As soon as I saw the keynote launching the MacBook Pro 16 inch, I wanted it. It wasn’t a matter of if I were going to get it, it was only a matter of how much the model I bought would be souped up. I had to wait to get it until I returned to the the United States in March, so I had time. I had time to think about just how gnarly a model I would get. I had time to save more money, so that I would be choosing based on my desire not my finances.
I was only going to be in Honolulu for two weeks, just long enough to see my doctors, accountant, bank account manager, and be present for the things in my storage unit to be picked up for shipment to Texas. I was worried about making sure that the computer would be available for pickup at the Apple Store during that two week period.
Getting on the apple store chat, I explained my situation. I explained how I had had trouble in the past with Apple giving me a date that my product would arrive, then shipping it weeks early .
Let me explain why this is a problem for me. As a nomad, my time in the United States is very constrained. I try to make sure I visit a friend of mine in Texas two or three times a year. It is usually her house where I have things delivered. More than once an Apple product arrived at her house when no one was at home, and sat for days to weeks on her front porch until the time that Apple originally said it would arrive.
This also causes a problem with Apple’s recycling program. As soon as a new product is delivered a 14-day clock starts counting down for you to get your old product back to Apple. If you have a product delivered to the store, you only have 14 days to pick it up before they ship it back to Apple.
In Honolulu, I didn’t have an address for the package to be delivered to since the company where I had my mailbox went out of business. I was planning on finding a new company during my visit this year. I couldn’t use the address of the friend I stay with when I am in Honolulu, since she wasn’t going to be arriving until a few days before me, as she is still a seagoing officer.
Back to the chat. After going back and forth for a while, the person on the other end assured me that if I ordered my new laptop on February 5th it would arrive to the Apple store during the two weeks I was to be in Honolulu.
On February 19, 2020, I received an email telling me that my items were ready to be picked up. I wasn’t going to be in Honolulu until March 13th. I wasn’t able to make phone calls from Peru, so I contacted my business manger in the States and asked him to contact Apple and make arrangements to have the order held longer.
The person he talked to assured him that my order would be held until March 20th. I thought everything was fine. I have to say, that I was still pissed off that Apple can’t seem to understand that not everyone is delighted when products are shipped early.
I was eagerly awaiting heading out of Peru and and getting to pick up my new laptop when on March 8th, I got a notice from apple that my order had been canceled. I contacted my business manager again and he found out that the woman he had spoken to had put a hold on my new AirPods Pro, but not the laptop, so only the AirPods were waiting for me in Honolulu.
Let me point out again that this wouldn’t have been a problem had Apple just given me a delivery date and delivered on that date. If Apple had any real desire to please their customers who don’t fit into a nice neat 9 to 5 box, they would have the store set up were the customer could request that products not be shipped early.
I was really ticked off, but I still wanted and needed the MacBook Pro 16 inch. I have suffered though two years of having to use an external keyboard with my MacBook 12 inch, which has that horrible butterfly keyboard. I knew that I could order the new one with all the customization again and have it delivered to Texas, but I would have had the same problem of only having a narrow window in which I could cross paths with my laptop. I resigned myself to not getting the beast of a machine I wanted and buying whatever was in the Apple store in Honolulu. I have had luck in the past finding a fully spec’d out laptop hidden in the back of the Apple Store, and not on display. That is how I got the beast of a 15 inch MacBook Pro, which I loved for so many years.
I had meant to go to the Apple store the same day I arrived, but I was tired and put it off to the next day; the day that Apple closed all their stores for Covid19 cleaning. Later in the day I walked past to find that they were letting people in, one at a time to pick up orders that were waiting. So I did get my AirPods Pro.
At the time Apple thought they would be able to open the store on March 28th, so I resigned myself to not getting my new laptop until then. I was scheduled to leave Hawaii on April 1st.
I was able to visit my CPAs office and finish my banking business before Covid19 began to shut Honolulu down. All my doctor’s contacted me to cancel appointments, except my GP, who went over my test results over the phone. Pretty much we were able to do the same thing we do each year face to face.
Luckily for me the moving company was able to pick up my shipment, though they had canceled all military household goods pickups. I had decided some time back that it would be more convent and a lot cheaper for my storage unit to be in Texas. I was only going to Honolulu once a year, and to Texas as many as four times a year.
Two days after my stuff was picked up, I was walking around a deserted city and realized that I had better get off Oahu before all the flights were canceled. Luckily with so many folks canceling their travel plans I was able to get a flight out that night.
I figured that once the Apple Stores were open, I could go by one of the Houston ones and get a laptop. Of course, the Apple Stores have yet to reopen.
So how did it turn out that Apple’s inability to accommodate my needs turn out for the better? Well, I wasn’t able to continue on to Mexico. I am trapped in Houston, Texas. Staying here is completely destroying my budget. The money I didn’t spend on the laptop will tide me over until the end of the year, if I have to stay here that long before escaping the US again. Hopefully nothing will interfere with my Social Security next year. Once I get that I can live in the US as long as I have to, but I am looking forward hitting the road again.
I think I am pretty well over the obsession with the 16 inch MacBook. I am using this time of self isolation, to test to see if I can shift my work flow over to the iPad. I am typing this post into the Ulysses app and will be transferring it over to the WordPress App to add in the images before publishing.
If this experiment works out well, I am thing about buying a second 12.8 inch iPad and traveling with two. We will see.