|The Apple 3 Iphone, predecessor to my 5S.|
My old friend began to get tired. I remained faithful and swept open pages off the screen before putting it to bed every night in its plug on the kitchen wall. I deleted apps that were never used and removed some photos I'd never looked at twice to give it more space. I plugged it in more and more frequently, bonding with my old friend since I often needed energy boosts, too.
Still, I got frustrated. It was taking ninety seconds to download twenty to forty emails - imagine the wasted time???
|My Apple 5S Iphone|
I tried to be patient with my old friend. It might have been better for both of us if I'd put him on a shelf in my closet cemetery to Rest In Peace. But I listened to the news about the Keaton Harvey vs Apple, Inc., Lawsuit #3 of December, 2017, in which the plaintiff claimed Apple slowed older iPhones with older, degrading batteries to encourage customers to purchase new phones. Battery replacements became available from Apple stores for $29 instead of $79, following the announcement. And naturally there was nowhere else I could get one!
Our nearest Apple store was in a gigantic mall in the next town of Boca Raton, Florida. I had another stop to make in the mall and hadn't eaten lunch, so I headed down. I stopped at the Apple store first, since I'd heard horror stories about the wait time.
The glass-fronted store was double the width of Louis Vuitton's. Its bleached wood high-top islands stood several yards apart, five across and three deep. The rear of the store was padded in gray with built-in screens. At each island there were eight stools. Most were occupied.
I entered and must have looked dazed. "May I help you?" a young man said, in the navy-shirt-khaki-pants uniform matching twenty other young men and women scurrying around the islands with Ipads.
"I need a new battery for my 5S phone."
"Please sit over at that island," he said, walking toward a high-top and using his Ipad as a pointer.
I moved across the front of the store to sit with six others at the assigned location. It wasn't long before another young man in navy and khaki with a beard and tattoos covering his arms asked me the same question.
"I need a new battery for my 5S phone."
"Do you have an appointment?"
"No. I have a couple of stops to make in the mall while it's being done."
The bearded man with tattoos consulted his Ipad. "Right now the appointment wait time is about two hours."
"I can do that."
"I'll schedule you for a technician in two hours. Please return at four o'clock." (It was then 2:00.) He put my name on a list on his trusty Ipad.
I went for some lunch in the food court. Normally I'd check my emails during lunch, taking time to read and delete or file in a folder what I only have time to scan during the rest of the day. But without my phone I munched and people-watched for forty-five minutes. Next I went to Nordstrom, where I'd purchased a pair of pants that needed alterations. I produced the heels I intended to wear from the tote over my shoulder and tried the pants on. Once the seamstress was located, I stood on a platform while she pinned up the hems. I arranged to have the pants shipped and walked the perimeter of the mall to window shop.
At 3:50 p.m. I returned to the Apple store. "I have an appointment at 4:00 for a battery replacement on my 5S phone," I said.
"Please sit at that table - the second from the rear on the left." I joined five others, all waiting for appointments on stools.
At 4:00 a technician came to our table and called out a name. It wasn't mine. It was the lady's next to me. She had basic questions about her Mac computer and the tech easily answered them. "Could you look at the list to see where 'Pam Carey' is, please?" I pleaded when he'd finished with the woman next to me.
"You should be up next."
"Thanks," I said, and waited till 4:30 p.m. for a female technician to call my name.
"I need a new battery for my 5S," I said for the ??? time.
"Follow me," she said . . . which I did to a high-top diagonally opposite where I'd been sitting. "This is Louis," she said. "He'll be happy to take care of you."
"Louis, all I need is a battery replacement for my 5S."
His swarthy complexion smiled down at me as I lifted my fanny into the stool. He emitted my first ray of light (and hope) since I'd entered the store at 2:00. Another man's new phone was plugged into the charging dock in the middle of the table. "I'm just reloading this man's information from his old phone into his new one, but I can help you while that's happening," he said. "Let me look at the diagnostics from your phone. Please open your phone with your password."
He took my 5S and tethered it by umbilical cord into his iPad. "We can free up some storage space before you get a new battery," he said, and proceeded to do so.
"Now, I must explain to you that a new battery on this phone will cost $79. If you get a new battery on a 6X or any succeeding model, it will cost you only $29."
"So my phone's too old to qualify for the $29 battery replacement program advertised since the lawsuit was settled?"
"Correct. Did you look at new phones?"
"Yes, and I'll be doing that in a few months, but I don't have time today. The newer models start around $500 and up with a plan, correct?"
"Yes. So you'd still like a battery for this phone?"
"Then I'll write a work order for this and the work will take at least an hour."
"Can that be done today?"
"If you have time today. I can print up a work order which you must present to get the work started. If you'd prefer to come back, report to the last tabletop in the rear on the left."
"I'll be back tomorrow. Please print up the work order." I arrived home three hours after entering the Apple store the first time.
The next day Charley returned with me. "Was I exaggerating?" I asked him, as we wound to the last table in the rear.
"This is incredible," he said. "It's hell on earth."
I presented the work order to a technician who was leaning over a woman with a Mac at the appropriate table. "May I give this work order to you?" I said.
"I'll get someone for you." She spoke into a microphone on her lapel and returned to the problem on the screen in front of her.
When a young man with the face of a fifteen-year-old and round gold-framed glasses sidled up to the stool next to me, I handed over the work order and my phone. He consulted his iPad. "It should take two hours," he said. "It's a Saturday and we're very busy. When you return, just go directly to the back padded wall and someone will meet you there to check the status of your order."
"Well, we can go have some dinner. Thanks." We found the Grand Lux Cafe in the mall and followed the hostess to a padded booth. I ordered a Cosmopolitan and Charley ordered a beer. "Let's relax," I suggested. The dinner was delicious and we each ordered another drink.
An hour and a half went by. "Let's go see if it's ready," Charley said, anxious to get home to watch the NCAA basketball playoffs.
We weaved among the shoppers at the high-top tables in the Apple store until we hit the charcoal padded wall in the rear, where we stood waiting for someone to acknowledge us. "I have a work order and would like to see if it's ready," I said, stopping the first technician that went by.
She was a young lady with dreadlocks and a very round pleasant face. She consulted her iPad. "You're very early," she said. "It won't be ready for another thirty minutes, at least. Come back then."
We went out into the mall and snagged two armchairs directly across from the storefront. The chairs were not next to each other, which was good, since Charley was doing all he could to control his anger by watching the specimens of humanity, or whatever they were, passing by. At the appointed time we returned to the inferno.
The same young man who looked fifteen was at a table nearest the back wall, second from the left. "We've been waiting two hours for a battery replacement," I said. "The name is Pam Carey."
"Yes, here you are on the list. Well, it shouldn't be long now. Just sit at this table and I'll keep checking on it."
Another twenty minutes went by, for a total of one hundred and forty minutes we'd waited for the battery replacement on the second day. "I'm showing it's ready now," he said. He disappeared and emerged with a thin white padded envelope. Inside was my beloved phone, which I slid from its wrapper and turned on. The young man took my credit card and I signed with my finger. "The game score is really lop-sided," I told Charley, checking into ESPN for the basketball scores. It was the least I could do.
|An Apple a day may keep the doctor AND ME away!|