Every week or so I have a kind of therapy appointment. It’s not with a therapist though. It’s with one of the employed blue shirted “geniuses” (an entirely deserved title) at my local Apple store.
This week’s peace of mind came after learning how to import the music from my old PC into I-Tunes into my new Macbook Pro. Not all of my sessions are this fluffy. Last week I learned how to set up a Google calendar that could be read by my new Droid phone. As it is, I can’t even believe I know what that means now.
As my trainer and I sat waiting for a few moments for the transfer to finish, I asked him how his day was going. He smiled widely, and thanked me for asking, adding no one had ever asked him that question before. He actually looked surprised and grateful.
He explained he didn’t mind because he loved his job. “Like winning the golden ticket for the chocolate factory tour,” he told me. At that moment, I looked around at the large number of people in the store all checking out the latest Apple gadgets and caught the sound of a little girl singing while she sat at a computer table set up just for kids her size. This is a company that totally gets it’s customers, I thought.
It’s a sometimes strange, occasionally intimidating, wondrous place, the Apple Store. It’s the piazza, the town hall, the local cafe, the mall and yes even the therapist’s office all wrapped up into one.
I looked back at my trainer and told him how when I was his age (I’m guessing he was in his late 20’s), people barely gave me the time of day when I was job hunting. I was young and inexperienced. I knew things but not a lot. I needed to start at the bottom, ‘pay my dues,’ or so the line went. Now, just looking around the store, I noticed that most of the employees in the store were probably born after 1990, and now they are the ones to know.
Do they even realize it? I wondered Unlike those of us born at the tail end of the baby boom, they are the experts now. It struck me how much the entire paradigm had shifted. I felt a pang of regret knowing that after all these years I was back to being the “new kid” again.
There I was, as old or older than the people I used to approach for jobs, listening with rapt attention to someone who really did possess the “golden ticket” but not because he was fortunate to get a job at Apple, but because he happened to be born into the digital age. This made him, or at least his knowledge, very valuable to me. Why? because I know every time I turn on my computer, or walk into that Apple store, I’m going to be playing catch up. But it’s okay. If I’ve learned one thing by now, it’s that it’s good to always be learning.