How Chevrolet and their employees saved my SXSW 2011

By Sunday, March 27, 2011 1 Permalink 0

On Tuesday, March 15th during SXSW, I woke up early (we will say it was around 10 am, which is early by SXSW standards) and checked my phone. The battery was at 9% despite having been plugged in all night long! I assumed the outlet I had been using just wasn’t working, so I rolled over and used my brother’s iPhone charger since his phone was at 100%. After plugging it in, it vibrated and showed the charging icon, so I rolled back over and continued to sleep. 30 minutes later when I woke up, my phone was still only at 8%! It was at this point that I started to freak out. I grabbed my blackberry and transferred all necessary SXSW phone numbers to it, just in case the iPhone didn’t make it.

Unsure of what to do next, I did a hard restart, and turned to Twitter for advice. Other than telling me to do a hard restart, my only other option seemed to be to go to the Apple store. Seems easy enough, right? I mean Apple opened a pop-up store on Congress just for SXSW. Wrong. The pop-up store only sold iPad2′s, and they had no support for anything else. I quickly got ready and headed toward the convention center, determined to find a ride to the actual Apple store that was 20 minutes away.

The first thing I saw when I got to the convention center was the Chevrolet promotional booth. They had 2 deals running during SXSW. One was basically a cab service, find any of the 20+ Chevy’s driving around town and catch a ride anywhere else in Austin. The second promo was for test driving any of 5 new Chevy cars. I was hoping to talk one of the taxi Chevy’s into taking a long ride with me, so I walked up to the people running the event. I explained my situation and that I desperately needed to get a ride to the Apple store, which was only 5 miles away. They were a bit hesitant, but I was able to win them over with my charm (or maybe they just felt bad for me due to my frazzled nature).

I got into the driver seat with Kelly (guy who worked for Chevy) in the passenger seat. Since neither of us were from Austin, I handed him my iPad to help me navigate to the Apple store, which was located in a mall, just over 5 miles away. I chit chatted with Kelly (who was a stock broker on the side and has done many marketing ventures with other car companies) on our way, while he guided me through Austin and on to the highway. After 20 minutes, we made it to the mall where the Apple store was located. I quickly parked the car, left Kelly inside listening to XM radio, and ran inside to find the Apple store.

I got lost a few times in the mall before tracking down the Apple store. When I finally located the store, I ran in super frazzled, anxious, my heart beating, a little out of breath from running through the mall and blurted out to the first Apple employee I saw “you have to help me. My phone is broken.” Luckily the store was not very crowded and he was able to help me. At this point my battery was around 3%! So I was literally running out of time. They took my iPhone into the back room to try to revive it. While waiting, I hopped onto a computer, logged into my twitter because I was getting antsy from being out of touch from everyone for so long! I mean it had been like a full hour or so.

About 10 minutes later, the apple employee emerged from the back room, without my phone. he walked over to me and said “I am sorry. Your iPhone went to sleep….and it is not waking up.” I am sure my face showed my terror at hearing that, so he quickly added “what would you like us to do?” My first response was, “well can you replace it?” At this point all I wanted was an iPhone, I didn’t care if I lost everything on it, I just needed a phone so I could download the essential apps and continue to communicate with my friends/follow the parties at SXSW.

Luckily my phone was under warranty, and since the old phone was dead, they could not transfer my info, but they were able to give me a brand new phone, on the spot. I could not stop smiling! I had a working phone! It had absolutely nothing in it, no contacts, emails, photos, music, apps, but it was once again my view into the world, my social connector.

I was free to go, so I rushed back through the mall, getting lost for a good 5 minutes, hoping that Kelly didn’t get impatient and leave me stranded at some mall in the middle of nowhere Austin! I was so relieved when I found the Chevy Cruze, parked right where I left it, outside the mall.

Since I was no longer a frazzled mess, Kelly and I continued our discussion about stocks and trading, and of course, the car. The Cruze surprised me, because it was a fun, sporty car to drive. I do not know if my car (2001 BMW 330xi) is just older and more stiff, or if the Cruze has better shocks, but the drive was really smooth and enjoyable. I am not in the market for a new car, whatsoever, but when I am, I will definitely consider a Chevy.

1 Comment
  • Stepan
    March 29, 2011

    Typical :)

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