Jill standing outside wearing black cropped pants, white ruffled shirt and high heeled scandals.

Re-thinking my decision

We met on July 2nd and four days later it was over. He was too aggressive, too insistent, and didn’t listen. Our disparate styles of give and receive were indisputable. Our incompatibility undeniable. I learn by methodical repetition, and he was rapid fire. My instincts to think it over were thwarted by my enthusiasm to have it, and I let myself be swayed. I bought a phone, a state of the art 4G Smartphone.

When my children were young I owned and drove a nine passenger black Chevy Suburban. Its colossal dimensions made me feel as if I were piloting a plane. I was overpowered by its enormity, and felt that same way as the owner of a Smartphone. But, there was one Smartphone feature that totally seduced me. As nothing more than a complete neophyte, I suppressed the piercing thought of a wrong decision and left with the equivalent of a nine passenger vehicle in my purse.

Technology is not particularly interesting to me, rather a necessary evil, and a means to an end. Knowing that my vocabulary to go toe to toe with a knowledgeable, if not zealous phone sales representative is sorely lacking, I brought someone with me to help navigate my purchase. We spent some time alone toggling between Smartphones and the iPhone. While my companion wasn’t insistent, he sincerely believed that I was “so i Phone.”

White iPhone box on shelf next to white Milk Glass collection

White iPhone box with Milk Glass collection

The beginning of almost any relationship focuses on the initial attraction. Red flags ignored despite clear evidence to the contrary that it’s not a match. This in store phone-mance was no different. After more than an hour of instruction I didn’t completely understand how to use my new phone. I wanted to tell him, but much like those first few dates when he thinks its working and you know it isn’t, I couldn’t bring myself to let him know that his enthusiastic style didn’t work for me.

Verizon salesman that sold me my white iPhone and helped me to learn how to use it.


For four days I tried. I read the manual, and I looked at You Tube instructional videos, but this was not going to work. I had to tell him. He was surprised, disappointed, and seemed to take it personally. He was Smartphone; I was after all, so iPhone. I had to find another. Was it too soon, it didn’t matter. I had to have my needs met. Trenell and I were a perfect match. He was soft-spoken and patient and sold me my white i Phone. He went over the instructions with me as if it were the first time he was doing this, and told me to come back any time.

One night I went back just to ask about I Tunes, another night it was email. Trenell is smart. He was always helpful and gracious, and didn’t tire of my simplistic questions. Our relationship was brief, but we bonded and I knew I could go back anytime I needed him.

Apple logo at the Apple Adventura store

Apple logo

I had learned enough about the iPhone’s many features to feel comfortable enough using it. And then a fated moment changed everything. I suffered liquid damage. Plain and simple, the phone was in my purse, a bottle of water spilled and it was dead. Someone suggested burying it in a bag of rice. Desperate to recover power I went to the grocery store at 10:15 pm on Friday night and made this purchase, but to no avail, there was no power the next morning.

Early Saturday before the store fills with other customers hoping to rectify their own technological issues, Trenell greeted me from behind the counter. He knew from the look on my face that I wasn’t there for further instruction. “Water damage isn’t covered by insurance” he said, and told me that the cost of replacement would be many hundreds of dollars. An out of contract type of replacement was prohibitive. He gladly looked up the number of the Apple Aventura store so that I could make an appointment with a genius. I had half an hour to get there. Trenell wished me luck and I left.

Genius bar logo at Apple store

Genius Bar logo at Apple Adventura store

My middle daughter attends Duke University in North Carolina. She was the only one of her friends to make the Dean’s List. She was that child that always got hundreds on grade school tests, and went on to have a GPA well over 4.0. I have always thought of her as a genius, but now I was on my way to meet a dyed in the wool, certifiable genius. I felt like Dorothy on her way to meet the Wizard. Would he (she) be able to help me? I was a bit unnerved.

As the Wizard had a doorman, Ryan was the gatekeeper of the genius bar. I was about five minutes late for my 10:30 meeting so Ryan brought a stool over to make the wait more comfortable and we talked Apple until about 10:55 when he introduced me to Josh. My genius diagnostician pronounced the phone dead. The indicators of this relationship were also red. But it wasn’t the foreboding don’t do this type of red flag; it was simply the red indicator of the phone letting Josh know that the damage was irreparable.

Print out of appointment on Saturday July 23 for iPhone

Print out of Genius Bar appointment

My history showed that my phone was a new purchase. Josh’s fellow genius over heard our conversation about liquid damage, and much like a doctor would confer with a trusted colleague they began to talk about the best solution. Kevin was standing next to me. He too had been listening. While the geniuses were conversing Kevin began to tell me all about the iPad. After awhile I reached in to my purse to give Kevin my card so that he could visit Raw Candor. Josh stopped me and said “I don’t want your money.” Not sure what he meant my eyes darted in his direction. “Your phone is so new, I feel bad, I’m going to just give you a new one.” And that’s what he did.

We tried to register the phone at Apple but my own carrier has security measures in place which prevent this from happening. Just outside of Apple was a kiosk for my carrier. My able salesperson was Brian. He was polite and willing to help as I began to explain my situation, but it was impossible to hear him. A shop directly across from the kiosk selling clothes for young women that like to wear really bright colors and very little fabric was blaring music which made it impossible to hold a conversation. I asked Brian how he tolerated this. “My colleague just left to get security, we have been trying to get them to turn it down.” I asked him to excuse me and went into the store. Two minutes later Brian and I were able to talk without yelling at one another.

He explained to me that I would have to pay an activation fee. Having just paid this fee when I got the phone I asked if it were possible to waive that expense. He thought for a moment…”well you just got the music turned down for us, so I’ll do that for you. He gave me his card, and told me that if I ever needed him he would be happy to travel to the store where I originally bought the phone.

Jill Slaughter's desk

GOAL, Ted Conference, Convert to Mac

On the wall of my apartment, to the left of my PC is a Post-It with the word GOAL at the top. Prior to my visit to Apple Aventura there was only one thing written on this piece of paper. Ted Conference. It’s a goal of mine to both attend, and speak at a Ted Conference someday. Now there is something written below that aspiration – convert to MAC. I now know that I am also so iPad.

Post -It showing GOAL, Ted Conference, Convert to Mac close up

Close up of Post- It, Convert to MAc

Before I left my genius I asked if Apple offered in house tutorials on the iPhone. Josh immediately pulled up the schedule. July 30th, 6:00pm. “That’s my birthday; I can’t be at an iPhone workshop on my birthday.” He said I couldn’t possibly be anywhere else. So that’s where I’ll be. There’s a Grand Lux at Aventura, maybe I’ll go in to eat a piece of cake and surf the web on my phone when the tutorial is over. I am after all so iPhone.

Very large American Flag waving in the breeze on a cloudy evening

Our American Flag

The Ted Conference