July 16th, 2005

yo sits

The Last Closer

So, last night, Friday, July 15 2005, was my last closer at the Apple Store in Burlingame. THe last time I would work those really weird hours of 1 to 10 PM. It was a closer that put me on 880 this past May 23rd, just in time to almost get taken out by a rogue SUV that, for whatever reason, couldn't see a certain stalled beige van with flashers.

I've received the first call since that night, from (you can guess this part, right?) a lawyer. I'm going to give him a call back sometime in the next week or so in hopes that it's the lawyer for one (or all!) of the various victims of the accident. If it's for the numbnuts who were in the truck that night I'm afraid that he's not going to welcome my testimony ("They never swerved OR hit the breaks!").

Things I found out this week:

Patrick gave notice the same week. Apparently he offered two weeks, but they only accepted one. Even with the litany of complaints they had about ME, they STILL thought Patrick was worse. He claimed to be getting a SysAdmin job with (snorts) Stanford University, but my sources tell me it's actually a job with California AAA as an IT guy.

So, in a small victory, I outlasted Patrick.

John almost quit this week. Actually, he DID quit the night before last -- for the nearly 90 minutes before the end of my shift I was holding the bar for John as they had a knock down argument in the office, with the door OPEN. Fellow retail drones past and present know what a breach of protocol that is. As it was, every-time I walked back I could hear Dawn on the defensive, and just from those snippets I could tell that John had the upper hand the entire time. That's right, the MANAGER was trying to justify all manners of mistakes. When my shift came to a close, I had to go back and point out that the genius was about to leave the building, and got the hell out of dodge. Right after I left, John finally had enough, and quit on the spot -- as in, HE left the building, only to have Dawn chase after him and beg talk him into staying.

That's almost THREE genii that Dawn managed to alienate right out of the store in just about a month. And it's not just us... apparently everyone in the store has had complaints about how she treats people, and the fact that her follow-up skills suck. Big promises that are so much vapor when the sun rises tend to piss me off, especially if I want to believe them.

I finally did get a response from her regarding the resignation letter which contained the following annoying comment:

"In reference to your job assistance request, your request was not denied.  As we have previously discussed, we were able to provide you with assistance in regards to scheduling, back of house repair/genius bar rotation, and communication style.  However, in order to meet the needs of the business, we were not able to assist you in working back of house repair to the extent that you requested."

Right. This was about the same time I found out from John that he was being actively recruited for the SF store, and that he had worked out a deal to work 8 to 5 monday to friday -- which is even MORE inflexible than I was being -- and that this was a deal a lot of Genii had worked out with other stores. I was seriously tempted to send her a dictionary reference of the word "denial" just to be pissy about it, but forbore. I can be a good winner, after all.

When Jobs said he was going to open an Apple retail chain in '01, people thought he was nuts... economic downturn, the PC business was (and still is, to some extent) imploding, and... well, it was APPLE, and everything they do is doomed to failure, right?

The brilliance of the scheme was how cheaply Steve could find tech labor to staff these stores. Look at me, and how they could get me for nearly half I was making at my last full-time gig at Garage.com, and about 2/3's of what I was being paid by NASA.

Except things are starting to look up a bit. I suspect in two years the Genius Bar will either have to change substantially in order to attract the caliber of person that is needed to support it properly, or it will disappear entirely.

I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on the experience the last 15 months have given me there. I met a lot of great people, and learned a lot about myself through both my limits... and where I could surpass them. Yet as Roni has pointed out, it was never meant as a permanent thing, and I gave them the year that I promised. Not to mention (though mention it I will) that the last few weeks are as clear a writing on the wall as I could possibly have prayed for, thank goddess -- as nervous as I am about doing something new, I actually feel more comfortable with a job I haven't even started yet than I do there right now.

Just five more days to go.

Oh, I was completely taken aback (as I had forgotten she was going to be there with her mom) when lunar_phoenix came in yesterday to help her parents buy a new system. Folks, nothing is more a sign of one's ability as a professional then to have someone that you love and lust after sitting and smiling at you (and, as I later learned, thinking about me naked and lying on the counter-top... and other things I shan't repeat here!) and managing NOT to throw her down for wild monkey sex there, next to the horrified shrildren and parents in the Children's section. After nearly an hour I had to content myself with a small, discrete "pinky hug" across that self same counter.

Damn it.

Anyway, I'm off to see "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and to snag a copy of "Half Blood Prince" to read on my week off. Roni is incredulous that I can wait that long. I explained that this was a treat that deserved full attention that only NOT going to work can provide. Besides, I can use it as a treat as I brush up on Perforce and Perl (A chapter of both, then a chapter of Harry. Yay!).
  • Current Music
    Closing Time - Semisonic