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The Early Bird Catches the Worm – And Gets the Free Apple (Computer Stuff!)

Top photo: At Apple Store Shibuya. At just after 9:40 am, there were at least 12 people in line.


“The early bird catches the worm.” – William Camden

The early bird catches the worm and also gets free stuff at the Apple Store.” – Mike Rogers

I think being on time is important, therefore I am almost always early. In my main business; broadcasting – especially live broadcasting – if you are one second late, you could be out of a job.

So I am very rarely late. I think I’ve been late to a business meeting twice in the last 20 years and both times were out of my control.

I always make it a point to leave early and take my time to get where I am going. I never like to rush. I like to enjoy myself and take my time – while always being on time; so that means being prepared and leaving early.

Being in a last minute rush is how mistakes happen; it is also the cause of doing stupid things and that’s how accidents and injuries happen; like running at the train station to catch your train and falling down or running into people and knocking them down.

So, I always like to be early.

That goes for work meetings and, of course, for going out to eat too! On that note, if I go out to eat, I like to show up well before the lunchtime rush and/or well before the same rush at dinner. For dinner time, my family always likes to show up before 5 pm and be the first people at the restaurant. At opening time, the restaurants are empty, service is much better, the food is better, and the atmosphere more leisurely.

I can never understand why people show up at restaurants right at peak rush time and write their names down on the waiting list and sit and wait for a table for an hour or two….

Why don’t they just arrive earlier and get in and out before the rush?

“Time is money.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Time is money. Wasted time means wasted money means trouble.” – Shirley Temple

Yesterday, I had to go to the Apple Store in Shibuya. My son’s MacBook Pro was acting funny. It seemed the battery had died. I would usually make an appointment for the Apple Store, but I found out about this battery problem late at night the night before and decided I would take my son’s PC to the Apple Store first thing in the morning.

Apple Store opens at 10 am. I’ve seen the lines before opening and I’ve also been at the Apple Repair desk before too. I knew that if I didn’t want to waste a long time waiting at the Apple Store, I’d better get there early. I decided to try to be one of the first people in line. I arrived at about 9:20 am. I was first in line.

I figured that I would arrive at Apple Store at about 9:20, be first in line, get the PC fixed and be out of the store by 10:15. I know from asking the staff that the crowds show up to line up after 9:30 am. I wanted to beat the crowds.

If one shows up at the Apple Store after 9:45 or so, there will already be a line of 25 ~ 50 people. You figure it out; there seem to be 3 Apple staff at the repair counter, if each one can only handle one customer every 15 or 20 minutes and you are 30th in line, then how long will you wait? A couple of hours? Three? I’m not sure, but it seems to me that leaving home 30 minutes earlier to save an hour or three is just plain common sense.

I have seen the Apple Store when it was packed with folks needing help…

Like I said, I was first in line at 9:20. People started showing up at 9:30. By 5 minutes to 10, the line was pretty long.

I looked down the line and saw there were about 30 people in line. I figured that the folks at the end of the line were going to be at the Apple Store for a long time, maybe until lunchtime…. All they had to do was get here 25 minutes earlier and they`d have saved themselves, perhaps, at least 2 hours!

Lessons learned:

1) If you know you need repairs make an appointment. You can do it online.

2 ) If you don’t have an appointment, get to the Apple Store before 9:30.

“But what does this have to do with getting free stuff, Mike?” I can hear you say… Well, read on.

Just before the store doors opened up, an Apple Staff told me that the Apple store wi-fi was down and, because of that, they couldn’t access their internet service (in order to do diagnostics or place orders for repairs) the guy was very apologetic.

He asked me what was wrong and I told him, “My son’s computer’s battery just died so I’m sure that all I need is a new battery.”

He went away to discuss this with the other staff and when he returned, he directed me upstairs. I explained the same thing to the guy who was assisting me. He took the computer into the back and, 15 minutes later, he returned and said,

“Well, our Wi-Fi is still down so I cannot do any checking, but I have replaced the battery in the computer at no charge to you since you had been waiting and we’re first in line. So you have a new battery, but I cannot guarantee that this fixes the problem.”

I think my jaw hit the table. I asked the guy if this was one of those hidden camera TV shows.

Get that! Because I was first in line, and waited, Apple decided to do their best and replace my battery free of charge! Wow! Unbelievably great customer service!

I have to repeat: I told them that the Macbook’s battery was shot… Since I was 1st in line and had been waiting…. They replaced it for FREE!! Can you believe that?

For many years, since the days of “Dos V” and Windows 3.1 – I was a die-hard Windows user (even built my own)… But since my family switched to Apple products over ten years ago, we haven’t looked back and never regretted switching to Apple even once. Apple never ceases to amaze me.

Apple is simply an amazing company!

Apple products are superior in my experience; but even more than that is the quality of the service and the people – along with the company culture – that makes for such a fine organization. The way they treat their customers is the way everyone wants to be treated and it makes for lifelong loyal users. Brilliant!

If a company’s most valuable resource is its people, then Apple is miles ahead of the competition. And that comparison goes to Google, Amazon and the rest which I have worked with.

Apple beats them all hands down.

Apple is cool… And from the way it looks from here, it will stay that way for a long time.

So, I have two morals of the story here:

  1. Being early is its own reward… And the best way to get betters service and quality.
  2. I do not believe that there is another company in the world that can match the quality of products and service that Apple offers.


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