Today I decided to give in to my Gadget Addiction. I decided to buy the new 17" PowerBook. The screen is over 30% larger than my current PowerBook (pixels, not inches) and the extra hour of battery life wasn't going to hurt either.
Rather than drive around all day I decided to do the smart thing: I called the nearest Apple store and had them check inventory. The nearest Apple store happened to be the Bay Street store in Emeryville California. I called there at 12:53pm, found that there was one new 17" PowerBook in stock. I would have just driven down and taken my chances that it would be waiting for me, except that the helpful person on the other end of the line offered to put it on hold for me. He explained that I wasn't obligated and that they would hold it until close of business at 7pm. I said sure, he put me on hold again so he could grab the form, I gave him my name and he said it was on hold for me.
I didn't head straight down, since the laptop was waiting for me. I took a shower, had a snack and posted to my blog that I was giving into my Gadget Addiction. I was at the Apple store by 3:40pm, as evidenced by my parking receipt. I walked in, took a couple of minutes to admire the display unit, and got in line. When I got to the cashier I said there was a 17" PowerBook waiting for me, and gave them my name. He called to the back, asked for my PowerBook, said it should be on hold for me, listened and then told me they were looking for it and it might take a few minutes.
All in all I waited about twenty minutes until I got the final word. The final word was that it was gone. Someone removed the hold form from the PowerBook and sold it to another customer. He offered to check inventory at other stores, but I declined. I didn't want to drive around the Bay Area on a Sunday afternoon chasing after a new 17" laptop, with each successive store selling off my held laptop before I could get there. I thought I had done the smart thing by calling ahead and even putting it on hold, and if the Apple Store wasn't going to honor my hold I was calling it quits.
I'm guessing the Apple Store employees get commissions. Otherwise, what would be the motivation for poaching my PowerBook?