2.5 Years and 3 Hours Later

20 Jun

I remember the first time I learned about the iPhone. It was January 2007 and I was in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show in the press room. Details about the new Apple device, which was not actually on display there in Vegas, spread like wildfire, and just like that, everything else at CES was rendered insignificant. But as much as I wanted an iPhone when they hit stores that summer, I knew I should wait for the second version.

Last summer, my family gave me an iPod Touch for my birthday, and I returned it because I wanted one of the new second generation iPhones, which had just hit stores. But then I heard that a higher-capacity version would be out around the holidays, so I decided to wait a little longer. Obviously, that rumor didn’t come true, and at that point, I had waited long enough so I decided to wait six more months for the third-generation iPhone.

All year long I waited for news of the announcement. And as the Worldwide Developers Conference approached, reading the Unofficial Apple Weblog became a daily habit. I’d even go to various Apple stores to check some of the things I heard, but the salesfolks always kept mum. Suffice it to say, when it was announced two weeks ago that the iPhone 3GS would go on sale on June 19, I blocked that night on my calendar so I could go to the Apple Store and finally get my iPhone.

Let’s cut to the chase. After work on Friday night, after getting shut out at the Chestnut Hill store (because I didn’t pre-order my phone in time) and learning via phone that I’d be no more successful at the Cambridgeside Galleria, I headed down to the Apple Store on Boylston St., where I was told they had an almost unlimited supply of phones. I got there at 6:50 p.m. and got in line outside the store. Lindsay, one of the friendly and enthusiastic greeters, came by with water, granola bars, and candy for us, and then she hung around to answer any questions we had. People on the street, a surprising number of clueless ones, would stop to ask what the line was for. And then, at 7:20, I went in … and got in another, longer line. Thankfully, I stood behind a guy who already had an iPhone (he was there to get one with his girlfriend), and after telling me about some cool apps that I should get, he gave me a tip on creating my own ringtones for free. Other greeters passed out more water, granola bars, and candy, and hung around to answer questions. Despite the wait, spirits were high all around.

Finally, at 9:05, a salesperson named Elias came over to help me. They say the S in the iPhone 3GS stands for speed, but clearly that speed did not apply to those of us waiting in line. Why did it take so long? Well, it’s mostly because Apple’s customer service is so good — and I say that without any hint of irony or sarcasm. Elias, like all the other salespeople were doing with other customers, worked with me one-on-one, answering all my questions, showing me any accessories I wanted to see, and walking me through the entire purchasing process. He did this enthusiastically and intelligently, without pressuring me to buy things I didn’t need. How he was able to do this with such a positive, patient attitude after working all day I just don’t know. But suffice it to say, I was impressed.

After my sale was final, Elias took me upstairs, where a “genius” named Lee helped me activate my phone, set it up, and get it working. Again, he did so with a smile and patience, and didn’t make me feel silly for asking some basic things. Whoever is training these Apple retail folks is doing a damned good job. It made the fact that when I finally left the store, I hardly noticed that it was three hours after I had arrived.

Of course, the point of the story is this: The wait is over and I now have an iPhone! Woo hoo! I’m very excited, even if that makes me sound geeky. And so far, it was totally worth it. My iPhone is so fast and cool and I love it. I’ve already loaded the thing up with music, videos, and a few apps. More of each to come. Woo hoo! Kudos to Apple for creating such a cool-ass device, and for having such great people in the store selling it.

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One Response to “2.5 Years and 3 Hours Later”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Insanely Great Jobs « Martin's Musings - March 24, 2012

    […] no exception. It was an instant classic. (It should be noted, by the way, in full disclosure, that it took me more than two years to actually get an iPhone. Talk about […]

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