a quick note about apple store lady
plus, another thing
Before we get to Apple Store Lady:
This coming Saturday, I’m going to the Jersey Shore to bike 50 miles. I am not simply doing this for funsies, but as part of a charity ride to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I am riding as a member of the Park Pedalers, an elite team of top cyclists* that has over the past 24 years, raised more than $415,000 towards the cause of researching, treating, and maybe one day soon, curing MS. This is a cause that I, unfortunately, have a personal interest in.
$415,000 is a lot of cash… but what if it was $416,000? If that sounds appealing to you, please feel free to make a contribution to the cause by donating here.
Look, I don’t want to guilt-trip anyone but:
BNet is free. The 100+ articles have always been freely available and always will be. Nothing is paywalled — and even when readers could pay for it in the past, I like to think I didn’t hawk it too loudly. Hell, even my one solicitation in three years, the one you’re reading, is coming alongside some exclusive, original reporting.
As such, I invite you to imagine how much you would, theoretically, have paid for something like BNet — and apply it to something like (just spitballing here) a worthy charitable cause.
okay, so: apple store lady
Hey, reader, did you skip past the section above, straight to the subhed mentioning the thing you want to know about? Go back and start at the beginning!!
Great, you’re back.
For a long time, I have been interested in the tale of Apple Store Lady. If you are damaged enough to have found your way to BNet, you probably are already saying the line:
“I was told by Apple Care! That I could walk in the store — and get the part!”
We love her. She needs that dang part so bad. This person was filmed yelling at the Apple Store nearly ten years ago, on June 22, 2013. She’s there with a baby, who is now old enough to be mad at Apple Care themselves… isn’t time crazy? It was posted on Vine, and everyone went bananas for it. We didn’t have a name for this phenomenon (Karenism) yet.
I’ll get out ahead of this: I do not know who Apple Store Lady is. But years ago, I did try to find out. I messaged someone on Reddit who said that they had ties to an employee at the Apple Store in question, and here is the long message that they sent, way back in 2016. I have no idea if it’s true, but I hope you enjoy.
Woah, talk about blast from the past!
The person I know was a former co-worker of mine from the Apple Store I worked at who moved across country and within a few weeks was dealing with said crazy lady in the store he transferred to.
I would love to give you his contact but out of respect of privacy I have messaged him with your info if he wants to talk. He's no longer an Apple Employee but he does work in Media and I'm not sure if he really wants to be associated with the Vine heard Round the World.
Seeing as I am no longer an Apple Employee either, I can tell you what I know. I do ask that you do NOT use my current reddit handle if you use any of this in your article, I'll make up a throw-away just for you! (Basically, I was really lazy and super stupid when I made my username what it is, and I might have an email with the same username. At this point in the game it's too late to change and I usually don't care, but because someone else's privacy is in hand, I do.) This information was obtained via a conversation we had on a mutual friends private Facebook page who was also an employee at the store I worked at. Since I left the company in 2011, it's my understanding that Apple Retail has kind of cracked down on this sort of social media posting, the friends I have that still currently work there usually don't flat out say anything about the store anymore.
While my friend was working at that particular store, (Let's call him Sir Drogon of the Macintosh) he was working as a Genius Admin. While Sir Drogon was out on the floor, much of his job consisted of assisting/answer customer questions, setting up Genius Bar appointments, check on/coordinate repairs for customers, and generally directing people where to go. At the time the Vine came out, all of us back home knew it was his particular store that it was filmed at . From what he relayed to us, Sir Drogon of the Macintosh was actually one of the first people in the store to attempt to assist the Vine Lady. From the start it was fairly evident that this was not going to be a run of the mill customer interaction - she was agitated and stressed out to begin with....and hey, lets face it... anyone that has ever worked retail has run into customers like this. I certainly have had my fair share of being screamed at! I was an assistant manager at a movie theater for a while and a customer screamed in my face when I told them they couldn't use their Gift Certificates to a Different Movie Chain at my theater. That person swore that one of my employees sold her the wrong chain gift certificates. It took "promising" her to go through all 1,440 hours of holiday season footage for her to realize she bought them across the street.
Anyway, back to Sir Drogon - as he attempted to solve her issue - the part needed to fix her device wasn't in the store and needed to be ordered. She continued to become more agitated and abrasive towards him to the point where he had to "pass her off" (aka...walk away) from her. The beautiful, calm, lovely Apple Specialist you see Vine Lady in the video with is the other Genius Bar Admin, who calmly told the customer that she would have to wait for an appointment. And the rest is history.
To be perfectly honest though, this sort of interaction wasn't entirely unheard of in the Apple Store...it's just not everyone had the Operatic Vocal Qualities that this woman has. While I was working as a specialist, I had interactions where customers who were in other specialist's faces yelling at them were passed off to me and by the end of dealing with them, they would hug me.
I think the important thing to remember about this whole situation is that people are very attached to their devices these days. Think about it...when was the last time you were more than an arms length from your cell phone? How often do people bring their computers and iPads into the bathroom with them when they're at home? If your phone/computer/tablet goes down, for some people, it's almost like being disconnected from society for a bit. And for Vine Lady, well...let's look at her. She clearly just had a baby. Maybe she was freaking out about not being able to contact people. Maybe she didn't get enough sleep. Maybe she was postpartum and prone to outbursts like this through no fault of her own. I can't imagine she's exactly proud of her outburst being caught on video. We don't know what the hell was going on in her head that day. Which is what makes Apple Customer service so great for the most part-empathy. It's amazing the difference it makes when people treat people like people. On the same token, there are limits. Retail and Service Industry workers will always go above and beyond to help customers with issues as long as they are curious and email rational. As the great Wil Wheaton once said, "Don't be a dick."
Okay! Definitely a message written by someone who posts on Reddit (he said without any connotation).