A hard day at the Genius Bar — how I stumbled on a secret stash of iPhone photos that made me want to cry

Aubergine and Apple Tales from the Genius Bar
(Image credit: Future)
Tales from the Genius Bar

Tales from the Genius Bar

(Image credit: Future)

Tales from the Genius Bar: The world of Apple Retail revealed through the eyes of ex-employees with wonderful and weird tales to tell.

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Many people have been asking, “Where are the d*ck pic stories?” So I’m glad to say that today is the day I reveal to the world my favorite d*ck pic story from my time working at the Apple Store.

You know, when I went through the hiring process to become a Genius, no one warned me what a seedy bunch the human population can be. Had I been told before I started taking appointments fixing iPhones that there was always a chance of a d*ck pic, I may have reassessed.

Think of finding a d*ck pic at the Apple Store like playing Minesweeper. Every time you think you’ve got it under control and everything seems fine, BOOM! A D*CK PIC. Just like in Minesweeper, I never learned the dark arts to determine which customers would drop a d*ck pic on me — but every single time, I’d rush back to my colleagues and try to hold back the tears of laughter as the iPhone users left the store with a working device and their tails between their legs.

One story in particular has stuck with me through the years, and I think it’s only fair that I share it with iMore’s readers. So sit back, grab a cup of joe, and get ready to read about Richard – Dick for short – and his embarrassing trip to his local Apple Store.

This is Tales from the Genius Bar: Chapter Four — a hard day's work

Disclaimer: This story may trigger flashbacks or bring back bad memories for any ex-Apple employees — If you’re easily grossed out please continue with caution, reader discretion is advised.

These events are based on a true story. All names and likenesses have been changed but every single weird, grotesque, funny, or wholesome anecdote happened within the walls of an Apple Store somewhere out there.

It’s the place where thousands of customers arrive late to their appointments and demand service; The place where handing a phone covered in your bodily fluids over to a stranger is deemed acceptable; The place where you entrust technicians with your most beloved memories and your deepest, darkest secrets. Welcome to the Apple Store, a place I called home for many a year and a place that has many a tale to be told. You’ll want to hear about all of them — but you’ll wish you could forget half of them. Believe me, I’ve tried. Read Chapter One, Chapter Two, and Chapter Three.

Do you have your own tale to tell from the world of Apple Retail? Let us know via X @TalesGeniusBar or via email

Too many d*ck pics

Tales from the Genius Bar

(Image credit: Future)

D*ck pics are synonymous with smartphones, it seems. Yet, I had no idea how common the artistic desire to show your phallus was until I started working at Apple. You could go weeks without seeing or hearing about a customer’s obsession with taking pictures of their d*ck, but every Genius Bar employee knew that the next appointment might very well be the return of the d*ck.

On this particular day, I’d had a pleasantly drama-free dry spell: no grim sightings and no disgusting bodily fluids such as earwax from AirPods touching my fingers. At the back of my mind, I knew that my run of mundane sessions teaching the older generations how to call their grandkids was about to come to an end. Unfortunately, it came sooner than I anticipated.

How do I describe today’s customer? Let’s call him Richard, Dick for short. Dick is a common nickname for folks named Richard and as you grow older you learn to stop giggling and just accept that some people want to be known as a Dick.

On this occasion, Dick seemed like a nice enough guy. He was in his mid-40s, I’d say, and chatty, but the kind of chatty that made me feel slightly uneasy. Just a word of advice: When you attend a Genius Bar appointment, we can see straight through your lies. So when Dick said he had no idea why his iPhone 6s had zero of its 16 GB of storage left for use, I had a feeling he knew the reason.

Genius Bar employees wearing red

(Image credit: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images)

Now, 16 GB of storage is nothing in today’s realm of modern smartphones. But back in 2016, the iPhone 6s was the pinnacle of iPhone design, and that amount of storage would get you by with just some caveats. Want to play lots of games or download apps? 16 GB wasn’t enough. Want to download movies and store TV shows on your iPhone? 64 GB was a better shout. Want to take a ridiculous amount of pictures of your d*ck? Yeah, you’ll need the 128 GB.

Dick said his phone had no storage left and he had no way of downloading any new apps. So, I asked him if I could take a glance and look through his storage settings to get a better understanding of what was going on.

As soon as I saw that nearly 14 GB of his storage was used on Photos, I breathed a sigh of relief. You see, sometimes we want customers in and out as fast as possible so we can get back to chatting with other colleagues about last night’s game or arguing about the best Star Wars Episode. I thought at that moment that I’d have a quick turnaround and I could take a nicely earned 10-minute break until my next appointment came in. 

“This is an easy one, Richard. You’ve got too many photos.” As soon as I said it, I could sense some worry on Dick’s face — he didn’t seem too pleased. I asked for permission to open his Photos app, worried at the thought of what I might find, and he begrudgingly agreed. I counted to three, took a deep breath, and tapped on the Photos icon. Nothing.

Don’t be a Dick, delete your d*ck pics.

I stared at the blank Photos app as Dick look relieved. Then it hit me… that 14 GB of photos had to be somewhere, and unfortunately for me, I knew exactly where they were. 

Looking back, I wish I had just told Dick how to remove his photos and clear his storage. But at that moment, I wasn’t quick-witted enough to realize. 

“Richard, you see there’s a Recently Deleted album in the Photos app and they stay in your storage for 30 days before disappearing. You can delete them though, so I’ll show you how.” I tapped Recently Deleted, and my life flashed before my eyes. D*ck after d*ck after d*ck, the man was a d*ck pic fiend and, while I’ve removed the images from my memory, I remember an infinite amount of d*cks. 14 GB of d*cks to be exact, 14 GB!

I squirmed in my skin, deleted the pics for good, and pushed the iPhone 6s back towards Dick. The phone felt stickier now, I have no idea if it had felt sticky before. He looked at me with a huge grin and extended his arm to shake my hand. I closed my eyes, d*cks burning my eyelids. I shook his hand and ran to the bathroom to clean off whatever sticky grime my hands had come in contact with. 

Don’t be a Dick, delete your d*ck pics.

Just the tip: How to remove “Recently Deleted” photos from your storage

Delete screenshots from recently deleted to free storage on iPhone 15 Pro Max

(Image credit: Future)
  1. In Photos tap Albums, then scroll down to Recently Deleted
  2. Tap Select, then Select All
  3. Tap the 3 dots (bottom right), then Delete
  4. Tap Delete From All Devices

Tales of the Genius Bar is a bi-weekly column exclusive to iMore. Do you have your own tale to tell from the world of Apple Retail? Let us know via X @TalesGeniusBar or via email

The Genius
Fixer of iPhones, teller of tales

He has seen it all, from disgusting AirPods to bugs inside Apple devices. There's not much that phases the Genius. After working in Apple Retail at the Genius Bar for years, he is ready to tell the tales of some of the whackiest, most wonderful, and straight-up weird customer interactions to grace the hallowed turf.

With a knowledge of all things Apple, join the Genius as he embarks on a journey to collate the best stories from the world of Apple Retail — you won't believe your ears. If you've got a hilarious or crazy anecdote you want the world to know about, reach out to the Genius via @TalesGeniusBar on X and share your story — he's sure to turn it into a tale for the ages.

This is the world of Apple retail like you've never seen or heard it before. Welcome to Tales from the Genius Bar.