Welcome to this edition of Southern Cross Yachting Enews. Recent events have caused me to ponder on the true meaning of the word ‘genius’. One answer is a person who scores 140 or greater in an IQ test. Another apparently is a person who works in an Apple store, and no, I don’t mean the Greek chap who works in our local fruit and veg shop. I mean those places that only sell things starting with an ‘i’. The reason behind my ponderings is that I recently became the proud owner of an iPad. It was given to me as a birthday present by my loving family, clearly understanding that as I reached my 53th year on this earth, I could no longer read emails on my iPhone. So I now have this thing that looks just like a big iPhone, and does everything that an iPhone does except make phone calls. In fact a walk around an apple store will show that iPhones are getting bigger, and iPads are getting smaller. The logical trend for this is that eventually they will be exactly the same size, and we will all own two identical devices –one that makes calls and one that doesn’t. But peer group pressure will ensure we own both. Now I am told that this iPad is capable of all kinds of amazing things and will improve my life immeasurably. And indeed it has as my scores on Angry Birds have improved considerably. And it is much easier to read emails.

Now predictably it wasn’t long before my new iPad was dropped shattering the screen into smithereens. Problem was that this happened on a Saturday night and I was due to go away on Monday and I had no intention of spending the week playing Angry Birds on my old small iPhone.

So with Google as my friend I discovered that I could either have the screen replaced for $240 or Apple will swap my broken one for a brand newie for only $300! (Was it Henry Ford who said ‘I will give the cars away for nothing if I can sell the parts’?) And yes, yes I know that I can buy a replacement screen on eBay for $1.50 or you all know of a little man in a back alley in the valley that will fix it for $5 but I needed it done that Sunday. So I rang the Apple store and was told that yes they had them in stock and one of their ‘Geniuses’ would be able to help me today. So Sunday morning sees me in the car and off to Carindale shopping centre. I walk into the store and am blown away at their level of customer service. At first anyway. As I look around the store the staff, resplendent in blue t-shirts with a big silver apple in the middle, outnumbered the customers by about 3 to 1. (As you will discover soon I had ample time to count them later and there were 26 silver appled, blue shirts leaning on the counters and playing with their phones. Some were even helping customers)

I was pounced upon by the store ‘greeter’ who asked me how they could help. I explained my broken screen problem and he told me I would need to make an appointment to talk to one of their ‘Tech Geniuses’ but they were all busy. The first appointment they could give me was 4 hours from then. I explained to him that it didn’t take a genius to see the screen was smashed and that a simpleton would be just fine. There appeared to be no shortage of them standing around, playing with their phones. ‘No sir’ it was explained ‘not all the staff were Tech Geniuses’. Apparently most of them were just plain old garden variety geniuses and only a ‘Tech Genius’ could help me.

Now I have no doubt that Steve Jobs who founded the iPhone company was a genius. The employee who designed the iPhone was a definitely a genius. The marketing person who managed to convince everyone on earth their lives would be enriched by owning one of the damn things was certainly a genius. But a spotty adolescent who has to work Sundays selling mobile phones for commission only is most certainly not. They are called shop assistants. And this jumped up little twerp in a blue t-shirt told me I had to make an appointment to see one. God give me strength! I briefly considered smashing my iPad over his spotty little head but realised that I was going to have to play their game.

So I tucked my iPad under my arm and walked out, returning 4 hours later. ‘Spotty Blue shirt’ pounced on me again and asked if I had an appointment. I briefly pondered how he could have forgotten a customer that had been as rude as me so quickly when it dawned on me that with Apples idea of customer service, most customers were probably like me. Very, very P*##ed off. Spotty led me to the ‘Tech Genius desk’ where I sat for another half an hour, counting staff to contain my anger.

Finally another spotty little youth with half a beard and bad hair served me. He confirmed that yes my screen was indeed smashed and 5 minutes later I walked out of there with a brand new iPad but with $300 dollars less in my bank account. So since I had in effect just paid $300 dollars for a 6 inch square piece of glass he was in fact a genius and sadly I am an idiot. 

And whilst on the subject of youth, I was intrigued recently when my two boys asked me if they could go to the ‘Flume’ concert. I was delighted that I had passed on my love of music, but not having heard of this band Flume, I asked what kind of music they played. With a roll of the eyes ‘the King’ explained that Flume is not a band but was in fact a DJ! Yes this Flume chap somehow gets thousands of kids to pay $50 each to listen to him play his iPod. Now that is what I call a genius.

Apple should snap him up. Since then I have been infuriating ‘the King’ by mispronouncing his name as ‘Phlegm’. I mean what kind of name is Flume anyway? I thought a flume was part of a pot belly stove. When you say it out loud it sounds like the noise our cat makes coughing up a furball.

But all respect to the guy. He has become a superstar by dancing around in front of a computer. No need to learn an instrument, or to learn to sing, just add a few noises to someone else’s song, add a light show and hundreds of teenage girls have your picture on their bedroom walls. Pure genius.

A true genius is someone who wakes up every morning goes to work and gets paid to do something they would do for free anyway. Another name for them is a sailing instructor.

And speaking of spending time with a genius we have a boat handling course this coming Sunday 28 April 2013.

And as the days grow cooler we look north to warmer waters and the offshore sailing season begins. We have a 3-day trip to Mooloolaba and back 31 May to 2 June. The Brisbane to Keppel race starts on August 2 (training 27 & 28 July) with the Yeppoon to Brisbane return trip departing on 7 August (this return trip is ideal for anyone wanting to complete their RYA Coastal Skipper practical or gain miles and skippered passages towards the Yachtmaster Offshore exam). Then it’s off to Airlie Beach with this 7 day trip departing on September 3 and the return Airlie Beach to Brisbane leaving on September 13. That’s all for this edition. Until next time, stay smart!

Cheers Mike Job.

Sent from my iPhone…….

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