Meeting Steve Jobs: The Best Stories

Written by on February 14, 2013 in Money - No comments | Print this page

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steve-jobsThe legacy of Steve Jobs will always be tied to Apple, and how he turned the business around. But some lucky people know him from direct contact, unexpected encounters that paint the man in a more personal light that the media often ignores.

Below are some examples of these random meetings, which bring out the ordinary side of an extraordinary figure. Of course, names have been changed.

Sharing an elevator with Steve

Working as an intern for Apple a few years back, Arnold wasn’t surprised to bump into the CEO in the office. One morning, he was taking the elevator when a hand stopped the doors closing, and in stepped Jobs.

While Arnold was a little nervous, and didn’t want to bother him, Jobs turned, noticed his intern’s badge, and asked what he was currently working on.

Arnold was conflicted: at initiation just days earlier, he had been told not to disclose that information to anybody. On the other hand, surely Steve Jobs was an exception?

Eventually, he went with the safer option, and told Steve that he wasn’t supposed to talk about it. With a smile and a chuckle, he got off at the next floor, leaving Arnold to assume he’d made the right choice.

Oblivious Apple fans ask Steve to take a photo

Martha was an Apple employee who often saw Jobs around the building. One moment in particular stood out for her though: one afternoon she watched a family gather by the Apple sign outside the building, ready to take a photo.

The father looked around, and asked the nearest person if he wouldn’t mind taking the picture for them. They were oblivious to the fact that it was Steve Jobs.

Martha recalled that Steve appeared amused that he wasn’t recognised, took the photo for them, and carried on.

We wonder if that family ever figured out who their mysterious photographer was.

Small things

Bill claims that living in the Palo Alto area, Steve Jobs sightings were a rather common occurence. He remembers sitting behind him in traffic, and noticing that Jobs’ fuel tank cap was hanging open. He chalked it up to a human error. Everybody makes mistakes.

A few months later, Bill was driving past Steve’s house, and happened to glance towards it. He saw the car in the driveway, and noticed with amusement that, again, the fuel cap was open.

Discovering that famous figures still possess these human idiosyncrasies can be rather humbling.

Even Steve falls victim to bad service

One diner, who we’ll call Kim, was in an Indian restaurant, when Steve Jobs walked in with his family and sat down at a table behind them. The staff and most of the customers were reportedly Indian migrants, some speaking very little English, who preferred to focus on their own job and family.

Kim knew from experience how bad the service in this place was, and wondered if Jobs would be recognized and served faster. He wasn’t: no one came over to serve the family for a long time, and he wasn’t approached by staff or customers during his meal either.

At the end, he asked for the bill, and waited, but the staff member apparently forgot. Eventually, Jobs stood up, placed the money on the table, and walked out.

Kim made note of how accepting he was of the delays and bad service, with no apparent sense of entitlement that we often associate with people in positions of power.

Steve helped start a fan’s car

James, as we’ll call him, was dating a woman whose father happened to be Steve Jobs’ neighbour in Palo Alto, California. While he often spotted Steve coming or going from the rather modest house, he never had any direct contact until a stroke of bad luck turned great, early one evening.

James’ car broke down as he was leaving his girlfriend’s place, and the vehicle rolled to a stop in front of the Jobs’ house. Not wanting to be mistaken for a crazed fan, James attempted to restart the car before the family noticed him. He was unsuccessful, and soon Mrs Jobs was outside offering help.

The situation escalated: before long, James was chatting to Steve’s wife, while a close friend of the Jobs family was fiddling under the hood – and Steve himself was sitting in the driver’s seat, trying to get the car to start. It still didn’t work after all that, and James had to call AAA – from inside Steve’s house, using his phone.

Linda Campbell is a freelance writer and blogger who is using Rentsmart to help have the latest iPad Mini. She would have loved to have met Steve Jobs. Instead, she’ll settle with experiencing it vicariously through the stories of others.

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