Inspired by Rodti Macleary’s (http://Rodti.MacLeary.com) renewed blogging passion, I have decided to try and blog more often. I recently changed jobs which has given me the gift/curse of 2 hours in a train everyday which removes my old excuse of not having enough time. On saying that, it’s not as if I have anything relevant to say so perhaps it was better when I didn’t even try! You can be the judge of that.
On Friday, like so many of my Apple brethren, I queued up for an iPad. I got into the queue at the Apple store in Glasgow at 7:30am and was surprised by the queue already formed. I had expected a queue, but not one the size I found, for those of you who are familiar with that area of glasgow; the queue started at the front door of the Apple Store and stretched round the corner to where I met it, outside the Lloyds TSB. Rumours were spreading through the queue that some folks had been there since 7pm the previous evening! Well done you for being that much of a fanboy but I like my own bed too much!
After about 15mins a couple of members of staff meandered through the crowd passing the time of day with a little small talk, this was a nice touch. I have never attended an official Apple store launch before so I was not sure if this was “organised” small talk or just a couple of bored employees who wanted to blether to the crowd. No sooner had that thought passed through my head than it was answered; a further 3 Staff members appeared passing out water and generally encouraging the crowds excitement with phrases that Mr Jobs himself could have penned such as “it’s just amazing”, “the things it can do…. You won’t believe it until you hold one” and so on…
On a side note, an enterprising Starbucks employee appeared at various points during my queueing experience to take orders from the shop across from the Apple store. It was quite pleasant. Thank you Starbucks employee!
Finally, at 8am they opened the store. Did they just open the doors and usher people in? Of course not, this is Apple after all. The staff (all 30+ of them) appeared from somewhere down the queue from me, the end of the queue was not visible at this point so I really don’t know where they came from. They performed what can only be described as a “fly by”. the ran up the side of the queue in a sort of conga line whooping and cheering and hi-fiveing anyone who would offer to receive it. When they got to the front of the queue, which was still out of sight from me, they were met with cheers and applause from the mentalists who had slept out in front of the store.
So, the first 50 folks entered the store (to more cheering and applause) and we were off. After another 30mins I got in the door. I then joined an in-store queue waiting for my personal shopper to guide me through the treacherous waters of iPad purchase. Finally at about 8:55am he appeared and led me up to the genus bar, I explained that I wasn’t buying any accessories today, just the iPad (32Gb WiFi if anyones interested). The young chap then offered me the chip and pin style device, I did my part, I was then handed an Apple store bag with a A4sized box within and ushered on my way.
I am not sure what i expected to happen, and would have probably complained bitterly about the process taking much longer than It did, but i did begin my walk back down to the lower floor with a feeling of “what just happened?!”. With that feeling in mind, I drowsily made my way over to a smaller queue that had formed near the ‘activation station’. I was greeted my a pleasant girl who’s first words to me were “you come in here a lot don’t you?” What i could have said was “Yes, I am that guy who spends most of his lunchtimes and some parts of his weekends wandering aimlessly round your store, with no intention to buy anything, I just like shiny objects.” Instead i just smiled and nodded. The girl then helped me activate the device, setup mobile me, etc…
I then exited the store at about 9:10am, a mere 1hr 40mins from when i joined the queue. I have to point out that I was in possession of an iPad just 40mins later than those who slept out in front of the store. But hey, it takes all kinds!