Apple’s Steve Jobs Gets In A Pissing Contest With College Girl

If there’s one person you don’t want to mess with, it’s an irate college journalism student. All Long Island University journalism student Chelsea Isaacs wanted was a comment from Apple’s media relations department for a paper she was writing. Isaacs, a college senior, was assigned a story on the use of iPads in academic settings — especially prescient since her college was considering offering free iPads to incoming freshmen. When the company’s media relations folks failed to get back to her, she took her query to a higher power — Apple head Steve Jobs — complaining that the media relations department was ignoring her query, despite that kind of being its job.

What followed was a testy exchange, and somebody acting like a sullen teen.Isaacs wrote to Jobs:

Mr. Jobs, I humbly ask why Apple is so wonderfully attentive to the needs of students, whether it be with the latest, greatest invention or the company’s helpful customer service line, and yet, ironically, the Media Relations Department fails to answer any of my questions which are, as I have repeatedly told them, essential to my academic performance.”

And Jobs, who famously responds to personal emails, responded by taking Isaacs to task, writing: “Our goals do not include helping you get a good grade. Sorry.” Ouch!

Where most people might have called it a day, Isaacs wrote Jobs back, contending:

I never said that your goal should be to “help me get a good grade.” Rather, I politely asked why your media relations team does not respond to emails, which consequently, decreases my chances of getting a good grade. But, forget about my individual situation; what about common courtesy, in general —- if you get a message from a client or customer, as an employee, isn’t it your job to return the call? That’s what I always thought. But I guess that’s not one of your goals.

Well, that got Jobs riled. He wrote back: “Nope. We have over 300 million users and we can’t respond to their requests unless they involve a problem of some kind. Sorry.”

Isaacs fired back:

You’re absolutely right, and I do meet your criteria for being a customer who deserves a response: 1. I AM one of your 300 million users. 2. I DO have a problem; I need answers that only Apple Media Relations can answer. Now, can they kindly respond to my request (my polite and friendly voice can be heard in the first 5 or 10 messages in their Inbox). Please, I am on deadline.

Jobs finally responded, “Please leave us alone.”

Whoops! “Please leave us alone” hardly seems like an appropriate response from a public figure and company head to a struggling journalism student. Now tech heads are in an uproar and the story — thanks, no doubt, to Isaacs’ media savvy — made it to “Good Morning America.” And it’s a good lesson on why you should always handle work emails in a professional manner.

While Isaacs sounds like she’s probably really annoying to deal with, Jobs’ childish response puts us squarely in her corner. What do you think? [Gawker]

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