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My Friday morning

| Tuesday, September 23, 2014

At 5:30 a.m., the alarm went off, piercing through the silence of the early morning. I sat up almost immediately — after all, I hadn’t slept much the night before. I was gripped by an unsettling combination of nerves and excitement for the events ahead, tossing and turning in my sleep (or lack thereof). Taking a quick look at myself in the mirror, I couldn’t help but see my hands shake a little bit.

I was nervous and unprepared for what was to come. A flurry of questions ran through my head — will I arrive too early? Will they be able to offer me what I’m asking for? What if I walk away this morning empty-handed? What will my friends, family and colleagues think about me after I’d been hyping this moment up for so long?

These thoughts and questions flurried through my head as I walked out to the D6 parking lot this past Friday morning. The brisk September chill didn’t help my shaky hands — rather, it amplified my feelings of uneasiness as I approached my car. The walk seemed significantly longer than the usual five minutes as my feelings of anticipation simply grew stronger. There was a very real chance that, despite all my preparation and passion, I would be denied the fruits of my pursuits this morning. As I fumbled with my keys and slid them into the ignition, I took a final glance at myself in the mirror.

“You can do this, Michael. You’ve been preparing yourself all week. Show them who you are and make sure they know you won’t be taking no for an answer!”

It was at that moment that I started my car, leaving the comforts and security of Notre Dame behind and making my way to my much anticipated destination: the Verizon Wireless store on 505 West Douglas Road. The morning of Friday, Sept. 19, 2014, I had one goal and one goal only — to purchase a Silver 64 GB iPhone 6 Plus.

The decision to pursue this phone at the Verizon store instead of the Apple store in the University Park Mall was quickly made for me as I heard of people lining up at the latter at 5 p.m. Thursday evening. As I pulled into the parking lot at around 6 a.m., I found a modest line of seven people already formed. Backpack and blanket in tow, I made my way to claim my rightful spot as the eighth person in line.

On my right was a sociology graduate student who, aside from dealing with my anxiety over which phone type I wanted, was a nice gal. On my left was a seasoned veteran of the iPhone waiting game — he had been to the launches for the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 5. Between the small talk and anticipation, it didn’t take long for the Verizon sales representatives to come outside, take down our account information and phone requests and tell us they would welcome customers in waves of 10 in the heated Verizon store at 8 a.m. After this, another woman came around and took down our preferred model and phone sizes and said she was going to label them for us in the store to expedite the process. I told her I was worried about news stories about shortages of the iPhone 6 Plus model I wanted, and she put her hand on my shoulder and reassured me everything would be ok.

As the doors opened, the first 10 customers (myself included) flooded into the store and were assigned a random sales representative. My representative was quite kind and personable (which was much appreciated after waiting in line for two hours), and when it came time for her to get my phone she went to the back of the store for the moment of truth — whether or not I would get the phone I wanted.

When she returned after what seemed like forever, she had an iPhone 6 Plus in her hand, but in the 16 GB size, saying that it was the last iPhone Plus the store had in stock in any size or color. Trying to hide my disappointment (and trying to rationalize in my mind that I could somehow downsize from my current 64 GB model), I signed the digital receipt and eagerly opened the plastic on the box. Not even 10 seconds after I took the plastic off the box, the lady who arranged for the phone I wanted turned the corner … with the phone she set aside for me. One massive guilt trip and conversation with a manager later, I eventually walked out of the Verizon store at 8:24 a.m. with my mission accomplished.

And don’t worry guys — I wasn’t paying close attention in my Physics lecture that morning by any stretch of the imagination.

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