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September 11, 2001 as genius remembers

They say you remember very significant things in your life with a certain clarity when they happen. birth of a child, winning a race, getting your diploma and tragedy. I'm skipping ahead a couple weeks here on the blog but I thought I would post something considering its 15 years since the attacks on our country. The memory is crystalline to me how the events unfolded for us genius in training.

The back story has we completed training. Everyone passed and we were headed home after being away from home for these few weeks. The problem, which is typical for a new store opening, we were delayed. Slated to open in September, it was pushed back to October. We are done training in early September, so what to do with all of us? There were a couple stores open by that time, obviously, Tyson's corner and Glendale Ca. They wanted to fly us home for weekends and fly back to LA to work in Glendale. We all pitched a fit. We argued there was Tysons Corner and Peabody Mass we could go to that was so much closer and cheaper since we could drive. We won the argument and went to Peabody which is the Northshore store. Our managers were not so lucky and were shipped to Tampa to help get that store ready for opening.

I had so much hair.

Our time in Northshore was fun. I was able to stop home and pick up my mountain bike along with my other peer and we toured the area every day on our bikes. We didn't know it then but the Northshore store was a complete mirror image of our soon to be opened store. Complete with the annoying poles right in front of the Genius bar, they poles were there to support the malls but the location of these structures was not ideal. The only difference was their genius bar was on the right and ours were on the left. We all had different shifts so it was tricky coordinating how to get to the store. Several time we all just went together and roamed around the mall until our shifts. We all got very intimate with the Northshore mall.

September 10th 2001

Me and 2 of my peers had to work. My friend who was hired with me did not. We worked an afternoon shift getting back later than usual, I suspect we had a different shift since it was a Sunday. It was dark as I remember and my friend, who was not a football fan, had been at the bar the entire day. We showed up and tried to catch up to him ordering as many drinks as we could. We all had steaks at the bar and the last call was way earlier than NY so we tried to get beers to go but that was not allowed. We smooth talked the bartender lady, who was super nice and super Bostonian, to let us sneak beers in. If I remember correctly she let us buy a 12 pack of Sam Adams from the bar freezer for some ridiculous price but we didn't care. We had the next day off. Off to the room we go. That night was filled with iTunes ( or sound jam We didn't trust iTunes) We had the beer and had a great night.

There is me with my Titanium and my bike

As you can imagine there were all kinds of tomfoolery going on. Air guitar, chasing each other down the hotel hall, normal stuff. We stayed up late as we all had the day off on Monday, except the author. We drank, geeked out, listened to music, super fun for a group of sub 30-year-olds. I never saw another human more drunk then my friend who was watching The perfect storm on his laptop. We were going to see the sights where that was filmed the next day, he thought he should brush up on the Andrea Gail. Sadly he started drinking at noon and was soon asking us to turn off the room, it was spinning too much. Off to bed, he went. Soon we all departed to bed.


The phone rings, not mine, but my friends. It's way too early in the am to get a phone call. We had the blinds and the curtains closed it was pitch black in the room. We ignore it. More calls, ignored. Finally, I get up and answer the phone as my friend was still probably drunk. Remember these are stupid flip phones, given for free by Verizon. Texting is not a thing yet. So it was a "Phone". "OH MY GOD thank god you there!" is what I hear. I say something like "where else would we be?" to the soon to be the wife of my friend.

My phone kept kinda ringing then would turn off the cell service was becoming rapidly crippled. I handed to phone to my friend who groggily answered the phone. "Turn on the news the world trade center is on fire", he said.

Sitting in our underwear we sat and watched the TV. I woke up the others who were next door and the 3 of us watches as the author had to go to work. Sat there in the dark and saw the second plane hit the tower. Dazed and in utter disbelief. We were all chilled to the fact that 2 of the planes left Boston, both headed to LA. These could easily have been planes we could have been on as we were flying so much the past couple weeks and they really wanted us back in LA but we kept avoiding the transfer.

We watched until we couldn't anymore. Not sure what to do we got into our car and drove. So much was blocked. I suspect they were looking for suspects or whatever but we could not get far from our hotel. We went down side road after side road and finally found a Fridays ™ where we stayed and had some food and watched the news. Eventually, lunch turned into dinner and we were still there. Finally, we head back to the rooms where the author was there upset.

He was upset that he was unable to give blood because he was gay. The Apple store was letting people give blood and be paid as they didn't know how wide stretch the attacks were and what the need was. He has turned away. We all felt horrible for him. We all decided to leave and go home, the author stayed, he had a gentle heart and a civic duty we others did not share.

I applaud him for his courage to stay behind as we went home. With no direction and no way to contact anyone, cells were jammed, an internet was dead slow. So we just packed up and left.

The drive back was the longest drive from Boston to Albany I have ever taken. 6-8-10 hours, who knows? I don't remember. Bumper to bumper the entire way. Our managers grounded because all air travel was suspended rented a car and the 4 of them drove back from Tampa. It was September 11th and out the store was opening on October 13. There was still work to do and we moved to get there and make it happen.

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