There are seven wonders of the world. But not really, there are many more than that. There are the seven original, which include things like the statue of Zeus at Olympia and The Great Pyramid of Giza. There are the seven modern, which include things like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Panama Canal. I have heard that an eighth wonder was added, but I’m not sure what it is. Whatever the current number, I have found the next wonder, the real wonder, and it should be on the list. It would have to be, hands down, any and all Apple stores.
I am sure that the existence of this modern wonder is very old news to a lot of the world, but I just bought my first Mac computer last year and this is the first time I’ve had to take it in for service of any kind. It started making a noise a few weeks ago, like something was loose inside, rattling around when I would tilt it up or down.
So, the first beautiful thing you encounter when calling or going on line to check on getting service for your laptop, iPhone, ipad or whatever other apple product you might own, is that you can make a real life appointment. Just like making a hair appointment, car or doctor, except at Apple, they are on time!! There is no waiting around. These people are on it! My appointment at the Genius Bar was scheduled for 1:00. I walked in the door ten minutes prior to my appointment. I was met by my first smiling Apple employee ~ greeting me, asking me what the problem was with my computer, and directing me to a table in the back, where he said someone would be by shortly to take me to the Genius bar.
A second employee came up to me in a matter of minutes. She wrote down notes, looked at my computer, taking her job very seriously. I had to ask, looking at her name tag, “Leeann, are all of you geniuses here?” She laughed, “No, we’re not. We get a lot of training. But, most of us here are pretty smart to begin with.” Yes, I figured that, Leeann.
Another blue shirt came and took me to the bar. I wanted to order a drink and appetizer and just spend the day there. The place was packed with all sorts of intelligent, geeky, not so geeky, and generally progressive people. Good place to just hang, people watch and spend a Sunday afternoon.
Meghan, a young tattooed woman, with short choppy and obviously very unnatural red hair (she wanted it that way) came up to me, just like a doctor, a pencil behind her ear, “What’s the problem with the computer Kim?” It was like I was bringing my toddler in for an exam, bronchitis maybe, not really sure. Sounds like something loose in there. She smiled, as if to say, “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of her, she’ll be fine.” And off she went, cradling my MacBook Pro in her arms and disappearing behind closed doors.
In the meantime I carried on conversations with several of the geniuses that were all bustling about. We talked about blogging, weather, twitter and the like. What really blew my mind, here in this relatively small store in Portland, was when they informed me that during each shift, there could be anywhere from 60-80 employees on staff. And, Meghan told me, sometimes, that’s not even enough! "60-80 per day?" I asked. No, per shift. I don't know, but that was just mind-boggling to me. That is what I call customer service.
And, these people, and do not doubt this for a minute, are geniuses. They are amazing; it is like watching God’s chosen few hard at work. And when you have a problem with your computer, i.e., your entire life is falling apart, these people are absolute angels. Merciful, beautiful angels. I now know why the Apple logo is the apple with the bite out of it, because this store and the people who work there are absolutely biblical, miraculous, and life changers. I literally thought I had died and gone to heaven.
When Meghan brought my computer back out to me, she gave it to me with a smile, told me they found some little broken plastic pieces inside (I totally forgot that I had dropped my computer a few weeks ago!) She cleaned it out, fixed it up, and I was free to go. Free to go. As in, no charge.
As I watched all of these people, like little worker bees, I beamed with pride, like I had done something to create this miraculous place. You know, on the 8th day ~ And even though I knew I probably couldn’t even get a job there sweeping the floors (I’m assuming you don’t have to be a genius, but pretty damn close) I couldn’t help myself. To watch the efficiency, the pure perfection of the way this place was run and the brilliance and passion of the people that worked there, I had to look up at Steve Jobs and salute him. I always knew you were a genius Steve, but I think I just elevated you to sainthood.