It may surprise you to know that I hadn’t set foot inside an Apple Store until today.
Of course I have purchased many Macs during my 15 year fascination with the mighty Apple. I’ve purchased a few from PCWorld. A few online and a few in our local Apple reseller (KRCS).
I have walked past the Apple Store inside the Milton Keynes shopping centre many times and felt slightly intimidated by its minimal styling and shoe-gazing staff. The post modern grey exterior offset by a giant white apple. No words, no advertisements in the window. Just the mighty Apple.
Due to the ever expanding need for storage combined with a failing original “UFO” shaped Airport Extreme I had a need to purchase a Time Capsule. This neatly coincided with a trip to Milton Keynes.
I felt a little trepidation upon crossing the threshold and entering the store. It was buzzing with both staff and customers. Hoodied teenagers grabbing at the iPhones; hip students idly jabbing at the MacBooks and a pony tailed staff member wearing a headset was giving a small group of slightly bemused silver surfers a guided tour of iTunes.
We made straight for the lift with Luke in his pushchair. Naturally the clean lines of the store were not going to be disrupted by an ugly metal box. A ostentatiously large door sequestered the entrance to the lift. Which got stuck between floors seemingly on purpose. Maybe it detected I had a Blackberry on me and that was my punishment.
The second floor gave access to the genius bar purporting a free “IPod slot” in 2 hours time. I picked up a 1TB Time Capsule and scanned the room for a cash register. Like the floppy drive, MMS and Carbon, Apple deemed them obsolete; an anachronism. Instead one of the many staff took my card, processed the sale with a hand reader and offered to email me my receipt. Fascinating. How avant garde!
I must admit that I did feel out of place in such an environment. My advancing age and failing dress conspire to make me feel like a dad gate crashing his son’s friend’s party. Heck, even the neighbouring store “Schue” (fittingly selling shoes) left me feeling socially expired with its walls stacked with multi-coloured Converse throbbing with the too-loud music.
I did get a free plastic back-pack, though. Complete with a “mug me” Apple logo.