Brief Encounters

    I woke up at 7:00 am, slipped into my jeans and felt the beginnings of a long day ahead of me as I dragged the razor across my upper lip.  First work and then class, and work again.  As I grabbed a banana to eat on the bus I remembered Professor Morris telling us to have a deep, meaningful conversation with a complete stranger.  I see a girl standing alone waiting for the bus.  It was a nippy morning and we were both trying to reduce our body’s surface area to stop the wind from robbing us of our warmth.  I try to strike up a conversation. 

    “It’s freakin’ freezing.  Pretty rare for Socal, huh?  You would think a guy from San Francisco would be used to this.”  She barely glances up, giving me the slightest of polite smiles.  Shot down, obviously cautious of the guy who might be a stalker/creep/bastard.  The bus came, packed as usual, with people half awake, wishing never to have left the comfort and heat of their blankets.  I refrain from trying to strike up a conversation while standing up as the bus lurched forward and from side to side, realizing no one really wants to be talked to this early in the morn.  

    I walk into the Computerstore, swipe my card, my bread and butter, put on my name tag and boot up all the computers.  Surrounded by bright screens and florescent lights, I open Firefox and begin my daily routine of catching up with technology news, an obligatory ritual.  Half an hour passes and not one customer.   Then I see him walking toward the counter with his long trench coat, Ralph Lauren glasses or something similar, and an excited smile on his face. 

    “Hey, I have a question for ya.  I was wondering if I could reserve a MacBook Air. I’m a professor here and I want to beat the rush.  I want one as soon as it comes in.” 

    “Here we go again,” I thought to myself.  “Another crazy member of the Cult of Mac, obsessed with emaciated gadgets and the benign dictatorship of Steve Jobs.  Worst of all, he mentioned that he was a professor, as if I should cater to his needs before anyone else’s. 

    “Of course you can reserve one,” I said politely.  He asked me what I thought about the MacBook Air and I told him that it was over priced and that it’s only notable “feature” was it’s thinness.  He seemed a little taken aback at the fact someone didn’t find the MacBook Air to be the greatest invention since sliced bread. 
   
    “But it’s 0.7 inches thick at its thickest point and it only weighs 3 lbs!” 

    “Yeah but it doesn’t even have an optical drive, has one USB port, no Ethernet port, no Firewire, and has an extremely weak processor.  I know it’s thin but I think you have to compromise too much for that single feature of it being lightweight.  Plus, it’s nearly two grand” I retorted. 
   
    He seemed to be irritated with me and just asked if I would reserve the computer for him.  I could see that he had made up in his mind that he was going to purchase the Air and no amount of convincing could change his mind.  This professor was only one of the hundreds of Mac fanatics that we cater to on a daily basis and I was in no mood to get fired for debating with a customer.  I put his name down for a pre-order and tell him, “You’re all set.”  I gave him a polite smile, the exact one that the girl at the bus stop gave me an hour ago. 

    No one wants to talk this early in the morn. 

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