Who would think that getting up at 5am could be so much fun? You may not know this about me, but I am not really a morning person, but on Saturday I decided to wake up super early and wait in line for a new toy. Another thing you may not know about me...I am never the first to get new electronic gadgets. Our tv is not HD (or flat), I have only had an ipod for about a year, and I am surviving just fine with a regular dvd player. We are practical and dare I say thrifty in most cases, but on Saturday I ditched that image for one that is a lot more fun and spontaneous. I waited in line for the new iPad! I arrived at Southdale mall at 6am, scoping out where to wait. I was a little surprised that I didn't see a line of people outside since I had heard a lot of hype of Mac crazed enthusiasts that will camp out when new products arrive. I picked a door and began to wait. Within a few minutes, others began to arrive. I was surprised how friendly the people I met were. We began to kill time by chatting about what the new iPad would be like, plotting how we would beat possible people who might be camped at other doors to the Apple store when the mall doors opened, and discussing what lines were like at other Apple locations such as the Mall of America. At one point, our little group formed a pact and I felt a little like a contestant on Survivor. The second person in line said when we ran down to the apple store when the mall doors opened we would stay in the same order as we had arrived at our door. And that is how I became first in line (of the non reserved) for the new Apple iPad.
7am- Now as we waited directly in front of the Apple store inside the mall, the anticipation began to grow even stronger. People waiting had now been divided into two distinct lines; those who had pre-ordered and those (like me) who had not. The people who had preordered looked relaxed, yet excited. They knew that they would receive an iPad for sure. Our line was a little more anxious. Sure, we were at the front of the line, but the Apple employees wouldn't disclose how many iPads they had for people who had not reserved. The Apple employees stood in front of the two lines and held their morning rally meeting saying, "Look at our loyal customers who have reserved our product and look at others who want a chance to purchase our product." I knew I was with people I didn't normally associate with when the man in line on the reserved side said, " I haven't waited in line for something for awhile. Not since the 'Fellowship of the Ring' movie came out." I think I might have been the only one in line on either side who has never seen those movies. Also, did I mention I was one of 4 women in line? Definitely not the majority.
8am- More Apple employees come marching down the mall hallway clapping and hollering. Now there appears to be about 50 employees in front of the store! I guess if you work in an Apple store there were no requests off allowed for April 3rd. The Apple manager announces that in 25 minutes the store would be unveiled (all this time there are black curtains hung over the windows of the store so you couldn't see inside) and everyone would have their first look at the iPad. Who knew there would be such dramatic buildup?
8:25am- The black curtains are released from the windows and the iPads are visible in the store. There are two iPads hanging from wires in the display windows and there are numerous posters throughout the Apple store identifying the iPad's cool features. The Apple manager makes another loud announcement stating that in just 35 minutes they would be selling a device with the most outstanding technology currently available. All of the Apple employees march through the open glass doors of the store clapping and cheering. Okay, now I officially feel like a geek...
8:58am- The Apple employees approach the reserved line and begin to let people into the store to make the iPad purchase. They let in about 35 people. I can see now that the ratio of reserved to non reserved iPads will be great.
9am- I am guided into the Apple store and hailed as the first non reserved customer allowed to purchase an iPad. My line cheers. I must admit, I felt pretty special. But like I told Bella after she had her fingers and toes painted at the nail salon, "It's only a very special treat. Don't get used to it..."