Imagine that you're an Apple Store employee -- at the University Avenue store in Palo Alto, for instance -- and that iPad Saturday is one of the busiest, highest-pressure work experiences you've ever had. It's been hectic, customers are streaming through the store, there's media and onlookers everywhere. Of course you're demoing and selling a product that you hadn't ever touched until minutes before the store opened. You're cool as a cucumber, though; you've got things going right on track, dialed in and solid.
Now imagine that Steve Jobs just shows up to casually check out how things are going. So much for your equilibrium, right?
I dearly wish we had some spy video or behind-the-scenes profane exclamations, but all we've got is the Mercury News story. Steve, plus his wife and daughter, dropped by the store around noon Pacific time to observe the festivities and deliver an unexpected thrill to iPad shoppers. He reportedly chatted with several iPad buyers while visiting the store, but we cannot confirm at this time whether Mr. Jobs was called upon to autograph any body parts or demonstrate his ability to say 'boom!'
Personally, I spent about four hours total today in three iPad-selling venues (two Apple Stores and a Best Buy), and I'm not sure if a drop-in visit from Steve himself could have added any more hype or excitement to the situation. Well, maybe at Best Buy.
Update: French site ViPad.fr caught a snapshot of Steve leaving the store (bottom of the page).