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Accepting the offer, maybe.

After going back and forth with friends I decided I would decline any offer. I had a degree in graphic design and I was pretty good at it. Fooling around with Mac's didn't make me a genius anymore then being really good at finger painting makes you a great artist. As I waited, and waited, and waited to get an offer call I schemed up a plan. This was late July in 2001 and I was fairly busy with my design work and digging deep into GoLive Cyberstudio and really learning this program that MacWorld called "The xGames of Design". That in conjunction of Flash, yes that hated web format, I was beginning to create some pretty fancy and really complex websites. One such website was a site for a biophysics company that I started that summer and later finished it, a year later, had a totally of nearly 1000 pages all created in cyberstudio and not the Adobe version. In essence, I was not really motivated to work in a mall. I really hated the thought, the culture of it, the food court, really nothing was appealing and I would have to go in the reverse direction of traffic to get there! The Northway, as we call it, is is a fairly congested highway… if your going south in the am. My commute was going north where there was NO traffic. The "Twin Bridges" caused people to naturally slow down as it curves to cross the Mohawk River. This only happens in the am, going south, an then again in the evening, going north, as the explosion of Clifton Park NY, which became a bedroom community to Albany, continued to expand from the late 70s and for the next 2 decades. This was another consideration and another reason to turn down any offer from Apple. My plan was to throw out a crazy number when asked how much I wanted to make, I didn't even know if that would happen, it was a guess. Nearly 3 weeks later after my face to face interview with Steve, the call came. A very nice woman was on the other end and I have no recollection of her name but later met her in Cupertino. I was in my kitchen, pacing while gripping a corded phone, trapped to the room as it had all of 6 feet of cord. Remember this was 2001, no iPhones and cordless phones were pricey!

She goes on the with her pitch telling me things I had not yet heard. The retail stores would be like a farm team for corporate. There would be a ton of opportunity and frequent visits to Cupertino as they open the doors to their partners in retail. This was amazing news! I would get to work at the retail store but my talents would get me to California, I was convinced. Next came the chat about money.

Here is the deal with money at this time. Apple really had no idea how much to pay pretty much anyone. On May 3rd 2001, they opened the first 2 stores, Glendale in LA and Tysons Corners in Virginia. A third store was opened at Willow Bend in Plano Texas on Aug 3rd and then on Aug 11 2001, a 4th store opened in the Mall of America, the day I was speaking to this women about becoming a genius. By all accounts the first stores were larger then Crossgates but it was still early in the game, they may have had 5-6 genius hired at opening or 4 like we did. Thing was Steve Jobs created the Genius moniker and it had weight and was important to the company. Seeing that maybe 25 geniuses had been hired at that time in larger metropolitan areas then Albany NY, and who really knows anything about Albany, except its the capital of New York. When the woman asked me how much I needed to leave my current position to come to Apple, I shot for the moon, and she didn't even pause.


To recap. I didn't want to work in the mall. I was doing fairly well, financially. I had no reason to leave, except to start a new adventure in a field I didn't even go to school for. I would have a horrible commute if I accepted. So when asked, "how much do you need to leave your current position?". I said some outrageous number and she said, "ok we can work with that.". Now your definition of outrageous may be different than mine, however, to give you some perspective let me explain how stupid this number was for a 28-year-old. What the numbers were, I do not remember, but let's say I was making $10,000 year being a graphic designer. When asked how much I needed to become a genius I said $30,000 and they said, ok. I was floored, I expected her to laugh and say "thank you very much for your time" but that was not the case. She said something to the effect of "would you like to accept the position now, I can send you the paperwork in the mail?" Honestly, I don't remember what she said, I was wrapped and tangled in the stupid phone cord after pacing around the room during the, what seemed like, 4-hour conversation and was pretty much immobile, dazed, thrilled. I simply said, YES! My life was about to change, my official start date was Aug 13, 2001.

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