A day or two ago I was inquiring about my iPhone 15 at the local Apple store. It was only a couple of minutes after opening, and there were maybe nine or ten store reps in their royal-blue T-shirts, all looking at me and ready to help.

You never know in advance if the person you’re about to speak to is a tip-top brainiac. Most of them are reasonably bright and always generous in spirit but they rarely know everything, and more often than not they’ll pass along information that they “think” is probably correct, often adding “let me check…hold on.” And that’s fine.

But I knew I’d lucked out when I began talking to a 20something store rep with a knitted skull cap. First of all guys who wear skull caps tend to be ultra-focused in a nerdball way. But I knew this dude was a genius because he pointedly didn’t make eye contact. Right away I said to myself “that’s an Asperger’s thing…this guy is Albert Einstein-y.”

And he pretty much was, as it turned out. Not once did this guy even glance in the direction of my pupils. The whole time he was looking at the tabletop or the belt on my jeans or the fringe tip of my wool scarf. And he was fucking brilliant. It was hugely pleasurable to converse with him.

The vast majority of people in customer service focus on smiling and nicey-nice-ing and emotional caressings, and that’s fine. But when a slightly dysfunctional Genius Bar-type guy comes along, I smile inside and say a little prayer of thanks.