Saturday, January 01, 2005

Interview with the Apple Store retail employee (and what should have happened)

When I was leaving the Short Hills Mall today, I walked past an Apple store for the first time where I thought there should've been an A/X store. I couldn't help but ask the employee standing by the half closed steel curtain waiting for the last of the customers and employees to leave whether or not Apple was really going to release a budget iMac. As expected, he said he didn't know or he couldn't say, but that'd it'd all be clear come January 10th. But there was a particular way in which he answered that seemed, at least with my perception, to betray an incompletely confident withholding of information. I don't know. I then asked him whether he received any notification from the company. "If I did, I wouldn't be able to tell you," was his response.

What I should of asked was this string of questions: 1) Have you heard about Apple's plans for a budget iMac? to which he'd obviously answer yes. 2) Some innocent question like, did you hear that it's supposed to be super-slim like the X-Serve? To distract him before I ask the incriminating question. 3) Where'd you hear that from?

At this point, there are two possibilities leading to separate replies to the third question.

A) There is no budget iMac, which would lead him to answer something like, "Oh, from a website" or "From a friend".


There is a budget iMac, leading him to give the same answer, but not before a brief hesitation to think of something other than the truth, which would have been a directly or indirectly (from a manager) official notification.

My thinking relies (damningly) on there having been no training or preparation by the employee for such questions. Or perhaps there really isn't a need to tell the employees as the product probably won't be stocked until later in the year.

Through the glass, I got a chance to look at an iMac G5 in person for the first time. It's pretty compact is all, as in "if you showed it to me last year and said this was the new iMac monitor, I'd look at you funny and believe you" compact. When we finally left, my mom said I should go work for them.

PS - In other news, it turns out that you can ride the Segway HT at Brookstone, but only if you make an appointment for a Tuesday or Wednesday evening and fill out some paperwork. I haven't been to the mall in a while and was only able to spend twenty minutes today before closing for New Year's Eve. Happy New Year.

SOURCE: An Apple Store (the big kind)

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