I got my first iPhone in 2007, and I don’t think I exaggerate when I say it changed my life - not the course of my life, but my day-to-day life. As advanced and magical as that first smart phone was for me at the time, I’m sure it would seem hilariously primitive now. Over the years, the constant feed of small, but frequent, improvements has led to a device that I honestly can’t imagine doing without.
So I was pretty excited about finally upgrading from my old iPhone 4, that was slowly dying, to a sleek new 5. Unfortunately, I have been hating it, and even worse, my love affair with all that is Apple has come to a crashing halt. The battery life on my 5 renders it barely usable (I can actually watch the percentage ticking down, down, down), it keeps refusing to join known networks, takes forever to load emails, etc, etc. I got a defective model.
But what’s just as bad as my dissatisfaction and disappointment with this lemon is the experience I’ve had at two different Apple stores (one in Baltimore and one in NYC). In both places, I became witness to the scary side of the Cult of Apple. I have long admired the values and way of functioning of the Apple world. Such integrity! Such high principles of clean, clean design!
But the people in the stores are ROBOTS. It was absolutely weird to try to talk to them about my problems with the phone, like talking to a machine that just spews out the same four responses over and over again. “Your phone is functioning perfectly” “there is no problem with your phone.” “The diagnostic shows your battery is healthy.” “It’s working exactly as it should.”
The level of not-listening, not-getting, not-interested-in-satisfying-the-customer was stunning. At one point I finally got one of them to look at the advertised specs for the iPhone 5 battery that were posted on Apple’s site. “See here?” I pointed to the screen. “It says, ‘Standby time: up to 225 hours.’Even with all the battery-eating functions turned off, I’m getting nine!” Response: “it says ‘up to.’” Me: “But nine hours is like 1/20th of 225!” Response: “It says ‘up to.” The robot only had the one response, and he just forged ahead with it, over and over, no matter how many different ways I tried to express how far nine hours is from 225 hours.
Recognizing that the robot had come to the end of his tether, and that no new response would be forthcoming, I asked to speak to a supervisor. Unsurprisingly, she was just an uber version of the first guy, with the addition of a measured belligerence. Where the first guy had gotten pretty far in wearing me down, the supervisor robot finished the job in no uncertain terms, all but saying, “read my lips: NO!”, while assuming the stance of a bouncer who is definitely not going to let you in. Clearly, I was caught up in a rigid choreography that was way bigger than me. I left, feeling thoroughly creeped-out.
Before I went the first time, I figured I might not get what I wanted, which was to exchange my two-week-old, defective iPhone for a new, properly functioning one. My second visit was made in the hope that the first visit was an anomaly. It wasn’t.
Jake was a beautiful boy.
I missed it by a few days, but I watch this video every year about this time.
I love this video. I also really miss the haircut Jake has in this video.
Lyle Lodwick for Vogue Homme International Spring Summer 2013
Photographer: Glen Luchford
Stylist: Anastasia Barbieri
Ollie’s fur isn’t like Sami’s. He needs help keeping warm.
So I walked into my local pet food store on Saturday to buy some food for Sami. How was I to know they were having an “adoption event?” I wasn’t looking for another dog, but I guess he was looking for me. Now he’s mine. Meet Ollie! He’s a 13 week old Dachshund mix, rescued from a shelter in West Virginia.