A trip to the Apple store is always an adventure. You are greeted immediately by an impeccable employee who ushers you into the hands of a waiting sales clerk or resident genius. If you are waiting for the latter it can take a while. I find this time awkward. It is usually hard to find a place to even sit down and this is not a browsing store. It has a purpose driven environment. Most people know what they want to buy before ever gracing the door. It’s pretty simple since they only sell about four actual products outside of accessories.
There is always a sea of interesting people milling around with different levels of intent. I just recently learned that over half of these are really disguised security people since theft is simply unacceptable at Apple. And I find it intriguing to watch the stylish young posing beside the rumpled intellectuals. I always seem to run into someone I know so it is usually a socially gratifying experience.
I was there today to pick up my sick computer. It had been wheezing horribly and was in need of a new fan. A simple repair but I still needed to leave it overnight. I thought I could just pick it up at the door in the back alley. This is great discovery for those I frequently see lugging iMacs through the front door or double parking out front to unload. I admit to doing the same thing until a Genius let me in on his little secret.
In fact, the real treasure is in the alley at the dumpster. It is filled to the brim with the best quality cardboard money can buy and it is a shame to see it all go to waste. Since I started hanging out at the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse I look at garbage in a whole new light. My daughter just built a house within our house out of large cardboard containers and I hardly see her anymore. She even devised a clever lighting system out of binder clips and small flashlights. It is the perfect place for her to hide away with her iPad.
So I simply couldn’t help myself from poking around the garbage after I rang the doorbell for service. It took a while for someone to answer and I completely admitted to admiring their trash. When I got full permission to help myself, I loaded down my white Honda station wagon with all the cardboard it could hold. There were thick squares of intriguing triangles and large flat boxes that will be perfect for lining my guinea pig cage.
My trash will truly turn to treasure and I left the Apple store without spending a dime.