Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jobs on Privacy

There's no publicity like "bad" publicity--or so I've been told. I know I'm a few days behind the action on this one, but, ya know, I work from time to time. To quote Mr. Jobs: "Leave [me] alone."

Yeah, I went there.

In fact, I'm going there. Let's examine this particular piece of, apparently, newsworthy drivel.

A journalism....student...from Long Island University was given an assignment (presumbably for her journalism of many) was given an assingment. Now, depending on which article you believe, that assignment either had to do with the school's new policy of giving iPads to the students or she was lobbying for that to happen. Either way, she chose to secure a quote from the notoriously silent Apple Media Relations.

What makes me laugh is that she was surprised when they didn't return her phone calls!

Now, let's take a look at that little piece of information. A student journalist calls the notoriously silent Apple Media Relations more times in a week than a telemarketer or creditor. Five to ten messages?! In a week?! There's persistent, and then there's a-freakin'-noying. I wouldn't have answered her, either. I would have, however, called the authorities and reported her for harrassment.

From there, her e-mail correspondance, in my not so humble opinion, wasn't very appropriate. She chose to contact Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple (if you've been living under a rock and have no idea who he is). Steve responded. His response was terse--which, if you've ever seen him deal with people outside of his keynotes, you'd know....IT'S HIS PERSONALITY!!! He and I have something in common: we don't handle stupid. I know there are Mac haters out there who read this blog. You know what? Get over yourself. If this had been Bill Gates, you'd be making excuses for him left and right (despite how much you curse his name when Windows offers you the BSOD...and let's not forget the cursing of Windows Vista). But, somewhere along the way, a number of us bought his crap that Steve Jobs was Satan and that Apple was The Beast. Frankly, I don't care. Every OS out there has issues, be it Windows, Mac's OS, Linux, or whatever. Use what you use for what you need. If that means running three OS's, then run 3 freaking OS's. Anyway, that's a rant for another time.

Back to Chelsea Isaacs and Steve Jobs.

So, Ms. Isaacs e-mails Steve Jobs and dutifully explains her plight--not that he cares. And were I in his position, I'd likely not care, either--in fact, I'd probably be wondering how the heck some random person got my e-mail address. Now, others seemed to pick up on something I noticed, as well--"Sent via BlackBerry on T-Mobile." She's expounded the joys of being a devoted Mac-user...and totally trashed her credibility with that one signature statement. Beyond that, look at the tone of her correspondance. I'll wait while you go back to that first link. Oh, right, you're lazy. Here. She is very supportive and praising in the opening, then goes into her "plight." It's the plight that gets my dander up and I don't even work for Apple.

The completion of this article is crucial to my grade in the class, and it may potentially get published in our university's newspaper. I had 3 quick questions regarding iPads, and wanted to obtain answers from the most credible source: Apple's Media Relations Department. I have called countless times throughout the week, leaving short, but detailed, messages which included my contact information and the date of my deadline. Today, I left my 6th message, which stressed the increasingly more urgent nature of the situation. It is now the end of the business day, and I have not received a call back. My deadline is tomorrow.

If you read nothing other than this paragraph (since I so kindly quoted it for you), please note the following:
  1. Journalism Student
  2. Called Countless Times
  3. Left a SIXTH message today
  4. Deadline tomorrow

As a non-journalist student, but a college graduate who wrote more papers and gave more presentations than I care to count, I always had a plan B. If I had been in Mr. Jobs' postion, my e-mail back to her would have been much worse than his, "Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry." No, no. Mine would have been, "Too bad; so sad. Your dad." At least he explained the reason no one was calling her back. Instead of accepting this answer, she continued her harrassment by telling him he owed her. I'm sorry, what? I couldn't hear you over the sound of money volunteering to be in Mr. Jobs' bank account...

Seriously?! He responded to you. Be happy. But, no!! Ms. Isaacs was insulted by his response because SHE is the center of HER world!

Yes, student journalists go on to be "real" journalists. Or Paparazzi. But, really, they need to know that the world could care less about the collegiate career and want to know how your annoying questions will benefit THEM.

"Dear Mr. Jobs, I'm writing an article for a local paper on the importance of technology in colleges. I have three questions regarding the iPad's [insert summary of questions here] and would like to get a statement from you or someone within your company regarding these questions. If you could spare a few moments, I would appreciate it." Chances are, you'll get a very favourable response, not "Leave us alone" (which, by the way, is well within his rights if he feels he is being harrassed...see my earlier statements about phone calls and telemarketers).

...and if he can't? Go to an Apple Retail Store, grab an associate, and get some answers. When you cite your source, it's "an Apple associate." That is journalism, ladies and germs. Creative writing.