So, Steve Jobs has left his role as Apple’s CEO. Like, for good this time. It’s a shame, but it was inevitable, and it sounds like everything’s running pretty well down in Cupertino anyway.
For the purposes of this anecdote, it’s worth noting that I grew up in a house entirely surrounded by Macs. My mom is a graphic designer. My step-dad runs a chain of computer stores that only sells Macs, which is now called MacOutfitters. Our household hit peak-Apple when my mom started co-managing the stores with him. Most of my T-shirts in middle school were Apple merch. “Steve” was on a first-name basis at our table. When I’d have a friend over for dinner, they thought I had a famously successful uncle.
I had always dreamed of working at Apple someday, and, eventually, I did.
For part of my time there, I had an office that received no visible sunlight and had no view of the outside. It wasn’t all bad, I was enjoying my work enough, but I’d go out of my way to try to enjoy the sunshine whenever I had it.
One day, I was working late and left my office to get dinner at the cafeteria. When I stepped outside, I realized it had been the first time I had seen the sun all day, as it had been foggy that morning, and I had skipped lunch. I looked up at the sun and smiled, enjoying the feeling of it warming my face and arms, and I continued walking across the quad like this, face up at the sky, eyes closed, smiling.
I like to think that I’m not a chronically weird person, but I do have my moments.
Anyway, I knew the distance pretty well, so when I sensed that I was reaching the other side of the quad, I opened my eyes and looked down and Steve was holding the door for me, grinning to himself. I have no idea how long he had been holding it, though it was probably only a couple seconds, long enough to cause him to smile at my basking in the open air.
Those couple seconds probably cost Apple $1.4bn.