Yesterday, 10 minutes into my flight to Toronto, my MacBook Pro's screen died. completely and dramatically. So when I hit the ground in TO, the first thing I did was called the nearest Apple store to see if I could get into the Genius Bar for a short-term fix. All I needed was for someone to get my Mac working with an external monitor, just for a few minutes, so that I could install a driver that would let me use my iPad as an external monitor.
The guy who answered the phone told me they were completely booked, but suggested that if I were willing to wait a while in-store, they might be able to squeeze me in. I asked if I could use one of the store computers to finish my PowerPoint deck (due for a major speech today) while I waited, since I hadn't been able to work in flight. No problem, he said.
When I got to the Apple Store, however, the greeter had zero hope for me seeing a genius. But she did find me someone who hooked me up with an external monitor, so I settled down at a table to solve my problem solo. I got the Air Display driver installed and connected to my iPad…but wifi lag made the solution very shudders, even when I set up my own private network.
Plan B: stay at the Apple Store and work off my dead but — thanks to that monitor — usable MacBook, until my deck was complete. That way it could transfer the finished deck to my iPad and wouldn't need the fried MacBook at all. None of the blue shirts objected to my continued presence, so I settled in for a couple of hours of work.
As it happens, the table I was occupying was also booked for an “Intro to iCloud” training. I was very good, and refrained from intervening, even when one of the students asked, “is there any app that everybody should install on their iPad?” (“Evernote!” my heart shouted, but not out loud — an act of restraint that nearly caused an aneurysm.)
When the class wrapped up, I was still at work, and the instructor turned to me and said he thought he answered my call earlier. “Where you able to get your monitor fixed?” He asked. I assured him that I had been helped effectively, though my hoped-for solution of using my iPad as an external monitor hadn't worked out thanks to the limitations of wifi.
Just then, he noticed my adapter, which I had labeled “Vision Critical ” to keep my husband and children from stealing it. “Do you work at Vision Critical?” he asked, and when I nodded, “Do you know my sister?”
In fact, I did know his Toronto-based sister, because the first time she came to see me at our Vancouver office, she had just injured herself while running. We had an awesome afternoon of bonding as I chauffeured her to various medical clinics around Vancouver.
And now the circle of good deeds is complete: whatever good karma I earned by helping my colleague was more than repaid by her brother getting me up and running and powerpointed in my longest and most productive Apple store visit of all time.
And yes, my international friends, you can indeed take this as proof that all Canadians know each other.
First posted on May 7,2014