You've Got to be I-Kidding Me

3 years ago

I’ve never set foot in an Apple store.  I, admittedly, have never actually met a person who works for Apple.  (Which I consider proof that people who use different sides of their brains simply cannot hang out.)  But I think I have definitively identified one type of employee at Apple.

You know those guys who write on a grain of rice?  I thought perhaps it was just one guy, because, I mean, how many dudes know how to do crazy stuff like that?  But apparently, there are several out there.  (Dang, what skill set is left in the world that WON’T land you in a saturated market??)  In any case, one of those guys must work for Apple.  No doubt in my mind.  How do I know this?  Because this morning I had to try to find the serial number on my 6th generation Ipod Nano.  If you are familiar with this little gadget, which you should be unless you are literally living under a rock somewhere, then you know how small it is.  The entire Ipod measures 1 ½” x 1 ½”.  Mine happens to be silver which looks cool I guess, until I realized that the writing done on the outside seemed to be written in silver as well.  Whose idea was that??  I’ll tell you.  It was probably the same guy who decided to write on a grain of rice.  It doesn’t make sense to write on a grain of rice, and it doesn’t make sense to write in a color that completely blends in with the background.

So you may be wondering why in the world would I be wasting my precious “my preschooler is in school for two and half hours and I really want to shower in peace” time messing with a ridiculous task like finding a serial number that could fit on a grain of rice.  Well, like it invariably always does in my experiences, technology was failing me yet again.  I had recently downloaded iTunes on to a new computer- the fifth and final device that iTunes says I can authorize- and while I could see all my songs listed in my library, I could not get them to sync onto my Nano.  Of course not.  Why would I ever expect technology to work the way it’s supposed to?  (You know the blue screen your computer shows when the defecation is really starting to hit the oscillation?  Yeah, I think that screen originated with me.)  So while I was not surprised that things weren’t going my “I-way” I was still frustrated.  So when I jumped online and found that Apple offered support through live chat and phone, I was pretty excited.  In my mind I pictured being connected to a very helpful, friendly, knowledgeable staff member who was going to come up with a simple step by step solution and by the end of the call we would be chatting like old friends and maybe exchanging Facebook info.

But to begin the process I was going to have to enter the serial number from my Nano.  At first glance, I thought, well, there’s obviously no writing on this thing.  There’s no room.  No one could print on this tiny gadget unless you were one of those dudes who write on a grain of rice.

*Gasp* (Cue epiphany.)

Referring back to the website I realized it instructed me to look on the inside edge of the clip on the Nano.  The inside edge?  That edge is about three millimeters wide.  There must be some mistake.  So there I sat, turning the Nano over and over, taking my glasses off, putting them on, trying to take a picture of the clip with my cell phone and then zooming in (which didn’t work, thank you very much), and holding the damn thing in the sunlight at all angles- which finally caught the miniscule print that was actually there.  What the heck??  Is that writing?  Am I just experiencing a tiny mirage?  Nope, it was indeed writing and it appeared to be a serial number, just as Apple said.  Oh fine.  So then I began the arduous task of not only seeing the writing, but actually identifying what letters were there.  Super fun.

So I got through that eventually, feeling pretty dang proud of myself.  Next step was to enter the serial number and move along to speaking with my Apple Information Superhero.

But instead….. “We’re sorry, that option is not available right now.  Please try again later.”

Excuse me?  Um, no.

So I put in the serial number again, because the definition of sanity is performing the same experiment and expecting a different outcome… right?

“It appears your device is not eligible for support.  You may purchase support for $19.99 for this incidence.”

I’m not eligible?  Seems to me that if you can find the dang serial number, then you should be eligible.  I mean, that would kind of sort itself out, wouldn’t it?

So there would be no camaraderie between me and tech support (which is again, further proof that opposite minded people cannot successfully interact- I knew I was on to something), no comforting words of encouragement that I was doing the right thing.  Not only had my device failed me, Apple was rejecting me too.

“All by myself… don’t wanna be….”

With nowhere else to turn, I opened my iTunes and decided to try to figure it out on my own, again.  There were songs in the iCloud (wherever and whatever that is) but it said I couldn’t access them without authorizing my computer.

Attempted to authorize the computer.

This computer is already authorized.

You need to authorize this computer before accessing songs in iCloud.

Attempted to authorize the computer.

This computer is already authorized.


One of us isn’t making it out alive, I swear on everything good and pure….


When all else fails, reboot.  So I logged out, logged back in, and began downloading songs from the iCloud.  Like magic.  Like it’s supposed to.  And the Pièce de résistance was when I connected my Ipod and it ACTUALLY SYNCED EVERY SINGLE SONG. Do you hear the angels singing in the background? Do you see the balloons and confetti falling from the ceiling?  Ed McMahon running in with an oversized check written out to me?

So I’m happy to report that this story has a happy ending.  I fixed my problem all by myself, no thanks to Apple.  I now know where my serial number is located and I plan never to look at it again.  I currently have no ongoing friendship with anyone at tech support and I am currently writing the world’s smallest hate mail to the grain of rice guys.

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