An elderly woman brought her PowerMac G3 to Ringo, because it wouldn't turn on. Sure enough, after plugging it in, no response. As Ringo moved to open the case to check the logic board, he noticed the fans were a little... fuzzy. "Did you have any pets?" The woman replied that her cat, Tiger, had just passed away, but used to hang around the computer a lot. What happened next, in Ringo's words:
I open up the computer and immediately see the entire inside of the computer filled with orange hairballs the size of my fist. Upon seeing this the customer exclaims loudly and happily, "Oh Tiger, you left parts of yourself in there before you died!" I immediately say, "Excuse me," and run to the back of house and sit stunned in the AppleCare room, begging someone else to take over the case for me.
Ringo's manager explained to the woman she'd need to get the computer cleaned before having it repaired, because it wasn't sanitary. She pulled a worn handkerchief out of her bag, brushing the dead cat fur out of the tower, scattering it on the counter and nearby Geniuses and customers. She was told to leave. But she somehow got a strapping young Genius to carry her dead cat shrine to the car for her. Image via Tambako/Flickr
Slippery When Wet
Water damage is the leading cause of accidental gadget death. Corollary: Gadgets killed by liquids are a leading cause of customer freakouts, because warranties don't typically cover drowning deaths. A woman brought Paul her MacBook Pro, which was refusing to power on. As Paul examined it, liquid starting leaking out of the computer, prompting the standard Genius speech that any repairs wouldn't be covered by a warranty, so they'd cost money.
The woman flipped out, and began screaming that Paul was trying to steal from her, because other companies made waterproof laptops. She continued: "It's your responsibility for the damage because you should have known that somebody's dog would eventually pee in the computer and should have done something to protect it, like make it waterproof."
By then, a puddle had formed on the counter. Paul excused himself to wash his hands, and placed a yellow fold-out sign warning "slippery when wet" over the puddle, before handing her over to his manager. Image via g-hat/Flickr
Can't Touch This
Busted iPhone screens are like HPV, it happens to almost everyone. So, it's not a huge deal at the Genius Bar, even though it's not cheap to fix. It happened to a lady who brought her phone to John. He tells her it'd be "one ninety nine" to repair, so she throws three bucks on the counter, expecting all to be well. Rectifying his poor diction, he informs her he meant $199. Cue a screaming spew of invective, calling John an idiot and a slob. Three Geniuses attempt to calm her down, which only feeds the beast, making it grow louder and more hateful.
It so happens a regional manager was visiting John's store that day. He resolves to, uh, resolve the situation. Before he can finish a sentence, the banshee lady shrieks, "Don't talk to me, YOU GAY!" She then turns on the other customers at the Genius Bar. Placing his hand on her arm, the regional manager asks her to leave. She responds, "Don't touch me, YOU GAY! YOU GAY!" then flees the store.
Only to return 10 minutes to retrieve her forgotten umbrella. Image via mager/Flickr
A man was having problems connecting his iPhone to his Linksys router. After it became apparent it was a router configuration problem, George turned to Cisco tech support to help the man out, so he could print the instructions the man needed to fix it. The man decided George was taking too long, and called him a "fucking idiot."
George replied that if the man kept verbally abusing him, he wouldn't be able to continuing helping. "Fuck you faggot," was followed by a right jab to George's face, caught on security camera, and actually shown here. The man ran around to the other side of the Genius Bar, determined to turn the assault into a full-fledged fight, before several Geniuses could restrain him. He ran out as the cops were called. Apple's currently pressing charges.
George has a new job now.
You're a Genius!
Genius Bar appointments are a sad fact of life if you need to get anything made by Apple fixed. But you know, some people don't have time for that crap. They're too important. When a guy, we'll call him Chuck, found out the wait at Robert's Genius Bar would be at least 30 minutes, he pitched his laptop onto the counter, and told Robert to call him when it was fixed. Without mentioning what was wrong with it, or leaving any contact info.
A few weeks later, Chuck returns, asking about his laptop. Robert remembered who it was, and told Chuck he needed to get it checked in and sign the paperwork before any work could proceed. Chuck didn't time for all that, and left again. Without a signature, it couldn't be fixed.
Another few weeks go by, and Chuck returns. Robert's been waiting, and has a form ready to go that just needs a quick signature. He explains that they haven't been able to work on the laptop without his signature, but it would only take a couple of days once he signed it over.
Chuck explodes, "IT'S NOT DONE YET? BUT YOU'RE A GENIUS! YOU'RE A GENIUS! YOU'RE A GENIUS! YOU'RE A GENIUS!" Chuck starts doing the Tom Cruise hop as he repeats his cry, over and over.
A different employee goes out to take care of Chuck, who manages to calm down and sign the form, but not without asking the new guy, "What's it like to work with fags all day?"
Chuck never returned for his computer.