so…the past few days at work have been quite interesting…….
first of all, let me rewind a little bit. back in june, the apple store had relocated into a bigger space in the mall where i work. their previous spot was significantly smaller. it was a narrow but deep space…and when i say “narrow” i mean “i’m never stepping foot in there because i will get claustrophobic.” i don’t frequently pop into an apple store like the regular apple customer (or really any customer) does. in fact, i can list every single time i have walked into an apple store: when i bought my first apple product, which was my macbook, when i bought an ex boyfriend an iPod for his birthday, when i asked, “what do i do if i might have put my iPad on top of my car and got on the freeway?” for a friend, and when i bought my iPad. i have been in an apple store 4 times in my life-and all at another location. i am an android, by the way-just to let y’all know…but i do love my iPad. oh, i love my iPad.
so, moving along…
this “apple is moving into a bigger space”- it was the talk of the town. the big news. the big deal. the big everything. it had been talked about since the beginning of the year. is it true? is it a lie? please be true. oh, how our lives were going to change forever because it was going to be right across from us, customers told us. our business was predicted to skyrocket and soar once apple’s squeaky clean and windexed sliding glass doors open. yada, yada, yada. how happy the apple-loving customers were. to be able to shop in a space about 4 times the previous store’s size (at least that’s what it looks like)! more room to breath, more walking space, more hired associates to help, more inventory available. boy, were those tech-loving customers stoked about apple moving into this big space across from us. we heard all about it-from those who actually believed the rumors.
my thoughts during the half-year process: “hm, i bet it’s going to look all sleek and cool…but i bet it’s not going to make a difference in our business…and i get to stare at cute, techy apple boys all day!”
come on, who doesn’t think nerdy apple boys are cute?
so june happened.
and the new apple store was introduced.
and we were about to see what we were in for with our new neighbors.
i loved the look of the store. it’s bright. it’s clean. it’s sleek. just like i had envisioned. cute apple boys in blue shirts, check. *insert high school giggle and hair twirl* oh, it was fun.
for about a good week.
and then, over the course of a few months, it turned into this:
“hi, how are you tod-“
“I’M JUST LOOKING. i have to wait another freaking hour for my appointment at apple! *grOwls*”
*frustrated teenage customer*
“do you guys have cute iPhone cases? because apple doesn’t have any!“
*our daily question of the day*
“do you know where the apple store is?”
“where is the damn apple store in this mall!?”
“how do i get to the apple store from here?”
“is the apple store on the first floor or the second floor?”
*on a weekend, the daily customer who glares at the busy apple store across the hall from our store*
“*disgusted*…look at all those people in apple…how pathetic they are…all crammed in that store as if their lives depended on a new phone…”
*customers in our store during a product launch day when there’s a 200-person line outside of apple*
“ugh! i can’t BELIEVE they would stand in line for a *insert latest product*!!!! i mean, don’t they HAVE A LIFE!?!?” *looking at me with angry eyes as if i know the answer to that question*
*in regards to iPhone cases that we sell in our store*
“what’s the difference between a 4/4s and a 5?”
*insert my blank stare*
“i’m an android. i wouldn’t know.”
*insert angry look directed towards me in return for my answer*
“it’s going to cost $15 to wrap this!?!?”
my thought in response: “yes, sir, it’s going to cost $15 to wrap the $2,000 laptop you just bought your daughter for her 10th birthday.”
anyways, you get the point.
*insert big sigh*
but that was nothing compared to what i got to experience these past few days.
*cue in horror movie soundtrack music in 50 million decibels*
as many of you don’t know, dallas underwent an ice storm. “icemageddon” is what i call it. it is the third ice storm that i can recall in the 11 years that i have lived here. dallas weather is very unpredictable-we don’t believe a word our weather man says. but he was right this time-dallas was going to ice over, and it did. now let me tell you about an ice storm in dallas. first of all, dallas drivers don’t even know how to drive in the rain. so when you throw in hail or snow, all hell breaks loose. and we had ice. texas doesn’t do ice. we don’t have salt trucks ready to salt the roads and we don’t have fancy winter tires like they do in alaska to drive on ice or snow. we just slide and scream and end up on the side of the road if we are not careful. we have 13 car pileups on a summer day. so an ice storm is a huge deal. a huge deal. we sure do have enough ambulance and fire trucks to accommodate it.
i woke up on friday morning, saw nothing but white outside. i usually wake up early enough to get ready for work and go, but i woke up much earlier because i was recovering from a cold and i wanted to make sure i was properly drugged up with medicine to be able to function at work, as i couldn’t miss another day. i decided to check on my car and it’s a good thing i did.
i called security to see if the mall was open.
“why, yes, of course! the mall is opening at normal hours.”
while i spent 2 1/2 hours getting half the ice scraped off my car, one of my friends was texting me about how she had been out of power since the middle of the night. omg. no power in 30 degree weather. and then everyone started texting me:
“i don’t have to go to work today!”
“are you off today?”
“how are you feeling?”
“don’t go to work today! it’s not safe!”
oh, i wish i could just say, “hey, the roads don’t look good, boss. i think i’ll stay in.” some of us don’t work that way. i did what i could with my car and headed to work.
holy batman, i can’t believe i drove 11 miles on ice!
pure ice. sliding all over the place. from my driveway to the mall entrance, it was like car skating around dallas. how is the mall open in this weather!? and during my commute to work, a HUGE chunk of ice fell off of one of the highway signs and landed right in front of a cluster of cars driving in front of me. OMG!!!!!!!! what!?!? it could have possibly been a scene out of a final destination movie if it wasn’t easily (nothing was “easy” about driving on a highway of ice, really) dodged!
but i made it to work.
and guess who didn’t have to go to show up that day:
pitch black and deserted: apple.
open mall + closed apple store = this blog post
i had heard from my apple friends that they were closed for the day, so i knew it before i got to work. but seeing it was a whole different thing. it was like seeing what your day was going to look like-i mean, who would these apple customers yell at if there is not a single apple associate around?
you see that gift wrap station in front of apple? that’s mine.
so i was the primary target. why go to concierge down the hall when there is a human working in the hallway 15 feet away from the apple store? and the customers didn’t waste any time. and i tried answering to the best of my knowledge.
“why is the apple store closed?” it must be because of the inclement weather outside. which, by the way, was a totally unacceptable answer to them.
“can you call and figure out which apple location is open right now?” according to the 800 number, it says that all apple stores are closed for the day.
“can you see when the knox location is open?” the 800 number says the knox location will be closed for the next 4 days (it really did, as much as i didn’t believe that an apple store would be closed for 4 straight days…).
“why is the apple store closed?” i don’t know ma’am, i don’t work there.
“how am i supposed to pick up my order?” i don’t know, sir. call their 800 number, they might help you.
“what makes them think they can close when the mall is open!?” sir, a store’s closing or opening is at their discretion during inclement weather.
“i just need something to open their doors…” a hammer to the glass might be able to open their doors, but i wouldn’t suggest it, ma’am.
“why is the apple store closed?” i’m not sure, sir. maybe concierge knows the answer.
i really could go on with all the apple customers i had to deal with while i was working at MY store. it was quite stressful. in fact, it was quite irritating, to be honest. first of all, i didn’t need to help them. but i did, because that’s what i do. second of all, i didn’t deserve the hostile attitudes and never-ending questions. i don’t work for apple, and i am not affiliated with the company. third of all, i had to deal with them throughout the whole day while i was slowly having a bad day at work myself. it was just a hot mess. so i vented about it on Facebook.
i am not a negative person, but i really did have a bad day. that was probably the most negative post i have shared on my Facebook, but i just had to vent. and for those of you who don’t know, town east mall is what a lot of people call a “ghetto mall” so the last line was meant to be a funny joke.
throughout the day, i was texting my apple friends while they were home taking a day off from work, venting to them about their customers. they felt bad. but it wasn’t their fault. kudos to a company who values the safety of their associates and WILL prove that closing a few times a year will not hurt their business. i mean, it’s apple. does anything ever hurt their business? come on, now.
so i thought that friday was going to be the only day that apple was closed….until my friends told me that they were closed when i woke up on saturday morning.
“nooooo! please don’t do this to me!” i texted them. they felt bad, once again. it’s not their fault. kudos, once again, to a company who values the safety of their associates because the roads weren’t any better. in fact, on friday evening, the temperature dropped to 22 degrees. nothing had melted.
so here we go with ROUND 2 of Apple iClosed.
i already knew it was going to be an equally bad or worse day in regards to dealing with apple customers because this time, the apple was lit up in the front of the store and the graphics in the store were also turned on…which gave me the impression that the store would open later on in the day even though i knew it was closed for the next 24 hours.
the very first customer i had at work was a gentleman who snapped at me because apple was closed.
“who do they think they are!? what are they thinking being closed for 2 days!”
well, sir, to my understanding, quite a bit of associates live a distance away. and to my understanding, i think it would take over 100 associates rounded up to open the store. and to my understanding, the weather is a very serious situation for a company that huge to shut down for 2 days…
*GROWLS AT ME WITH MENACING EYES* “well, they need to get their S### together!” *cusses his way out*
please make that the only customer i have to deal with today. please make that the only customer i have to deal with today. please make that the only customer i have to deal with today.
“nordstrom doesn’t have power.”
“customers in nordstrom are shopping with flashlights.”
“is nordstrom closed? because their doors are open….”
yes, nordstrom’s power went out (overnight, i’m assuming) and yes, customers were shopping WITH FLASHLIGHTS. hold up, wait a minute. what!? how is that POSSIBLE?
but it was so nice to have a change of topic.
until i met the lady who inspired me to type up this blog.
i was in my gift wrap station when this frantic lady comes running up to me. OUT OF BREATH.
whoooooooooooooooooooa, lady! SLOW YOUR HORSES THERE FOR A SECOND!
it was so serious that i had to use hand gestures.
woo sah, lady. woo sah.
“hi, ma’am. i’m pretty sure the store will be closed today.”
“NO. NO. THAT’S NOT TRUE. IT HAS TO OPEN. I HAVE TO KNOW WHEN IT OPENS TODAY. MAYBE 11? WHAT TIME IS IT RIGHT NOW? WHAT. IS. THE. EXACT. TIME. RIGHT. NOW?” *huffing and puffing*
“it’s 11 right now.”
“OKAY. SO MAYBE NOON. I JUST REALLY NEED THE STORE TO OPEN. I REALLY, REALLY NEED THE STORE TO OPEN. I WENT TO THE KNOX LOCATION AND THEY HAD A SIGN UP SAYING THAT THEY WERE GOING TO BE CLOSED ALL DAY TODAY AND I JUST REALLY NEED TO FIND A STORE THAT’S OPEN RIGHT NOW AND I REALLY NEED THIS ONE TO OPEN *shakes her head and looks at me like i don’t understand* YOU DON’T KNOW HOW ROUGH MY PAST FEW DAYS HAVE BEEN.”
*THIS IS WHERE I RAISE MY EYEBROW AS A SIGN THAT I BET I COULD PROVE HER WRONG*
“oh, really?………………………………” *leans forward in her direction even though i did not need to give her any gesture to start talking because i already knew she was going to, whether i wanted to hear it or not*
“OH MY GOD, SO I HAVE BEEN OUT OF POWER SINCE LAST NIGHT. SINCE LAST NIGHT! CAN YOU BELIEVE!? UGH! AND I COULDN’T SHOWER WHEN I WOKE UP! UGH! AND I COULDN’T EVEN CHARGE MY PHONE! *shows me her dead iPhone even though it’s been in her flailing hands the entire time* SO MY HUSBAND AND I GOT A HOTEL ROOM AND NOW HE’S AT WORK AND I’M BY MYSELF-WITHOUT A PHONE! AND I’M LIKE, ‘I CAN’T GO WITHOUT A PHONE! I JUST CAN’T!’ SO I GO TAKE A SHOWER IN THE HOTEL ROOM AND I SET MY PHONE ON THE COUNTER-“
“-AND, YEAH, I KNOW! AND THEN…I TURN ON THE WATER IN THE SHOWER…*slows her story down to make action motions of her turning on the shower*….”
“AND THEN WATER. WATER JUST SPLASHES EVERYWHERE FROM THE SHOWERHEAD!!!! AND RIGHT ONTO MY PHONE! SO NOW I NEED A NEW PHONE! I JUST-I JUST CAN’T GO ANOTHER MINUTE WITHOUT A PHONE! I MEAN, I CAME HERE, I LOOK LIKE A HOT MESS (by the way, she was in full makeup and in a black full-length fur coat), I NEED A PHONE, I LOOK TERRIBLE, AND I REALLY CAN’T SURVIVE WITHOUT A PHONE TODAY. I MEAN, WHAT IF I GET IN A CAR ACCIDENT TODAY WHILE I’M DRIVING? OH MY GOD, I LOOK LIKE A HOT MESS AND I’M IN THE MALL. HOW AM I GOING TO CALL ANYONE!? SO I REALLY NEED YOU TO BE 100% SURE ON WHAT TIME APPLE IS OPENING TODAY! PLEASE!”
“ma’am, let me show you my phone and show you what my friend from apple texted me about them being closed today because that is the only proof i have.”
*facial expression of DEVASTATION as i show her my phone*
it looked as if her life was over. and she vented and vented and vented more and more and more about how she canNOT go a DAY without HER iPHONE and that she was not going to make it through the day but finally snapped back into reality, saw and realized that I WAS NOT AN APPLE EMPLOYEE and that i was not obligated to talk to her or give her answers, apologized and thanked me for my help, and RAN to AT&T in her black full-length fur coat.
and then it hit me.
“…i went to the knox location and they had a sign up saying that they were going to be closed all day…..”
bingo. because i knew that she saw the sign and didn’t run to the next store to throw a fit-she just simply left. and i figured that if i made a sign, they would hopefully stop bugging me.
but then i got a little paranoid. am i even allowed to make a sign for a company that i don’t work for? well, it’s their fault for not putting it up themselves. what should the sign say? will i get in trouble? i don’t care, i really can’t take any more angry apple customers getting in my face when i’m trying to work. but will i get in trouble?
so i consulted a few people who knew about what i had to go through the previous day. and after an hour or so of discussion, we had come to a conclusion. i was going to make a sign for apple.
“due to inclement weather, we will be closed today and will open tomorrow, december 8th. thank you for your understanding.”
simple and sweet. done and done.
on my way to my gift wrap station in the hall, i saw 4 dallas cops walk by and looked down the hall to see a cluster of mall security guys standing around. and i got paranoid again. what if i get in trouble? and then a young, completely thudded out kid walked up to me, angry-faced.
“hey! so the apple store is closed!?”
“yeah, their lights are off so you’d assume they are, right?” i gave up on being nice at that moment. he gave me the.worst.glare.ever, muttered what i’m sure were cuss words under his breath as he was staring at me, and walked away.
so i grabbed strips of double stick tape, posted the 2 signs up, and went on a break.
when i came back, one of my gift wrappers flagged me down.
“hey, sierra, one of the guys from mall security-“
uh oh. i’m in trouble now. i shouldn’t have put a sign up! i can’t take it down, i don’t want to answer to more people today!
“-he likes the sign but was asking if you could put on it that all the apple stores are closed today, so they don’t have to drive around.” phew.
i really wanted to windex those fingerprints that are in the photo, but after putting up that revised sign, i was hoping i’d never have to deal with the store for the rest of the day.
and i didn’t have to.
MY SIGNS WORKED!
my day was peaceful and quiet after that. no more dealing with angry customers (just the occasional, “WHAT THE F###! APPLE IS CLOSED!?” as they walked by)-at least from that store. one father/son team did discuss the store while my assistants were wrapping gifts for them:
“oh, they’re probably closed because they sold out of product,” he told his son. hey, i’ll take that-it was the first thing said about apple from a customer that made me laugh.
my day got busier-too busy to take photos of customers reading my awesome sign. i thought to myself, “man. i really wish i could take photos of the angry customers that i saw yesterday. and i wish i took photos of all the customers waiting outside the store this morning.”
and then my second idea hit me.
take photos of my sister acting like different types of apple customers.
so we waited until we closed (early because 90% of the mall had shut down by 6 p.m.) to work on PROJECT iCUSTOMER IN iDESPAIR THAT APPLE IS iCLOSED.
my other associates were so excited and wanted to partake in my photography adventure and this is what i came up with: a few photos depicting the reactions and exaggerated reactions of customers when they found out that their beloved store was closed on a non-holiday.
so this is what i came up with:
the angry, cussing apple customers………
the apple customers in despair…
the apple customer in MAJOR despair…
the apple customer whose life is over…
more apple customers whose lives are over…
the apple customer who refuses to believe that the store is closed and WAITS for hours until she gives up…
the apple customer who stands, frozen, in front of the store, looking at everything she can’t buy because the store is closed…
more customers in despair and desperation…
the customer determined to open the store…
and the customer who wanted to break the glass to get in…
so there you have it. the multiple types of apple customers and their reactions to apple’s closing in the past 2 days.
now, this is definitely not a blog bashing apple. not at all. i didn’t post this blog to get anyone in trouble or start anything. it was just very entertaining to know the effects that the company had on their customers. and it was VERY entertaining to know how IMPORTANT our technology is to us. last month, it had been a year since i left saipan to come back to texas after 3 months of being gone, and i came without a cell phone, because my contract had expired by then. getting a cell phone was not the first thing on my list. or the tenth thing. in fact, i didn’t get a phone until 3 months later. because it wasn’t a big deal. i had a watch to tell time and i had my macbook and my iPad. yes, my friends were very frustrated because they couldn’t text me to get a hold of me, but other than that, i was enjoying the peace and quiet of not being available to everyone 24/7.
first world problems, folks. we suffer from first world problems every day. my friend who didn’t have power for over a day has a baby. those are the problems that worry me. while she was sitting at home, wondering if her power was going to come back on, i was dealing with customers who thought their phone being dead was a world disaster. first world problems. the newspapers showed one of the highways filled with cars that were stuck for almost an entire day. try sitting in your car for 18 hours in the middle of nowhere with what gas you had before you realized that you were going to end up stuck and freezing and THEN listen to someone talk about how they were having a bad day because their phone died.
but that’s how the world works. if it was a perfect world, it would be pretty boring, right?