D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty Cut The iPhone Line

Did D.C. Mayor Adiran Fenty dispatch henchmen to retrieve an iPhone? An eagle-eyed tipster spotted a member of the Mayor’s coterie dashing into a double-parked SUV with three bags outside the AT&T store on 17th and Pennsylvania Avenue.

By this point, more than a few people are asking questions, and after a guy behind me yells out “fix the schools first,” the [Mayor’s staffer] gives him the finger and sneers, “there’s only 15 left.”

The full email, after the jump…

I have a brief iPhone/government story. I work in downtown DC and went to the AT&T store on 17th and Pennsylvania around 4:45 to get in line. About 35 people were in front of me, everyone was nice, people from AT&T were giving out water and all was well. They and another store I visited during lunch wouldn’t or couldn’t tell us how many they had, so the line kept growing until it was about 70 or so. Six o’clock finally comes and they let some people in, and it’s really slow going–like one person every ten minutes, even though there are a bunch of employees and registers in there. We later found out that AT&T’s system crashed.

So we’re all waiting outside and some of the people around me notice a double parked car with a driver and a few dudes outside all on Blackberries talking and looking into the store. A little while later, a guy comes out with three bags and gives them to the driver. AT&T was only allowed to sell one iPhone per customer. Then the same guy disappears back into the store, into the back room. The manager comes out to update people and someone asks him what just happened and we find out that the phones are for D.C.’s mayor, Adrian Fenty. The guy comes out again and quickly gets into an SUV parked in front of the store. By this point, more than a few people are asking questions, and after a guy behind me yells out “fix the schools first,” the guy gives him the finger and sneers, “there’s only 15 left.” The manager, who had come out a few times and been giving rough inventory updates, had estimated about 50 were left minutes ago, and he had also said that there were plenty of 8 GB ones left (which everyone behind me seemed to want). Manager comes out again and says there are now only two 8 GB iPhones left, and that a lot of people in the back of the line probably aren’t getting an iPhone today. He said that there were four people from the Mayor’s office in the store and they each only got one, but that was a pretty big drop in his estimated inventory.

Incidentally, while we were in line, we found out that the Apple stores in Nova and Maryland had plenty of stock and no lines.

At least Philadelphia Mayor John Street had the decency to pull up a chair and wait on line until being accosted by a citizen.