Monday, June 30, 2008
The Apple Genius
The word "genius" is thrown around a little too willie-nillie, diminishing any real value behind it. I use the term a bit much myself. Usually in reference to a new Wilco album or Sophia Coppola film when it fact, these pop culture passers-by hardly compare to the life-altering contributions brought to us by Da Vinci, Einstein or Galileo.
But even in my most egregious hyperbole, I don't suck the meaning out of this word quite like the Apple corporation does with their hugely over-promising "Genius Bar."
The over-stylized punk who leans up to you from the Apple store counter, with his smug sense of self-importance, seems to have neither graduated from high school nor realize that before phones and MP3 players, Apple actually made computers. But hey. We're dealing with geniuses here.
Recently I took a 9-month old lap-top in to have the plastic casing replaced since it's been stripping away on the sides. And it's only 9 months old. Which is fucking ridiculous (but that's another issue).
On each of my three visits to the store to get this repair underway (genius), I noticed the work order they wanted me to sign listed an old address of mine from an entirely different city and the corresponding phone number. I alerted the geniuses to this problem on my previous two visits and was assured that they would correct that, no problem.
When it came time for me to actually turn over my $1500 computer for repair, the address and number were still listed incorrectly. I pointed it out to the young, female genius, who took it over to her genius manager. After a few minutes of genius conferencing, she returned to report that this group of geniuses could not make the changes at the store and I would have to call Apple Care to update that information.
I took a moment to look around and reflect.
I was surrounded by at least 30 computers in a retail environment that sells machines designed to create, store and distribute information, all of which were connected to the Internet. And, lest we not forget, three of these computers were manned by self-proclaimed geniuses.
I've never left a sweater at a dry-cleaners without the store proprietor, usually an old Chinese man who doesn't speak a lick of English, taking an accurate address. I've rarely made a dinner reservation without the host taking a current phone number. These aren't computer companies. And they're not staffed with geniuses. Just your average, everyday morons. And somehow, in their charmingly inferior minded way, they developed a system that allows them to take current contact information.
I explained this to the team of Apple geniuses and got an unwelcome, albeit genius, response: "Sorry, dude, that's how our system works - just call Apple Care."
Before I could grab my laptop and shove it down the throat of this pretentious faux-hawked genius before me, an unassuming techie emerged from the back. He heard about the guy in front freaking out about an address correction (me) and was in the back making the necessary adjustments. Seems it was really no problem at all. You just enter the correct information into the computer.
Luckily, Apple makes a pretty good product that you don't have to be a genius to figure out. And even more luckily, I wasn't there to solve any software issues. God help me if anything goes wrong with my OS - I'm pretty sure Apple geniuses think that's an acronym for "Old School."
And while he's no Picasso, I think there's something just a little bit genius, or at least clever and insightful about Mike Judge's take on the degradation of human intellect.
Take notes, Apple Geniuses. The future is yours.