Monday, July 6, 2009

The Mac Genius

I will only leave the house with both boys on my own for two reasons.
  1. To got to a friend's house, where the boys can run/roll freely within the confines of someone else's four walls.
  2. In a dire emergency.
This afternoon was an emergency. The power supply - the thing that charges my MacBook - was dead. Something to do with a small person with busy fingers tugging at the wires on it the day before. Anyway. It was totally buggered.

After angrily fiddling with the box for about ten minutes as if I have a clue what I'm doing, I'm persuaded by J to give up and see what the Mac people say about it.

First I go to the Future Shop site to see what they have to say - since that's where we purchased the machine. I click on Expert Advice. This guy pops up. "Hi there. I'm here to help answer your technical problems. Just type your question into the box below." Fine. It's a recording of a tech geek. I think about what to type. I begin to type Mac but instead I type Man by accident. The recorded geek has a puzzled look on his face. I think, okay, this is weird. I delete Man and wait for a second. The freaking recorded guy is just sitting there staring back at me. Then he sort of waves as if to say "hello?". I jump about ten feet in the air. HE'S BLOODY LOOKING AT ME! Then he kind of shrugs and gets up and walks off. I scream. Yes that's right I screamed.

J asks me what the hell is going on. I tell him in a high pitched squeak the freaking man in the computer is watching me. I close the Future Shop web site cause there's no way in hell I want this stranger staring at me from down the computer. I mean where's the privacy! J assures me that it is actually a recording - the whole thing. I'm not convinced and I certainly am not going back to find out.

Happily, on the Apple web site I'm chuffed to find that I can make an appointment with a Mac Genius at a store in Calgary the following day. Hurrah.

Great. Except that means I will have to take the boys with me. Okay.. I can do this.

I arrive at the Apple store about thirty minutes before the appointment time. Which is not good because Matthew and Oliver are both already squirmy and irritable in the gigantic, unwieldy double stroller. Matthew is making an "eeeeee" sound with clenched jaw. Oliver is trying to wriggle out of the straps of the car seat and grunting.

I look for a Mac geek person, hoping they'll take pity on me - loaded down with my wriggly kids, and move me to front of the queue.

Have you ever been into an Apple store? It's like a big fluorescent Swedish canteen with long tables and wall-to-wall inset shelves. And the employees aren't all that geeky any more. In fact they're downright ordinary. The only way to pick them out from a crowd is by their matching blue t-shirts and the way they languidly recline against the wall orating the benefits of PhotoShop and iPhoto.

At the back of the store I see a sign that says Genius Bar. I head over there. A swarm of Genius people are talking hastily to clients with computer problems. For a few minutes I stand gawking impatiently, wondering if anyone is going to help me. Finally a lanky adolescent girl with laddered fishnet stockings comes to my rescue. "What's your surname?" She asks. I tell her and she thumbs through the looooong list of customers on her ipod. "They'll call your name when they're ready."

Uh huh. Okay. This is okay. I can be patient. I'll just feed Matthew these emergency cookies that I brought with me. And I have a few toys up my sleeve. And a worst-case bottle of milk.

Two minutes later I give up.

"How about if I come back in ten minutes?" I ask the girl. "Probably a good idea" she nods.

Okay so off we go around the mall. I hate malls by the way. I didn't used to but now I simply cannot stand them.

Matthew has now transitioned from "eeeee" to "THAT! THAT! THAT" pointing and yelling at everyone/thing in sight.

What seems like three hours but is actually only seven minutes later I return to the store. I go straight to the Genius Bar and try to remain calm. The store is packed with tourists, teenagers, elderly people, moms. One woman looks kind of like me, except she has a toddler, a baby and she's pregnant. Eek. I gave her a sympathetic smile and thank the stars I am not her at that moment. Her toddler is also making screechy noises and reaching for expensive products with sticky fingers.

A teenage boy tugging at a cord on one of the products set off an alarm. "weoweoweoweow". Very loud. Matthew looks at me for some explanation and then goes back to his "eeeee". I look around to see who is going to attend to the noise. None of the twelve staff I count even remotely approach the crazy loud alarm. A woman near me stands with her hands over her ears with a silly grin. "That's not too annoying at all!" I say loudly and the skinny fishnet stocking girl laughs awkwardly. No joke the alarm continues ringing a hole in my ear drums for a good five minutes before a Mac person strolls up to it and casually turns it off.


Matthew has now eaten all the cookies I brought as a distraction and begins tossing his bear on the floor for fun. A kind lady picks Harry up and hands him back to Matthew who promptly informs her. "Isss Harry! Isss Harry!"

Then halleluiah at last my name is called and I am passing the Genius man my MacBook and power supply and explaining. He mumbles something incoherent about something to do with cables and... um... something else. Then he flips a couple of things on the supply box, does something with another cable, and then cooly hands me a new charger.

And that was it.

I thank him a little too profusely and run. RUN from the store with my two kids and my ridiculous oversized stroller and right out of the mall.

And that, dear reader, is why I hardly ever go out with both kids on my own.
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Loukia said...

But you survived! See? You can do this! It gets easier and easier each time... well, you get used it. Disaster can strike at any time, though. So be prepared. I have a billion different snacks with me at all times. At least 3 change of clothes for each child, etc., etc. Your survived, though! Yay! (But it is stressful... I know!)

Loukia said...

Also? If that Future Shop guy was looking at you... oh, wow... creepy beyond!

..... Carmen said...

Oh you make me laugh (and I needed one tonight!). I am almost tempted to go to Future Shop Online and see if I type in 'man' what the guy does to me - lol. Kudos to you for going out with two kids. I'm impressed you even got Matthew to stay in the stroller. Grace would have been running haywire and if I had a baby it probably would have been screaming (especially with alarms going off). VERY impressed.

Paging Doctor Mommy said...

I'm going to the Future Shop help site now...

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I can't take my three anywhere retail-related unless we are in constant motion. I have to be able to throw all of them into a cart and speed up when they make moves to escape. I also pick up a big box of goldfish crackers and let them stuff themselves as a means of distraction. Whenever we go out, we are absolutely "that" family.

Blahbitty Blahbitty Blahbitty Blah! said...

Oh, you did great! Trust me: the more you do it, the easier it gets and the more comfortable your children will get when you go places.
I found on the arrival of my third child that staying at home is NOT an option. I began to feel confined and depressed never leaving the home (for three years). So, now, I just pack them up. We make it. And both the children and I enjoy the fresh air and the change in scenery.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

I usually do the Apple store by myself. If I take my wife, she constantly calls me a 'geek'. And my kids are too busy hogging the computers to let me play.

And I went to that Future Store site. That guy in the window beckoning me to ask a question is creepy!

Maria @BOREDmommy said...

It will get easier, I promise you. I remember being terrified the first time I had to go out with 2 kids alone, but I don`t even think about it now. Of course there are always those days, where they are wild monkeys, and I cry all the way home. Just comfort yourself that your babes are adorable and sweet and all yours!!!

Mwa said...

I find that going out with the kids makes me lose all my principles. They never get sweets at home, yet when we're out I know it buys me ten minutes, so...

Anonymous said...

Thanks everyone for reassuring me it will get easier. I'm clinging to that thought.

Crystall - I feel the same, sometimes staying home is not an option for the sake of my sanity.

Kate - yes I find being stationery will almost always end in disaster. Best to keep moving.

DGB - See?! He is creepy.

Ann said...

Wait a minute. That Future Shop site can see us? I would have screamed too!

Congratulations on your successful errand with both of your boys! The day really does come when all you need are your cars keys and some lip stuff. Really :->

Mammatalk said...

I understand totally! I have to keep moving with my two. I hear it gets easier!

Amy said...

Hey, I just moved from Calgary to the Ottawa area last year! WHERE IS THAT MAC STORE? It must be new... or I didn't get out much while we lived there. Maybe both?

Going out with my, ahem, three boys is always stressful. Going to a crowded store full of sparkly, shiny, EXPENSIVE things?? A total nightmare.

You did well.