Embarrassing moment


Keep this in mind when you read this post. I am 25 years old. I will be graduating from College in May with a BA in Spanish and a minor in linguistics. I have had several full time job interviews, and will be traveling a considerable distance independently next week to partake in a second interview as a follow up to a phone interview conducted a few months ago. I have lived alone in an apartment, paying my own bills, cooking my own food, cleaning up, and otherwise living as a self-sufficient adult. I just got back from 2 and a half months in Mexico finishing my last semester of college. I payed for the whole thing myself and made all the arrangements myself. All anyone had to do was drop me off and pick me up at the airport. I am also legally blind and use a guide dog.

I bought an iPad 2 a few days after it came out, and when it arrived (several weeks later) it was defective. I returned it, and since they didn’t have any in stock at the time, they gave me a gift card. I went a time or two to see if they had any, but I was told that if I wanted one, I’d have to get there early to beat the crowds.

Now, as an aside that will make sense later: not being able to drive, and not living close to any viable public transit means I have to essentially live according to other peoples’ schedules. I can only go anywhere when it’s convenient for someone else to take me. I don’t mean that my friends and family don’t care about me, just that it’s inevitable that my desire to go to the apple store will be trumped by their need to go to work. Now, this morning, it was finally convenient for my dad to take me early.

Now, of course we got there a little too late, and my dad, apparently wishing to be assertive for me, asked to see the manager and proceeded to “berate” him about how I never got an ipad when I would go. I’m using quotes because my dad never yells or is rude, he just gets more insistent when he is deliberately inconvenienced.

From my perspective, standing there with my guide dog, I felt like the poor disabled kid whose dad has to come to school to set things straight with the teacher. Remember what I said earlier about my age and credentials. I DEFINITELY don’t look like a little kid.

Now i get to be that guy that all the employees hear about during break. I take pains not to be “that guy” when interacting with retail employees. Having a dog makes me conspicuous as it is.

so embarrassing


First, you are not responsible for the actions of others, even on your behalf. Try to understand your father was doing it out of love for you and was more frustrated with Apple than anything else, they acted very unprofessionally— but that’s Apple.

Second, never buy Apple products.

Third-- you returned a defective warrantied product and they sent you away with a gift card? Another reason for me to hate Apple. You should have politely but firmly told them you will speak to the manager, area manager, regional manager, or whatever person was required to honor the warranty on the product in a reasonable time frame. Period. No talking to flunkies or personnel below the grade to fulfill your quite reasonable requirement to have the working product you paid for and that they had warrantied. It’s up to them to be professionals and replace your product. In a reasonable time, I would have given them 2 days, and told them if I didn’t have a working iPad2 by that time I would return and they would provide a full refund. They could check out the video of me and my dog spot on Youtube discussing our opinion of Apples products and their support for them, particularly their penchant for mistreatment of and dismissiveness of the blind. I would also be providing suggestions for which orifices on Apple employees should be utilized for the redemption of their gift cards. They would also see which of their competitors products I had purchased instead.


BTW, just had a GE microwave I bought at Home Depot 2 months ago die. Home Depot has a 90 day return policy (note they aren’t even the manufacturer of the product).

The local I bought it from didn’t have any in stock but sent one of their employees to get one from another HD and told me they’d have it there by the time I showed up. All I needed was my original receipt. I showed up, the new microwave was there, I gave them the old one and walked out with the new one.

Quite a contrast in how companies operate, isn’t it?


hey, I actually like apple products. Part of the reason why I was patient is because getting a defective product is a risk you take when being an early adopter. I figured the longer I wait, the better chance I have of getting a sound unit with no defects, but since I never know when I’ll be able to get out and buy one, I have to take every opportunity to get a ride when it comes up.

I recognize that I can be too submissive at times, it comes from being the youngest of 3 and having a narcissistic brother. I’m always insistent when I know I’m being wronged.


I have a blind friend that I knew well in college.

He also had a dog and express to me his frustrations with similar situations.

Many, many times, he failed to realized that embarrassing things happen to the best of us. He stopped trying to prove that he could do stuff even if he was blind. It made him a lot more likable.

We all had times of getting to class late, spilling stuff down our shirts, not knowing we had a funny stain, tripping over a micron dust bunny when walking up stairs. The more he realized that we were similar the more friends he made.

My suggestion, make a joke and let it go. Someone will do something stupid next week and your moment be forgotten about.


but human nature is such that when something like that happens to a blind person, people assume it’s because of their blindness.

I also probably have walked outside with my shirt inside out or backward (tagless t-shirts and all) far more often than someone who isn’t blind.


And even with a memory better than most people when I forget things people blame my ADD.

When the tall person drops something they say it’s because he’s tall. When the short person slips of a stool it’s not because he slipped, it’s because he’s short.

Everyone will find an excuse for another person’s actions. Even if every single thing you do incorrectly is because you’re blind you have to realize it’s not a big deal.


I don’t think this has anything to do with your being blind. Apple in my experience takes their customers for granted. I also object to their proprietary attitude which includes using non-standard industry terms for various things.

I would never have accepted being given a gift card and being told to go to the back of the line as a remedy for a defective product under warranty. Beat the crowds? Were there crowds of folks needing their defective iPad2s replaced? Or were they saying they were actually puttnig you, a customer that had already bought and paid for their product, and to which they had shipped a defective unit, really had to get in line behind new customers? I would expect at a minimum that they would provide me the first product they received. Now, you can’t expect people to create things out of thin air, or people not authorized to make those kinds of decisions to agree to them. Which is why, in any situation where a company is not fulfilling it’s obligations you need to insist they put you in contact with the person who does have that decision making authority.

Edited to Add (ETA): However, I wouldn’t be above using any leverage I have to make the company look bad as a bargaining chip to get them to do right by me. Dogs look real cute on youtube…


I think it’s all a matter of perception.

You are hyper sensitive to your disability and do not want to be perceived as weak in any way. So, to you it appeared your Dad was interfering, making you look bad, and subject to gossip.

I can suggest to you a couple of things:

a) If I had witnessed it my thought would be that you have a wonderful dad who cares about you.

b) Store employees need to be corrected when they are providing poor customer service.

c) It seems perhaps you are not that assertive, b/c I would have raised holy hell if I had a defective iPad sold to me and the best they would do is tell me to come back and get in line. I don’t think so. They’d be getting me a new one and delivering it to my house.

d) Try not to be overly sensitive where your parents are concerned. There is a natural bond there, they want to protect you and love you. I’m 44, married, living on my own since 18, successful, etc, and my mother STILL worries about me and would probably rip a store clerk a new one if they were treating me as you were being treated. It’s their job.

So, my advice, cut dad some slack and don’t worry so much about what other people think. And, don’t take it personally when people try to help you-- as if they are somehow making an indictment that you are weak or helpless. That isn’t the case. They are just trying to be NICE.


Your blindness is a fact. It probably is because of their blindness a lot of the time. So what?

Perhaps, but I managed to fly all the way home on a business trip with mine inside out and not one darn person told me. Was it embarrassing? Yes. But, then I just said, oh well I don’t know these people and went on about my day.


I’m fine with either Apple or a PC, except that I’ve found Macs to be more stable than other laptops I’ve used.

But my husband and his family are total Apple apologists :p. This doesn’t bother me really, except when they tell me that of course my iPad shouldn’t support Flash because it’s a horrible bit of software or that I shouldn’t be able to use a certain blogging site with my iPad because the iPad’s designed to be a consuming device, not a producing one. That really, really bugs me.


I was never insinuating that the store brushed me off because i was blind. We´re getting a little off topic with this.

Apple’s “walled garden” actually has some pluses. For a comparison, just look at android (indeed linux in general). When a developer wants to make an app for android, they have to take into account so many different versions of android, processor architectures, phone form factors etc. They can concentrate on one or a few instances of these factors, excluding the majority of potential customers, or they can try to incorporate absolutely every possible setup, with the inevitable result that it works poorly on every model. With the iphone none of that is a problem.

Apple has also invested a LOT more than pretty much everyone else into accessability. All apple products (including the apple tv) are almost completely blind friendly. I can pick up an ipad, iphone, ipod, or macbook, and press cmd+f5 and activate a robust and integrated screen reader. With windows, i have to beg the state of texas to buy me a $1000 screen reading program (that’s usually more expensive than the computer I’m putting it on). With apple, i don’t have to pay the blind tax.


I agree that if I had witnessed that scene, I would have thought your dad was awesome and in no way would I have thought you NEEDED him to do it. Im 36 and my dad still will try to stick up for me in given situations even though I’m quite capable of handling myself. :slight_smile: I can definitely understand your frustration, though. Does he do this frequently? If so, have you ever mentioned to him that you can handle yourself?

As for the Apple Store, I’ve just got to say that when my uninsured, 15 month old iphone started producing static in certain rooms of the house, I took it in just to see if this was a problem they’ve heard of and what I might do to remedy it. The employee asked me to hang on while he talked to his manager real quick, and he came back to inform me that they’re ordering me a brand new iphone and they made an exception on the fact that my warranty was long past due. So, my experience was great!


We think alike… ^^^

Were I in the original poster’s position, a gift card to replace a defective unit would be absolutely, totally unacceptable. What insolent arrogance! http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v313/ponyguy/pissed-o.gif

I think I’d have made certain that the next new unit that arrived at the store would be waiting for me when I got there… or maybe I’d reach up the store manager’s butt and tied his tonsils together. :mad:



I don’t think Apple people think that way…made me laugh though…


just to make things clear, the gift card was for the amount of the ipad 2 plus tax… but yeah, in hindsight I should have demanded that they set aside one for me.


I can understand that your dad embarassed you. He talked to the manager as your “spokesman” without asking you. You are 25 years old he should have asked you.

You are probably used to this though, aren’t you? I am sure this isn’t the first time this has happened in your life! You mentioned how nice of a man your father is and so you must care for him a great deal since you didn’t paint him out to be a total jerk. He loves you, he is protective of you, this time he happened to embarass you.

If this only happens once in a while, count yourself lucky!

Chalk this one up…if it makes you feel any better if you have children you can embarass them too. I know I have embarassed my children!!!

God bless.


If I was with you, I would have done the same thing as your dad.


Ditto that. My store/company has won numerous coustomer service awards....we still simply give gift card "refunds" to those coustermers who dont offer a fuss...even if we were in the wrong.
We always cave to angry parents. Always. And i dont recall ever having a parent going to bat being affected by a childs disability.


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