A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend two of my lunch breaks doing chores. My first chore was going to the DMV to change my name on my license, the second chore was going to the Apple store to get my husband’s laptop fixed. After one hour in each place, I can say that I would rather spend all my lunches at the DMV than to be forced to go back to the Apple store. Shocked? Yeah, me too! As a non-hipster-douchebag the DMV is a better place to be than the Apple store. Here is a summary of my very scientific study
First Impression – Winner Apple
Not the store I went to, but they’re all the same.
Okay, this first contest goes to Apple. Their store is admittedly clean, open, and just plain cool looking. There were several seating options, including a stuffed loungy communal couch thing. The DMV was in a strip mall and that was the plus side! It was packed to the gills with people sitting in uncomfortable seats and staring crappy TV monitors. Granted if I don’t get universal healthcare, I don’t want my tax money going to chaise lounges at the DMV.
Okay, Now What? – Winner DMV
When you walk into the DMV and your eyes adjust to the smoke haze (no, you can’t smoke in the building, I think it’s still lingering from the times of “smoking or non-smoking?”), it is very clear where to go. Signs hung from the ceiling and at the end of queue ropes tell me to pick a line, either “Appointment” or “Walk-In.” Seems easy enough. I strut my stuff right up to the front of the appointment line, ignoring the evil glares that are burning a hole through my back. Now, the Apple store. Oh Apple, this is where it all went downhill for me. Your odd neon lighting gave me so much hope. The Apple store has a bunch of tables with computers on them, people milling about looking at accessories and a big bar in the back where repairs are obviously taking place. I showed up a few minutes before my appointment (yes, seriously, an appointment for the Apple store) so I figured I would wait in what appeared to be a line near the Genius Bar (yeeeeeeep, that’s what it’s called). Well, it wasn’t a line, it was some dad watching his toddlers play around on the free computers. “Okay, I must have to check-in” I thought. At this point I had been there for several minutes and not ONE person had greeted me or asked if I needed help. And how could I tell who I was supposed to talk to because all the employees are dressed like hipsters and carrying around iPads, which is the same thing all the customers are doing! Finally, I tracked someone down, he checks me in and tells me to sit at the bar and wait until I’m called.
The Wait – Winner DMV
The DMV gave me a number. A number that comes after other numbers. I knew exactly when my turn was getting close. I felt confident that no one who showed up after me and who needed the same type of help would be served before me. I had no clue wtf was going on at the Apple store. There I sat on a barstool with no foot rest (Which is not flattering for a girl with thick legs. Seriously, I need a foot rest so the legs don’t get all mashed flat!), surrounded by “cool” people who made me feel like a fat-thighed grandma and hoped that one of the people behind the counter knew I was there and would serve me at some point. They chatted with each other behind the counter, supervisors made inappropriate jokes with their employees, the guys flirted with mullet girls and I sat. Waiting for someone too look at me. There was no chitchatting at the DMV. Aside from a giddy girl who got her license, there were hardly any noticeable smiles. How could I argue when they took someone before me who had actually shown up after me? I had no idea if their appointment was before mine. I had no idea what my, or their, “number” was. Finally, I got annoyed and asked if I would be helped soon. It’s amazing how quickly one can get service once they start making a stink. Suddenly I was next in line. I definitely waited longer to talk to one of the chatty computer boys than I waited to talk to the DMV people.
The Fixing Process – Winner DMV
I knew exactly what I needed to do to change my name at the DMV. Fill out this form. Show this document. Pay this much. Take your new picture. Your new license will come in a x-number of weeks. When I finally talked to someone at Apple, he told me my computer was pretty dirty (thanks, judgy mcjudgerson) but that replacing the defective part wouldn’t take long at all. I figured it wouldn’t take much to unscrew four screws, slap a new bottom cover on, re-screw screws. Hell, I almost asked him to just give me the part and let me do it. But, no, he said just a few minutes. I could do that. Apparently in Apple land a “few” means 30+. All the while I sat on the barstool, trying desperately to make eye-contact with someone who might take pity on me and give me an update. So, again, I asked what the holdup was. I was clearly annoyed at this point, the part they were replacing was a recall, it’s not like I busted something and was asking for special treatment! I was also starting to get bitter toward my husband for asking me to do this for him. I don’t like getting angry at Shaggy for things that are not his fault, which in turn made me bitter at Apple for making me bitter at him! It was a vicious cycle. And, once again, just like magic my computer was suddenly done when I asked about it. Truth is, it was sitting there for quite awhile but my initial computer wiz had already moved on to the next customer. One whose teeny tiny midriff was showing and who had several piercings in her face and in the back of her neck. Yeah, I’d help her over me, too.
Is that enough? Do you see it now?? The Apple store is a horrible place that temporarily sucked away all my self-confidence and patience. The DMV made me feel on top of the world (hey, at least I was going back to a job that wasn’t the DMV!). DMV people thanked me. Not one time did anyone thank me for coming or wish me a good day at Apple. My next computer will not be a Mac, I am too scared to ever go back to that bad place!