Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Geniuses, For Real

Someday, when I'm long gone, which of our many adventures together will my daughter look back on most fondly? Family vacations? Theatre excursions? Preschool art projects? Prom dress shopping?

Or, will it be our (seemingly endless) trips to The Apple Store?

Hmmm. I wonder.

Yesterday, I stopped work mid-afternoon, picked her up a couple of blocks from the high school, and drove her to the nearest major mall, about 30 minutes away.

In her defense, she offered to drive there by herself. My concern was that, technically if not technologically, her iPhone 6S is actually mine. As in, it's in my name, paid for by my credit card, as are her phone service and data plan. I worried that if something had to be repaired or replaced, she might not be authorized to make those decisions.

Here's what necessitated our latest pilgrimage to the temple Steve Jobs built:

• My daughter's iPhone won't hold a charge. The battery drains from 100% into the single digits in the course of a morning. Whether she's on it or not. And despite the fact that IT'S ONLY 4 MONTHS OLD!

• The aforementioned iPhone will only take a charge from one particular USB lightning cable — stubbornly NOT RESPONDING when plugged into her laptop or any of myriad other cords we've stashed throughout the house and in every car.

• That same iPhone, when it does deign to charge, GETS STUCK AT 77% regardless of how long it's plugged in.

Okay, I don't pretend (not even for a New York minute) that I'm an Apple Genius. But, with the data we've collected above (in capital letters and otherwise), it would seem to me not illogical, not at all unreasonable or outlandish, or even vaguely crazy to suggest that ... there's something perhaps, just a bit wrong with the battery.

My daughter's diagnosis is stated in LOUDER, more definitive and much more colorful language. For real.

Nevertheless, we did what we're supposed to do. Booked a Genius Bar appointment, dropped everything and drove to the Apple Store. We've had good luck there before. The friendly, knowledgeable, and invariably pierced and tattooed, staff takes good care of us. We've always left satisfied (sometimes poorer, but satisfied). Until yesterday.

Our so-called Genius was attentive and polite. But, he couldn't fix the problem. (OMG!) He did some diagnostics and showed us that the battery was healthy. This ruled out "a hardware problem" and suggested (you guessed it) "a software problem." The next step would be wiping the phone, setting it up again as a new phone, using it for a couple of days, and then restoring all of my daughters' data. The issue could be the software. It could be the restore. We would rule each one out.

To me, this sounded sensible. Inconvenient, but sensible.

To my daughter, it sounded like a FATE WORSE THAN DEATH. How did he expect her to live without her data for 48 hours? What if she could never restore? What if she lost her pictures? Did I know what a pain this all was? Don't I care? Don't they care? It's their problem; why can't they fix it? How dare they call themselves 'Geniuses?' On the way from the mall to the stable, my daughter subjected us to a series of neverending questions that would have made Socrates proud. For real.

Nevertheless, this evening, my daughter will download all her photos, then wipe her phone and set it up anew. With any luck, the issues will disappear and all will be well again. My daughter's faith has been shaken, but I still believe. (And, with college tuition looming, I can't even think about buying another phone right now. For real.)

One last thing. 

If anyone at Apple can figure out how to keep these teenage technical issues from growing into crises of global proportions, I will happily call them Geniuses for life. For real.

If you've enjoyed this post, I invite you to order the book Lovin' the Alien here.   


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