Injecting a Touch of Humanity

Even for a technology enthusiast like myself, Apple as an organization has an ivory-like opacity about it; the stores, the employees and even the products themselves present with perfectionism. It’s not that there aren’t flaws or mistakes, but it’s clear that every effort has been made to ensure that customers see as few of these blemishes as possible.

My friend Stephen has recently released Bartending, a collection of memories from his time as the Lead Genius at his local Apple retail store. Aside from being an extremely fun and engaging read (and it really is), I think the part I enjoyed most about it was how thoroughly human the accounts are. I’d never heard of an Apple employee physically destroying an iPhone in a frustrated rage before I read this book, and I’m pretty sure I won’t again anytime soon.

I’ve been a fan of Stephen’s writing since before he and I became friends and Bartending is a great example of why that is. It draws a nice balance between Macs that are laughably packed with homemade porn (Chapter 6, “So Much Porn”) to customers who shed hopeless tears in his presence because priceless family memories appeared to have been gone forever (Chapter 8, “Nearly Tragic Data Loss”).

If you’ve ever stood on the firing end of the Genius Bar at your Apple store, then I think you’ll enjoy reading about what it looks like from the business end.

Go right now and grab Bartending as a DRM-free ePub (which works with iBooks on your iOS devices) or for the Kindle for less than what you’d pay for a pint of crappy American beer on a Friday night. It’s a great buy and I’d recommend it even if I didn’t like Stephen (he can be a jerk sometimes, but don’t tell him I said so; dude gets mad).