Apple stores make me shudder
Published: Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 03:02
Walking into an Apple Store feels kind of like walking into a hospital. The only difference is that everyone working at the hospital isn’t super happy that you’re there. And they aren’t quite as arrogant.
The design of Apple’s retail layout is as clean as the minimal sleekness of its devices, but the shopping experience feels too clean, to the point of mental and physical discomfort.
I want to get an extra charge cable for my iPhone, and since the Chinese knock-off from eBay broke after two charges, I resolve on a trip to Cherry Creek Mall.
I walk through the sleek glass entrance, and look around, searching for the rack of cords. There is no signage to direct the way. The walkways are clear and clean, and the lighting all even and bright. There is more shelf space than there is product. It feels like an art gallery, or a section of IKEA, not an electronics store.
Then, out of nowhere, a league of employees, all smiling and standing close together, bombards me.
There are three of them, and the weird thing is that, to me, they feel purposefully diversified, like a college pamphlet for Student Life. The African-American woman eyes her other two headset-donning co-workers, and they reluctantly recede into the sea of oak tables and glass slabs, sniffing out their next prey.
She asks if she can help me, and I utter the single word of my journey, “cables.” She smirks condescendingly, like it’s really cute that I want to charge my phone.
She starts showing me various kinds and relaying too many details. My polite smiling doesn’t make her go away; it makes her talk louder.
And I don’t know why. I just want the cheapest one, and then I want to leave.
What I dislike about Apple’s retail store is what I love about the iPhone and the software: its catering to the customer. I want technology to fit my needs, but when other people and physical spaces do it on purpose, I feel guilty and awkward. And especially when they’re so indignant about it.