I’m not sure why, but I always come out of the Apple shop on Regents Street feeling slightly disgruntled. It’s like I’m visiting some strange planet where I don’t understand the customs and I know I’m never really going to fit in.
The staff don’t help. I know they’re all really helpful, but at the same time they always seem so smug and self-satisfied. Like they think they have the coolest job in London and whilst they’re happy to help, they’d really far rather not have to deal with people who aren’t cool enough to get jobs working for Apple.
I’m probably projecting some deep-seated insecurities of my own.
I was in the shop yesterday (which is rare) and I even bought something (which is rarer). I picked up the stuff I needed and joined the queue to pay. There were rather a lot of people in the queue so it took a while to get to a till. Actually, now I think of it, I don’t remember seeing a till. Maybe Apple customers are too cool to sully themselves with actual money. The chap serving me was very friendly in the slightly disconcerting way that many religious converts are. He pointed out that I didn’t need to queue to pay as now all assistants in the store have a portable credit card reader and barcode scanner and any of them could take my payment. Of course, I had to queue up in order to be told this. Having a sign up to explain wouldn’t be cool. He also explained that he wouldn’t print me a receipt as their system would email it to me. This means that Apple now have my email address (I bet their marketing department loved that idea) and it also means that I need to take the responsibility for printing out yet another climate-destroying piece of paper work. I know it means they’re taking their responsibilities to the environment seriously, but somehow it struck a false note with me.
Then he asked if I needed a bag. This is becoming common in London shops. Again it enables the customer to choose how much environmental impact their shopping trip will have. But sometimes you need a bag. And you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty for asking for one. I think I took him by surprise by saying “yes please”. He obviously looked at the Foyles bag I had rested on the counter. It was already full of things I had bought from Foyles and Forbidden Planet, but I don’t think he realised that. I definitely got the impression that he didn’t expect Apple customers to be as cavalier towards the environment as I seemed to be. He gave me the bag though.
I’m probably reading far more into this than I should.
Oh, and having got my name (from my email address) he took to calling me ‘Dave’. I suppose it shouldn’t bother me. We life, after all, in an egalitarian society. But I’m old-fashioned enough to prefer it when shop assistants don’t use my first name. It seems a bit disrespectful. Probably just more evidence that I’m not cool enough to be buying Apple kit. This whole entry would probably give a psychologist a field day.
Turns out I bought the wrong thing. I needed a Mini-DVI to VGA adapter. Somehow I picked up a Mini-DVI to DVI adapter instead. So I need print out my receipt and go back this evening to change it.
I’m really not looking forward to it.