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Bartending: Memoirs of an Apple Genius [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Hackett
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $1.99
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Book Description

When “Apple Store” shows up on your resumé — like it does on Stephen Hackett’s — people ask questions. Did you get free stuff? Did you know about products before they were announced? Did you ever get an email from Steve?

Being one of the most successful companies in the world has made anything Apple-related newsworthy and special, including working in its retail stores. The truth is that selling computers at the Apple Store isn’t that much different from selling them anywhere else, but it is better.

It’s better because Apple is different than most other companies. Despite its monstrous success and growth the last few years, the company has not lost its focus on providing excellent experiences for its customers.

The Apple Store is the place where those experiences are made far better or far worse. Being on the front lines means gathering some great war stories. Stephen is here to share a few of his.


Product Details

  • File Size: 229 KB
  • Print Length: 41 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007RPJMFK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #371,719 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dark Clouds, Big Thunder, No Rain... April 8, 2012
By Anthony
Format:Kindle Edition
I purchased the ePub version of this book over the Easter weekend for $8.99 (the original asking price on Amazon), and while it's interesting to a point it's also extremely short, coming in around 47 pages. The author reduced the price to $4.99 which is easier to swallow given the extremely short length of the book, but even after a 45% price drop this is still more of a $2.99 read in my opinion.

Edit: Looks like he's finally dropped it to $2.99 which is where it should have been from day one. Regardless of the price it's just not a good book though, it's not even a book really, it's more like a long pamphlet.

The book is basically a collection of short 2-3 page anecdotes from the author's time as an Apple Store genius from 2006 - 2008. The stories are somewhat interesting but nothing shocking or particularly revealing. Mostly along the lines of "one day, a customer came in with such and such problem" type stories. Don't expect any sort of behind the scenes revelations (except what the Genius room looks like in the back of the store), just a recounting of various events during the job. You don't really get a sense of what it's like to work at an Apple store, you just get an idea of the sort of technical issues they need to address on a day to day basis. The stories don't contain much depth, and being so brief it would be hard to provide any. I kept waiting for the stories to get really interesting, but they never really did. It seemed to me that this was the best the author could come up with and that there wasn't much else to say.

When the author begins the book asking several questions that he feels might typically be asked of a former Apple Store employee (Did you get free stuff? Did you know about products before they were announced?
Read more ›
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Short and short on insight April 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very much overpriced at $4.99. A 30-minute read of short anecdotes. If you've ever worked in a technology support role or sat down at the Genius Bar appointment for an hour listening to the other customers' woes around you, you've already heard what this book will tell you. It's not poorly written, just very short and not particularly insightful.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting for Apple fans, but overpriced April 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Great stories that Apple fans would appreciate, but $8.99 is too much for only 47 pages. The pricepoint needs to be lower, under $5 would work well for Kindle copies. $2.99 or $3.99 would work well here.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars $9 bucks? Gimme a break! April 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Slightly interesting, but way too expensive for 50 pages. About $8 too much. even top selling authors don't charge that much for a hard cover, let alone a ebook.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Scam April 26, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
35 minute read.. No point, no story, just a few minutes of internal laughing. 5.00 is ridiculous and shows how people scam off the success of Apple by throwing their name out there
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Aggravating and self important April 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First of all, this book is short... WAY too short of $9. I could forgive this, if it were a good solid read. Now I might be a little biased as a former Apple Genius myself, but many of the anecdotes here are just mean. I have been in those trenches myself, his experiences are full of bitterness toward the entire apple world. That said, the book is poorly written (or should I say edited?). Many redundancies and grammatical errors. The biggest offense, however, there is no point. He offers these little stories up, insults a few people then moves on. There doesn't seem to be an arch in his experience. No learning or growing or changing. No adventure. Maybe these stories seem boring to me because I lived them, but maybe they are just boring.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money April 22, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Let's put aside the outrageous price for what amounts to less than 50 pages. If the content was worth it, I'd pay. But here, the writing is uninteresting and uninformative, unless you want to read about the author's self-aggrandizement as he recounts cliche tales of his time as an Apple retail technician. I can't remember the last memoir/autobiography I read where I disliked the author more.

The low point of the book arrives when the author is approached by a fellow employee who asks him a tech question about the amount of RAM in an iPod Touch. The employee mistakenly calls the device an iTouch, and the author proudly recounts how he openly embarrassed her in front of customers. "Elizabeth," says the author, "it's an 'iPod touch.' Not 'iTouch.' Get it right, please." The author caps off the story by quoting another customer who calls the fellow employee a "real bitch."

Most of the book is set in this tone, and it's all one or two steps short of a Nick Burns, Computer Guy sketch on SNL.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Moderately interesting and too short April 11, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First off, this isn't a bad book. I got some enjoyment from reading the stories about being a head Genius at an Apple Store. However, I finished it in under an hour. I was hoping for more. Also, the stories stop in about 2008, about the time of the Apple iPhone 3GS release. I expected more recent stories. Part of my rating is based on Value: If I had paid less for the book I would give it four stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but not quite compelling.
Can't recommend for non-nerds or non-apple fanboys.
If you do wonder about the Genius Bar, there are some great tidbits.
Published 3 months ago by Todd Henion
5.0 out of 5 stars A fun read!
This was a fun read not because it was short, but because it provided humor about and against what the computer society views as elites. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Stephane
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius - no pun intended
Great insight into Apple, I'd love to see more of these maybe from other companies too. Shame this book wasn't longer.
Published 12 months ago by Carol M. Hughes
2.0 out of 5 stars A bunch of very ordinary vignettes
Just a bunch of boring customer interactions from a guy that used to work in an Apple Store. I kept waiting for it to get better, or for some insight. It never did. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Craig R-T
2.0 out of 5 stars Light, amusing read
This is really just a few interesting anecdotes about being an Apple Genius. If you're an Apple geek interested in the inner workings, you'll enjoy it but wish there was more.
Published 18 months ago by tintinaujapon
2.0 out of 5 stars Publishers and editors make books better
Bartending is at best a compilation of blog posts or notes for a book. Hackett's short book doesn't come together to have a central guiding thesis. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Andrew Raff
2.0 out of 5 stars Wanted to love this one...
I'm a new convert to the Mac-owning fold, and I really really wanted to love this behind-the-scenes look at life at the Apple Genius Bar. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Robert M. Bittner
3.0 out of 5 stars Short, overpriced but a fun enough read
I read this in one short stint and enjoyed the author's stories from the other side of the genius bar. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Tim
4.0 out of 5 stars great book, would expect it to be longer
the book is very interesting. i am thinking of opening a computer repair shop, and knowing what sort of stuff to expect is helpful.
Published 23 months ago by MomofBoys
2.0 out of 5 stars It's ok. Short for the price.
Definitely too short for the price. Well written but very thin stories. I really expected more for $5. I got halfway through within minutes of purchasing it. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Tom Parker
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