Dear Apple,

Dear Apple,

Please teach my grandmother how to use her computer. She purchased a laptop from you about one month ago and still does not know how to use email. Anticipating there would be problems, she immediately signed up for (paid) tutoring sessions once a week. She even purchased a book supposedly written for beginners. Yet, one month later, I have received exactly zero emails from Nana. What are you people teaching her?

It has been over one month and she still doesn’t know how to check email or read my blog. The book your sales people gave her is about using various production programs. It says on page 3, “You already know the basics.” She doesn’t. She is almost 85. The space bar function eludes her. The icons confuse her. She doesn’t know what a browser is. If something doesn’t work she believes she must have to double click harder. Please help her. She wants to read my blog!

Apple, when we were chatting last night she wrote down my hotmail address and asked, “So this will take me to your web site?” I demand to know what has been going on in her tutoring sessions. My grandmother told me she brought a list to her first lesson describing what she wants to do with her laptop. Her requests were as follows: Learn how to open pictures people send to her. Learn how to use email. Learn how to check her granddaughter’s blog.

She said her tutor told her they would get to that eventually. When? The laptop sits in her condo plugged in and pushed off to the side. They are in the midst of an all out stare down. It has become a burden and not the freeing experience she had hoped.

Apple, my Nana is savvy. She is smart. But she comes away from her lessons feeling frustrated and sad. “I think they look at this white haired old lady with a cane coming in and think I am stupid,” she said last night. She nervously laughed when she told me about how her tutor hushes her with “You will learn that later.”  It broke my heart hearing how upset she was. Apple, how dare you hurt my Nana’s feelings! Apple, I am boycotting the use of my iPod until you help her. No more iTunes. No more ianything. Please help her learn how to use her computer. I look forward to hearing from her soon.

Sincerely,

Kristen

3 thoughts on “Dear Apple,

  1. Tell me you actually sent this to apple, attn: steve Jobs. They’d have no choice but to respond.

    Poor Nana. Perhaps she should find other seniors that know computers- peer to peer learning.

  2. As someone who randomly stumbled upon this (after being intrigued by your ant post) and who worked as a trainer at a high profile apple store for nearly 3 years- I understand your frustration, but you have to understand their struggle as well. The “we’ll get to that” might sound insensitive to you, but you have to think about all that is going on. On more than one occasion, I tried to teach someone how to just check email, only to have them write it down step-by-step and return a week later having never gotten past step 2. The reason for this is that it is like learning a new language- what is the mouse? the browser? the address bar? what is the difference between gmail and hotmail and apple mail? All of these things take more than just one hour to learn, and it’s not that your grandmother is not smart, it’s just that she doesn’t speak the language yet. There is a lesson plan that the trainers are supposed to follow and once she gets the basics, she will be much better off for learning a little bit about what she is doing before just diving in. Recommend that she also goes to the free workshops as well as her One-to-One sessions. The more repetition of information the better. I wish the best of luck to your grandmother and don’t give up.

  3. RJ,
    Thank you for submitting this. It is easy to forget how difficult it was to learn how to use a computer in the first place. I still recall learning how to type on an old Mac in elementary school. I remember the green type and how scary it all looked. It is like learning a new language. I will try to have more patience. I just can’t wait for Nana to learn how to email.
    -Kristen

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