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Going To The Apple Store: Busy Mom Meets Apple Genius

By Stephanie Schaeffer Silverman

I was done. Was it so much to ask that things work the way they are supposed to so that I can keep my sanity?

The stupid rainbow wheel had appeared too many times, and this time I couldn’t even get my computer to start. I had no time to spare on the other necessary tasks of life, but a trip to the Apple store? That was a must.

I arrived at the store, I unpacked my Mac, and the genius magically appeared with a simple question:

“What’s the problem today?”

“I can’t get my Mac to turn on, the stupid rainbow wheel appears way too many times, and I keep getting a pixilated screen.” Woe was me.

“All right. Let me take a look,” he said with an air of my IQ is higher than yours. I surrendered my livelihood to his geniuses. He pressed a series of buttons and quickly assessed my RAM.

“OHHHH.” What the heck does that mean?

“What?” I ask tentatively.

“Your computer could stand a little more RAM. You only have 4, and 8 would probably allow you to process faster.”

Blank look. He continued. Here’s what he said: “So, think of RAM like short-term memory—the more RAM you have, the more tasks your computer can do at one time. So if you are only working with 4, it’s harder to process all of the tasks than if you had, say, 8.”

But, here’s what I heard: “So, right now, while I am talking, you are thinking about your client meeting this afternoon, the kids’ activities tonight, the proposal due tomorrow, the food in your fridge, whether you made that doctor’s appointment and whether you booked that airline ticket. That’s a lot to process, and your brain is simply not large enough to do that.”

“So, what are my options?”

Tech Stress At The Apple Store

What he said: “Well, you could purchase another 4 MB of RAM, and you would definitely see a difference in terms of how quickly the computer responds. You would really benefit from a memory upgrade.”

What I heard: “You could do more than you are doing. Sure, you have a full-time job, three kids and other community obligations—maybe even a life—but if you were better, stronger and more organized, you could easily accomplish more.”

“Can I do that now?”

What he said:“Sure, but you would need to leave your computer overnight, and I’m not sure whether that works with your schedule.”

What I heard: “Yes, if you want to get even further behind in your life, leave your computer here. Actually leave your credit card, too, since this is going to cost you. Then, when you have become completely unglued because you are so reliant on your Mac, come back here and grovel, and maybe we’ll give it back to you in better shape than when you left it.”

“Are there any other options?” I venture.

What he said:“Well, you could go on Amazon and purchase RAM there. It’s actually quite easy to install. Here, I’ll show you,” he says, pulling up a how-to video for this simple task.

What I heard: “I know you don’t have enough to do, but tonight around midnight when you are about to finally go to bed, run back downstairs and search Amazon for RAM—like you even know what that means. (He snorts at his own joke.) Wake your tech support child and beg him to help you order the right thing, and offer to pay him to do something you have no idea how to do, and no time to do.”

Now I see my problem.

What my calendar said: Genius Bar Appointment

What I really needed: A spa appointment.

Stephanie Silverman

Stephanie Schaeffer Silverman is publisher of Your Teen Magazine.