Charleesi’s laptop finally died late last week. It was a mid-range Windows machine, bought mostly for homework and that over the years has played many games, accessed the school’s homework and study resources, posted innumerable Facebook entries, processed many, many photos and generally taken the hard battering that a teenage girl’s general usage can provide.
With her GCSE exams fast approaching, this really couldn’t have been a worse time for it to fail, so with her birthday in mind we collectively had a number of conversations among ourselves and then took Charleesi round a few shops to compare laptops to buy as a replacement.
Her photography is stunning, and she wants to make a career from it. A photography A Level is planned, and every conversation about future plans mentions photojournalism, so one of the options we considered for the first time was an Apple Mac. This is largely due to the widespread adoption of Apple technology in media circles, something that sounds largely axiomatic, but was supported by Lady M’s experience while working for her previous employers. So that’s how we came to experience an Apple Store for the first time.
It’s entirely possible that our two visits – the first to scope out models, the second to make the purchase – are still being talked about by the survivors. This is mostly because, due to a lack of signage or communication from staff, it took two visits to realise that we needed to talk to the people by the main pillars to get booked in to talk to anyone. Instead on our first visit we relied on Lady M talking louder and louder and waving her hands in the air more and more wildly until someone stopped running away and came to talk to us.
Our second visit was also characterised by a widening circle of staff as Charleesi, Lady M, the ex-Lady M and myself compared laptop models and tried to catch people’s eyes – so this time I stopped and watched the flows of people in the room – which is how I spotted the identically dressed staff with tablets rather than Iphones who seemed to have separate queues loosely assembled in front of them. There were no signs or other indicators of how to get served, and I had to practically grab and interrogate a passing staff member Batman-style to get confirmation that these individuals could book us in to be seen by the seemingly randomly moving staff.
Fortunately nobody called security.
So in the end, Charleesi came away with a brand new 13″ Retina MacBook Pro and the world’s largest grin, and as we sat in the Montezuma’s across the road she was observed to be quietly stroking and patting her new acquisition. Of course, being a Maidment, by the end of the afternoon she had completely jinxed the itunes store so that the passwords needed three levels of tech support escalation to resolve, but that’s pretty much par for the course for our interactions with technology (i.e., it tends to go ‘bang’ pretty often).
So, a successful resolution for her, and an unexpected critical hit on our savings, but she’s worth it.