Is This the Saddest Thing on the Apple Store?

By James O Malley on at

When demonstrating new products, companies need good content that will show off the capabilities of the new technology. Apple is particularly good at this as during its product demonstrations it imagines a world where everyone is a pro-photographer who has attractive friends.

It also sometimes uses this necessary stand-in material to drop hints or make jokes. At the big press conference where the iPhone 6S was announced as the executive went through "his" emails, he "accidentally" flashed on screen an email revealing the release date for the next version of Mac OS.

But what are we supposed to make of this Apple placeholder email?

On the Apple website on the page talking about the new features in iOS 9 is the above image of an iPad Air 2 using picture-in-picture mode to drop (what is presumed to be) a video call over the top of the iOS Mail app. But if you read the actual email, it actually tells a bleak tale of melancholy and despair as "Sarah Castelblanco" emails (assumed old work colleague) "Eden Sears"...

I just walked by your old cubicle and looked to see if you were in there. Not sure when I'll stop doing that. I just know the guy who's sitting there now is probably starting to get annoyed with me. What can I say? We miss you. All of us. Especially me. Although I'm probably more productive now without you and your seemingly endless supply of office gossip.

Oh no, it appears that Sarah and Eden have been separated for some reason. Did Eden get a new job? How do we know that Sarah didn't request to move because secretly she found Eden's constant attention annoying? That would add a tragic new angle to the situation. Either way, it appears to be a potential catalyst for further office tension - who is the new guy who has replaced her? Can't Sarah give him a chance in her search for office companionship?

Work is pretty much the same. I switched cubicles and am closer to an actual window. That's the good part. The bad part is that I'm directly across from Larry. You know, the guy with terrific hair and the terrible taste in music. I actually caught myself singing along to the music coming from his office the other day. It definitely wasn't my proudest moment.

Sarah sounds demotivated and bored with her work - which isn't good. Who is this horrible employer that doesn't seem to give its employees much natural light? Why is Larry obnoxiously listening to music loud enough for Sarah to hear? This sounds like a vision of office hell.

The next part is harder to work out as it is obscured by a video window - but it seems that Sarah is trying to numb the pain of work by getting outdoors and travelling when not chained to her desk:

I've been travelling a bit more lately. We had a quic[hidden]
managed to parlay into a weekend with some old c[hidden]
shows and ate nearly every one of our meals from [hidden?]
the adventure. You'd have loved it.

The sad story ends with a cry for help - a cry of "please don't forget me!"

I'm eager to hear what's going on with you. I just h[hidden]
advancement is worth not being able to have coffe[hidden]

Perhaps the most amazing thing is that it seems that Castelblanco and Sears are real people, or are at least based on real people or borrowing their names (we can't all be called "John Appleseed"). And they both work for Apple. The former works in Apple's Creative Resources department (presumably responsible for making graphics like this one), and the latter is Apple's Director of Worldwide Marketing Communications.

We hope that their working conditions are a little better in real life.