I am a Capricorn. Capricorns by nature tend to be pretty serious folk. I don’t appear that way to the outside world – I am outgoing and vivacious. But inside my head – I am pretty serious. I over think way too many things. The flip side though is that I am sometimes incredibly impetuous. That was very much the case with my latest purchase (doesn’t it always involve a purchase?)
On the morning of June 24th, I decided to get up early so I could quickly get in and out of the Apple Store to pick up my brand new iPhone4 which I dutifully pre-ordered on the morning of June 15th (yes – I remember the day because I put it on my calendar so I wouldn’t forget). I live seconds away from the Apple Store so I set my alarm and set out to get to the store a few minutes before it opened. I figured between setting it up and a few people in front of me, it would take no more than an hour.
Imagine my surprise when I actually saw a few cars ahead of me turning into the mall parking lot. I got worried when I saw a LOT of cars in the parking lot. I was horrified when I got into the court to find two HUGE lines.. one for unreserved, and one for pre-orders. I made my way to the end of the pre-order line and tried to assess the waiting time. From my calculations I figured 2 hours. Right!
Armed with my coffee I was looking for someone I could begin to talk to. There was no way I was going to be able to do any amount of time without striking up a conversation. Luckily, the young guy behind me (Anthony) was up to the challenge. We compared our iPhone usage, computer usage (I fibbed and said I was a mac user because I thought it made me sound cooler – there is a macbook pro in the house and I have used it so it wasn’t an all out lie) and other musings. After 90 minutes we had made it to the beginning of our wall- but was no where near getting in. At that point, I was interviewed by patch.com who needed people who were in my neighborhood http://threevillage.patch.com/articles/three-villagers-line-up-for-new-iphone
2 1/2 hours in and not even inside of the mall yet, I called in sick. I figure, at what point do you decide to give up the wait. I was making the commitment to stick it out. By this time my circle of friends had increased, mostly because I butt into people’s conversations. I had finally made it to the next group to enter the mall when a guy holding his new bag emerged. I wanted to find out what was the hold up. I called out to him – “Yo – blue guy (yes he was wearing a blue shirt). BLUE GUY!!! No acknowledgement. I leave the line and grab him and ask him what the deal is – WHY is it taking so long. He explained to me that people were asking a thousand questions once inside the store. WHAT? How could that be? Buy the stupid phone and leave the store. I return to the line and report back to my constituents. They are asking questions!!! A boisterous guy, one who had been holding court all morning, about 20 behind me says, “Ya know, if you were brave enough, you’d go inside and tell everyone to not ask questions.” I laughed and then he said, “Yeah, but you’re probably not brave enough.” Impetuousness set in again – I tend to be brave around strangers – and I left the line and went inside. I found 3 boxes of lines… I get to the first box which is right outside the Apple store. I look at them and yell, “NO QUESTIONS! Get your phone and leave the store so the rest of us can come inside.” I get to the next box about 3 stores down and yell the same thing, to which some guy said, “Oh yeah? I’m asking 100 questions.” I give him the evil eye and say, “I hope your phone crashes” lame I know, but it was all I could come up with. I also dub this guy “Grumpy” because he has a Grumpy hat on backward. I get to the 3rd box of people and say, “You guys aren’t even getting in – no reason to yell at you.” I triumphantly return to my line. I instantly become the line hero.
We finally get inside (3 hrs in) and are thrilled to be making progress. The manager in the green shirt, who remembers my little rant to the boxes, says to me - “Now that you are inside, no trouble! and winks.” I laugh. Now in our little box we start to increase our friendships since it is easier to talk to a larger group of people. We are acknowledging the absurdity of giving up our day, we are also impressed by the amount of food Apple keeps giving us – they literally fed us every 30 minutes. After about 2 hours in that box I make it to the front of the line, but decide I need to leave the line and get my eyebrows threaded at the station that is a tad down from the Apple store. I leave the line not worrying about my spot because we are all great friends now. I also really needed to sit. I hang out at the threading place about 15 minutes and return to my box to find we haven’t moved at all. Finally the manager comes over and we are being moved to the first box.
With victory within reach and exhaustion setting in, we get even giddier. People are leaving the line to shop, go to the bathroom (camels would be proud of me — I held it in) and get food other than what we were being offered. At 1pm, I had to leave the line for a conference call, praying my phone would hold out. I found a little nook in a store and took the call. When I returned to the line, my group of 20 or so is a buzz because 2 girls cut the line by about 30 people. They are quick to report this to me. I ask who is going to report this and everyone falls quiet. Unbelievable. I do not like people who try to take advantage of my friends – especially since I was pretty sure they weren’t with us from the beginning anyway. I leave the line and go to 2 Apple employees and ask them what they do about cutters. They say that they are unaware of that happening, I tell them that it is, I point out the 2 girls — they tell me they will handle it and I get back in line. If I was a hero before, I am a celeb now! 10 minutes go by and nothing – they are still in line. I see the manager in the green shirt and I call him over. “Oh no” he says, “Not more trouble.” “No no no” I say and proceed to tell him about the cutters. He thanks me and before we know it, he is over and pushing the girls to where they were (which I’m later told is still further up than they were.) Another hour and 45 minutes and I am 5th in line to enter the store. The manager in the green shirt comes over and now that we are great line friends counts off 1 — 2– 3– 4– Oh I’m sorry, we ran out of iPhones. We both laugh and all of a sudden, from 20 back the ringleader yells, “No way – MAMA GETS A PHONE!!!” Mama? Me? Aren’t I one of the cool kiids online? LOL oh no, apparently not – but beloved Mama of the pack.
We are now chanting and cheering wildly as each one gets to go into the store……… 5…. 4….. 3….. 2… and with that, an Apple clerk walks up to the manager in green and he smiles as he escorts her over to me. He gives me a wink and as I leave my posse they begin to chant NO QUESTIONS, NO QUESTIONS. Ringleader yells a last “GO MAMA!” and in I go.
I ask NO QUESTIONS, I give my info as quickly as I can. I already had my credit card out before I entered the store…. and I am literally processed in 10 minutes and I am heading out the store. Who do I pass as I am leaving? Grumpy — who has been in the store for over 2 hours. As I leave the store, my friends start to cheer wildly for me and I leave them with “NO QUESTIONS!”