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History of a support ticket for Apple

Some months ago, I changed my home working setup.
I changed my middle 2011 iMac with a macbook pro + Apple monitor combo. My old iMac was in great shape, however the new setup is an enhancement because now I’ve a bigger monitor, and the freedom to use my mac from everywhere.

I’ve also bought the BookArc stand. When at home, I wanted to use the monitor, and keep the macbook with the lid closed. However, I found that - sadly - when the macbook has the lid closed, there’s no way it can be turned on. In my case this is particularly boring.

I asked friends who have a mac, I searched on Google… well nothing, it seems Apple didn’t consider this use case.

Then I noticed that Apple also sells a remote controller. I thought I’ve solved my problem, and I was well-disposed to pay the extra 25€ required. I contacted the Apple support; I wanted to know if the remote controller could turn on the macbook… and well surprisingly it can’t 🥺.

However this post is not about design decisions beyond Apple’s products. It’s about the process of the support.

I explained my problem to an Apple customer care employee, and asked a question about one of their product; he was very kind, and replied correctly to the question, but was not able to help me with my problem, that at the end of the day it is what matters most.

Finally, I found a workaround 1 that works pretty well for my case.

This has triggered me to rethink about the whole process. I found out that as web developer, I often did the same mistake of the Apple employee: I might have given a correct technical answer, but missed the opportunity to understand/solve the real problem.
That’s an important lesson I won’t forget.

However to fall in this error is too damn easy; how could I be sure to don’t repeat myself? Well, that’s what I am doing right now:

  • Forget about time constraints… seriously. When someone comes to me with a question/problem, I try doing my best to be helpful. If I am doing something I can’t interrupt, I just explain what I am doing, and why I can’t just break immediately. People always understand, and appreciate the fact that I want give them full attention. Often few minutes are enough for me to reach a point from where I can safely restart.

  • Ask questions to understand better the problem (and give all the sensitive information when I am on the other side).

  • Be propositive. Don’t just assess the proposed solution, but also try to think an alternative when the former isn’t suitable, or it would require too long.

1. I am a pretty regular person. I wake up everyday at the same hour. I wake up early so that I could have a few time to pass on my own. Then I go to work, and at the evening when I am back from work, the iMac rests, and I stay with my family.
I've found that it's possible to schedule the macbook to automatically boot everyday at the same hour. When I wake up in the morning, I've just to connect it to the power supply in order to make it boot.
Yes, I am pretty proud of this setup.