and late last year, I found out it was true. The company was offering a discounted battery replacement program, so I read this article and like a good do-bee, I followed the directions:
1. Download the Apple Support app.
2. Schedule a phone call with Apple corporate.
3. Talk with a lovely woman in Houston who ordered the battery for me to be shipped to my local Apple store.
4. Wait for the store to call me to confirm the part was in and set up an appointment. (For me, it was six weeks. I was uncharacteristically patient about it because I don’t use my phone for work. I can see why people would be frustrated with such a long wait.)
5. Get battery replaced.
My appointment was yesterday and I should preface this by saying I don’t go to the Apple store that much; I’ve been there once in maybe six years. But I got a headache from being in the store for maybe 10 minutes total. It was a combination of being overstimulated–bright lighting; many, many products available to test and play; numerous customers and employees despite it being early afternoon on a weekday–and feeling as though Apple could be a bit of a cult.
Lots of stores have greeters. But the first person to come up to me in the store had a device in her hand and I felt she was about to read my theta signals. I was there 10 minutes early for my appointment and she said (in a very friendly manner) she couldn’t “sit” me until 5 minutes before. I left the store, wandered into a Bath and Body Works, and tried to figure out if I could make a foaming soap all by myself.
I returned, got checked in (my theta readings must have been normal), and was told to sit on a specific stool at a particular table. Another employee swooped in with another device and after I gave him my phone, he told me to check in with “his guys or his gal.”
There were roughly 20 Apple employees in the store at the time. They were all wearing Apple long-sleeved tees. He pointed them out but when I returned an hour later (only three minutes early, #lessonlearned) none of them were there. I went to the original Theta Lady and my phone wasn’t showing up yet as ready for pickup. Theta was concerned and radioed to the back of the shop and informed me my phone was in “post” phase and would be out shortly.
I hung out and did some people-watching (the majority of the male employees had untamed beards and I spent some time thinking about that: were they Apple playoff beards?) and another employee asked me if I was OK, then Theta encouraged me to play with the products on display. (To give Theta credit, she said she’d check periodically if my phone was ready and even though she examined the levels of at least three other people while I was waiting she told me immediately when it was done. Theta DID NOT MESS AROUND.) Yet another employee with a bushy beard came out with my phone, and my headache and I checked out. (I thanked Theta as I was leaving.)
I had an overall good experience, and I really can’t put my finger on what makes me so uneasy about the whole visit. Everyone was kind, knowledgeable, pleasant. No one in the store, even customers, were upset or unhappy, especially in regard to the whole battery fiasco. Maybe it was because everyone–customers and employees alike–seemed to be interacting more with technology than with each other. I know that’s the whole point of visiting an Apple store, but it still made me feel a little empty nonetheless.