I’m a fan of Apple’s Bluetooth mighty mouse. I cart my laptop all over and I like the ability to have a full sized mouse with a scroll wheel and right click without the hassle of cable management on some narrow coffee shop table.
Imagine my horror when just such a table caused the chain of events that killed my Mighty Mouse. Oh, it wasn’t a table at my familiar neighborhood coffee shop. It was the very much narrower and much less familiar table at Taco Bell. Well, that and the tile floor in the dining area. Well, that and stiff backed mouse pad that turned out to be flexible. A narrow table, a slightly overhanging and flexible mouse-pad, and a tile floor together form Mighty Mouse kryptonite.
And yes, it is a sign of our times when Taco Bell has free WiFi.
After my mouse took the plunge off the table and hit the floor, it separated into three separate pieces where there should be only one. Perhaps, I thought, all was not lost. If only I could rejoin the pieces, I would have the power of right click once more. I needed to gather a couple of items to help me on my quest. After wandering a maze of twisty passages, otherwise known as the Wal-Mart across the street, I managed to collect an x-acto knife and super glue. My surgery was a success and the Mighty Mouse was once again functional.
Alas, the recovery was not to last. After traveling to php|works in Atlanta, I found the mighty mouse dead in my bag. The strain of travel proved too much for its little plastic innards.
As soon as I was able, I went to the Apple Store for a replacement. But, I’m a short man and the wireless mice were on the top shelf, so I was forced to seek out a store employee for assistance.
“How can I help you?” he asked.
I put the broken corpse of the Mighty Mouse on the table, “I need a replacement for this mouse.”
“Oh,” he replied. And then to my surprise asked, “Did you buy it with your computer?”
“Yes, I did.” I told him.
“When did you buy your computer?” he wanted to know.
“January,” I replied, hardly daring to believe where this conversation could lead.
“It should be covered under warranty,” he informed me, “Let me check with my manager.”
Sure enough, after producing the serial number for my laptop, I was sent home with a brand new Mighty Mouse and a stunned smile on my face.
Now, I’m sure that there is a specific clause in the warranty covering Taco Bell floors. And, mostly likely, if any Apple lawyers ever read this post, they won’t even make it this far before writing up some kind of memo. I doubt my case was typical of company policy. The MBA-wielding consultant urging companies to “exceed expectations” is almost a cliche, but those organizations with no soul never seem to internalize the advice. I have to say that at least one heroic employee in one company in one place has exceeded my expectations and created one very grateful and impressed customer.