Descent into Hell, Part 1

The mobile started misbehaving even worse than usual the other day. I’d been getting a day or so out of a charge, and marketly less so if I used it at all. I started noticing that I couldn’t surf really well, and got to thinking it had been sometime that I’ve seen a 5G icon.

So I went through the support pages and found that’s a symptom of a gimpy battery. Sure enough, system settings showed the battery was bad. What to do? I’ve used a small shop down the street before, but last two repairs they did didn’t last. Turns out, the Apple Store had the best price – $49. Why not? So I made an appointment.

Appointment day came, and I realized why not.

The Apple stores here are in malls.

It’s been years since I darkened the doors of a shopping mall. Last one I went into was the now defunt Collin Creek mall, and only because it had the only watch repair place around where I was living.

I realized the error of my ways as I approached Northpark mall, a little over a week before Christmas.

What the hell was I thinking?

And I didn’t really size up a map first. I knew it was near Nordstroms, but I didn’t know where Nordstroms was. So I had to deal with countless imbeciles. Seriousy, how hard is it to keep going up a parking garage until you find a space?

I finally get the the store and had another wave of regret, looking at the pandemonium. Surely, had they been around back then, Dante would’ve added the Apple Store into one of the circles of hell. Whatever, I had an appointment, so I checked in with the gatekeeper and she told me to go sit on a cube in the back. Someone would see me.


That’s what a guy my age wants to do. Sit on a wooden cube in what looks like a child’s playroom. The place was nuts. I counted maybe 20 employees in red shirts, and a handful of black shirt techs. Seems seemed crazy but they appeared to be moving.

Fifteen minutes later a rather effeminate hipster come up and we chat about my problem. Why he didn’t know that from my appointment was anyone’s guess. “Well, it’s probably the battery. We can change that or you can upgrade to the latest phone”. Sure. Battery – $49, New iPhone $800+. One of these things is not like the other. He told me a tech would see me soon and flitted off.

Another fifteen minutes the tech came by. She was a bit more of this planet. She ran diagnostics to tell me what I already knew and what I came there for. I tell her, replace the battery. She takes the phone and gives me a pickup time in 45 minutes or so. Not bad. I’ll waddle off to lunch and pick it up after.

Meanwhile this whole time, I’m starting to feel worse and worse.

So I grabbed a salad and sat down in a crowded food court to eat while serenaded by a fat kid who wailed the whole time. There’s a good reason I’ve never come to these places anymore. I can’t think of a more awful way of shopping than that.

I waddled back to the store and picked up my phone. I have to say, at the end of the day, I spent an hour and a half and walked out with a fixed phone that now goes three days before needing a charge.

Having learned my lesson, I took another route out of there. It was really funny, every exit leaving the parking garage was a mess. But there on the exit signs were other arrows that showed “Alt Exit”. So I went down to the basement level and exited unhindered. Had I known, I could have come in that way and parked nearly immediatly. No matter. Last trip I plan there ever again. I think I’d rather have dental work than go to a mall again.

Meanwhile my day was going south fast, as I was feeling crummier and crummier as the day went on.