Yes, I Need Help at the Apple Store.

A couple of months ago I received Amanda Palmer’s book, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help, in the mail. It was a sweet reward having received it after a refreshing and supportive conversation with my ever supportive friend, Alyx Wulf. It was the perfect gift for me at the time. I was learning how to ask for help. I was a work in progress. Always.

In the book Amanda Palmer shares moments in her life where she didn’t consider asking for help. These moments sometimes led to fear and anxiety. She was speaking right to me… asking for help is just something I struggle doing (more on The Art of Asking at another time). After reading the book I started being more mindful of when I need help and then finding courage to ask for help. I was doing well, I thought. Until…

The entry into the new Apple retail store at University Village in Seattle (Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

…there I was at the new Apple store in University Village. This is the brand new, shiny building in the area of the mall across the way from Crate and Barrel. I was in need of 2 things: 1)phone charger, and 2) A yellow iPhone 7 Plus cover — It is summer after all!

As soon as I walked in I was greeted by a nice young man, eager and ready to help. “Can I help you find exactly what you are looking for?”, he asked.

(Inner monologue: Yes, Ivette. You do need help. It is bright, there is a tree in the middle of the store, a huge TV and all the colors — HELP!)

“No, thanks!” , I replied. (Shit! Forget it)

Of course I needed help! This young man’s job is to answer all of my questions, point me in the right direction, help me find items 1 & 2; and here I was turning him away. For the millionth time in my life, I felt that asking for help would become burdensome for another, even if that other’s only job is to help me. Why is it so difficult to say, “Yes, I need help! I need a yellow phone cover because it’s summer!”?

So there I was. You’ve been there too — walking aimlessly around the store looking up, down, all around pretending to know what you’re doing there. Yup. I looked at an entire wall of chargers wondering why there would ever need to be so many chargers.

After walking a while, I found what I was looking for, paid, and triumphantly returned to my car. I sat down and opened the package. Lo and behold, I got the wrong charger! Not all chargers on the iPhone racks are the same.

I learned that 1)yes I still need help at the Apple store, and in life; 2) needing help is OK.

I am a work in progress. Always.