OK. So I am in Seattle today on business travel. My last appointment ended at 3pm and I've got an 8pm flight. Figured I would just go ahead and pick up the base 13" Air to toy with on the trip back. That's too good a price for what amounts to an extremely impressive spec laptop. I don't know if there are any Seattle people here, but I went to the University Village store. Let me first say that I have never in my life seen so many people wearing shorts. That caught me off guard, given it's Seattle. It's like they saw they have a day of near perfect weather and decided to just cut loose. Anyway, I walk into the store, and straight up the Air. I'm debating whether to get a high end 11" or the base 13" - or if I should just go for broke on the high end 13". Realizing that I really don't need the extra storage, and realizing that functionally the i7 doesn't yield that much of a speed benefit, and given we're talking a near $400 in base price, I figured I would just get the base. So I'm standing there for what must have been 5 minutes. Nobody came up to me. Not one. Thinking perhaps they didn't understand that I was actually interested in someone coming up to me, evident by the eye contact I made all the way around, I decided to hit the little Specialist button on the iPad Sign dealie. And I wait...and I wait. Then some guy who I can only describe as a cross between Howard Stern and John Lennon comes up. Total hippie gear, looked like the kind of guy who is bred to annoy you. Hair all over the place. So he goes into this diatribe about the Air and all this...and I cut him off. I told him flat out, "just here to buy this". Let me tell you what he said to me. " Are you sure you want to buy this?" Err....most people who go straight to the Air know they want the Air. In any case, I just told you I am here to buy this. " These don't come with Lion installed. Would you like me to install it for you?" Huh? They all come with it pre-installed. "No, only some of them." It was at this point I knew his credibility was toast. To my knowledge the new Air can't even run Snow Leopard correctly. "There's a lot of moving parts in here, ya know. Things can break rather easily when you have this much technology. Can never be too safe. I suggest you get AppleCare today." To which I told him that my understanding from other Apple store employees, and my own experience, is that Apple computers are known for their general reliability. Even still, there's 90 days of direct support (I was testing what he would say). "Yeah, but you know, after that 90 days if something happens..." and that sealed the lid on whatever credibility he may have had left. "So do you know if you're eligible for a corporate discount?" Yes. "Ok. Can I see your employee ID?" Don't have one. The San Diego location simply looks in the order history and sees that the corporate discount has been applied on every order previous. "Yeah, we can do that for business customers, what's your business email?" It's not a business discount, it's a corporate discount as an employee to buy equipment for my personal use. Again, San Diego simply references the history. Or, I can show you a receipt that has the discount from my last order. "Well, we normally want to see a photo ID to..." I again point to the receipt clearly indicating my name and the discount applied against my Apple ID on a machine I bought in June. I even offer to forward it to him. This goes back and forth until finally he relents. "OK, so your corporate discount level is 6%. You know if you buy AppleCare, that's 12% off!" Uh, no it's not. It basically equates to roughly 7-7.5% off if bought together. "Would you like help configuring and getting set up?" No, I just want the machine. "We offer One-to-One and...." I JUST WANT the machine. "OK sir, I understand, it doesn't have to be..." If you would listen to me the first time I told you that I JUST WANT THE MACHINE, you would have no need to backpedal. This is basically the horror story that people talk about huh...I've never had people at the Apple Store be THAT bad. In San Diego at least, I walk in there, tell them what I want, they know instantly by the fact that I know what I want that I'm not going to take any of their offerings. I know they're pushed to offer that stuff, but sometimes you have to learn how to walk away slowly. Now I just need to sell my 2010 11" for a steep discount to make it go away. Feels good to have my backlight back.