Darryl at the Apple Store Saved my Gizzard

My iPhone has been in a bad mood lately and it’s taking it out on me.

The iPhone doesn’t respond to my finger prompts on a consistent basis. When I am on an important call and try to merge another important party on the call, no amount of finger tapping will merge the calls.

When I am on an important call and must check my calendar to see if I can commit to a proposed date and time for a meeting, no amount of finger tapping will let me go back to the calendar.

When I have an important issue or article that I need to copy and paste, there is no way the phone will allow it if ‘it’ happens to be critical or important. It knows what it’s doing because the failed tappings NEVER happen on casual, or unimportant calls.

This is literally what it feels like:

In an attempt to cure the problem, I ventured into the Apple store last week, a daring undertaking to say the least, especially for a 67-year-old.   It is a Thursday and the store is packed, as usual, to the gills. Finally, I am engaged by a young man wearing the prerequisite toboggan, which I don’t understand.  It’s 87 degrees in the store because there are 900 people packed into 1,500 square feet.

The young man is taken by my lack of iPhone skills, but nonetheless helpful. After determining that my non-responsive iPhone (only non-responsive at selected times—-and YOU know what I mean) may require the care of a ‘genius’,  the toboggan man sorts through the availability of the resident ‘geniuses’.   It turns out that the earliest available appointment is on Saturday (2 days later) at 2:30.  Realizing my previous failings at trying to schedule an appointment online, in my desperation, I accept the delayed rendezvous.  I begin to fantasize about an operable iPhone that will do the things I need it to do so desperately.

On Saturday, I enter the Apple store with near terror.  The store is packed, even more so than it was on Thursday.  There are more toboggans than there were on Thursday. There are customers waiting all over the store and the line for genius appointments extends past the front door.  Once engaged by a toboggan, they are dispatched to a specific area in the store, told to wait right at that exact point for another toboggan. There are mad old people like me waiting in designated areas, unable to walk to other areas of the store given the risk of losing their place in line.  My appointment is at 2:30. It is now 2:45 and people who came in after me are getting tobogganed before me!  Just like people that came in a restaurant, after you, getting served first.

The store is fractionally close to riot. Then, my first toboggan dispatches me to yet another area, a table with chairs, and says “wait here until someone moves, and you can have their seat. This is the waiting area for genius appointments that have checked in.  You are first on the list.”  The tension seems to ease a little.

Then, I am addressed by a non-tobogganed young lady with a million-dollar smile, named Darryl.  Her smile is unique to the entire store, which is bubbling with rioters.  Darryl hears my complaints, reviews the noted issues on her tablet, and takes possession of my phone.  I am worried that some thingamajig will get moved and all my passwords and photos and notes and stuff will get confused and must be, God forbid, reloaded.

But, alas, Darryl is just what the doctor, or the phone, ordered. She connects the phone to something and puts it through a ‘touch test’ to see if there is a correctable problem. Then she informs me of the good news!  The phone flunked the test because the screen does not touch the icons properly!  It can be fixed!  It is now 3:20 and Darryl informs me that the next ‘fix it’ appointment available is 7:30, but she also informs me that the best tact is to bring the phone in on Monday as soon as I can to the store opening which is exactly what I am going to do; and,  Darryl even got the piece I needed reserved and placed back in the repair area.

  • Appointments

  • Packed store with insane people

  • Geniuses

  • Toboggans

  • Delayed appointments

  • Failed online attempts

  • Impossible connection to store by phone

None of it could stand up to Darryl. Once again—–personal, courteous, caring customer service wins the day. Even against a GIANT orchard!

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