One Man’s Excitement

I remember the day I got my first iPhone. It was hot (as it was late June in Georgia…how could it not be hot?). I left my office around 4:00 that Friday afternoon to go stand in line at my local AT&T store. The closest Apple store to me was a ways off and traffic would have been a nightmare. I got there around 4:10 and stood in line (and under the blazing sun) for about 2 hours. I remember standing there, not having much to do. My phone at the time was a real POS Windows Mobile phone that was utterly useless except for the phone functionality. They called it a “smartphone” and everything…but come on. Contrast that to now, though. When people are waiting in line, they are almost always looking down fiddling with their phones in some capacity. Kind of sad to think that we might all be headed toward that Wall-E world.

Anyhoo, I walked in to the store (and air conditioning), filed behind someone, hoping against hope that I could get the phone that I wanted. An 8GB iPhone. Notice the absence of a qualifier after the iPhone name. It was the original one. The metallic-backed, 2G, EDGE-toting iPhone. It was beautiful. Keep in mind its competition at the time. The Treo line from Palm. Windows Mobile phones (of various incarnations). All matter of Blackberry monstrosities. It was an ugly time in phone design. Then the iPhone was introduced to the world. One button. Full frontal touchscreen. (Out of curiosity, how many of you didn’t read the last word and just assumed “nudity” in your mind…yeah, I know you all did). It was a revolution. This has been proven out during the past 4 years as the iPhone has not only sold a WHOLE lot of phones, but has changed the way phones are thought of.

I remember that feeling of finally getting my hands on it. After 6 months of anticipation, I finally got to see it work. In my hands. It was pretty amazing. I’m sure the joy was apparent on my face when I finally walked in the door after the two hour drive down to Columbus. She said I was smiling from ear to ear. I’m sure I was.

I got to see that joy for myself yesterday.

When it comes to work and our company, my boss is as straight laced as they come. He has (pretty much) all of the financial responsibility and needs to have his “serious cap” on as much as he can. It’s a somewhat thankless job, as people just expect it to be right all of the time. (I do know first-hand that this is not the case and he works his butt off to keep us running smoothly). He does obviously smile, but you don’t see it very often as he’s normally heads-down working on something. Something that may be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Something made him smile yesterday, though.

I was sitting in his office after one of our Friday birthday lunches. We were going over the week’s happenings and what we needed to continue working on for next week. Pretty normal business-y stuff. The FedEx guy happened to walk through the door and headed down the hallway toward us. Mark shouted to him that he could sign for the delivery. He brought the box in, set it down on Mark’s desk and had him sign the delivery sheet thing. As the delivery guy was walking out, Mark picked up the box.

Suddenly, his face completely changed. His eyebrows raised as high as I’d ever seen them. His eyes seemed to sparkle.

“You know what this is?” he asked in an excited whisper.

I honestly had no idea what it was.

“These are my iPhones!”

The joy on his face was indescribable. It was so unexpected to me that i didn’t know how to react. I’m assuming I just smiled (that’s my default). He opened the box and verified what he already knew. The small white boxes stamped in silver with “iPhone 4S” rattled around in the shipping box. Regaining that composure, that Mark demeanor, he set the box aside and said something about playing around with them later.

Even though he said it with a resigned tone in his voice, I could still sense the excitement hidden in there.

And that, in turn, made me smile.


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