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Posted

Check Out How Apple Brainwashes Its Store Employees--Turning Them Into Clapping, Smiling Zealots

iphone-lines-in-china.jpg

David Segal of the New York Times

takes an excellent look at what it's like to work in an Apple Store--an occupation that has become one of the favorite "McJobs" in our economy for hip college graduates.

The pay sucks (relatively), the stores are busy and crowded, and there's little upward mobility, so it's pretty much a dead-end job.

But 30,000 of the 40,000 Apple

employees in the United States work in the stores, so this has now become the defining experience of working at the company.

And Apple is perceived as cool--much cooler than, say, McDonald's or Walmart or Starbucks--so the company is continually deluged with resumes. For every Apple Store employee who quits, disillusioned, after a couple of years, there are many more eager to take his or her place.

Apple picks a small percentage of lucky candidates from the stack, which are submitted online, of course, through Apple's web site. The company screens for "affability" and "self-directedness," not tech savvy: The latter can be learned; the former is innate. Then Apple invites everyone to a "seminar" in a conference room at a hotel. If you're a few minutes late, you're eliminated.

The people who are offered jobs are often so happy that they burst into tears.

And then the real indoctrination starts.

Training lasts for a few days to a few weeks.

Training commences with what is known as a

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Posted

Wow.. they make $30k a year. Talk about being abused.

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Posted

Wow.. they make $30k a year. Talk about being abused.

A quick Google says the average store clerk salary in USA is around 27k$.

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Posted

A quick Google says the average store clerk salary in USA is around 27k$.

The article says that the same type of employees, at Verizon for example, make twice as much.

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Posted

Though this is a great strategy. Make your employees feel like they are doing something important and you can get them to work for peanuts :)

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Posted

Scary. :s

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Posted

Reminds me when a friend started working at McDonnalds as a temp job and the managers talked about being a family. American companies are just terrible like that. Gimme a break, family.

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Posted

Reminds me when a friend started working at McDonnalds as a temp job and the managers talked about being a family. American companies are just terrible like that. Gimme a break, family.

When I did desktop support at a large PC maker years ago, it was the same, and a bit weird!

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Posted

When I did desktop support at a large PC maker years ago, it was the same, and a bit weird!

The thing I hate most is that some Dutch companies are trying to apply the same techniques these days. I'm way too "nuchter" (sober?) for that kind of BS and always thought it was extremely obvious what they were trying to achieve.

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Posted

Wow.. they make $30k a year. Talk about being abused.

Oh wow, you make nearly $10,000 a year more in Maccas in Australia. :laugh:

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Posted

Wow.. they make $30k a year. Talk about being abused.

It's not like handing around a shop is brutal work. Half of the time the Amsterdam Apple Store employees do nothing and chat with each other.

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Posted

tons of people i know would be (and are) happy with $30 k a year. The only people that aren't happy with that are people with super huge high expectations out of a temporary thing called life. Typically no matter how much money they end up making they are never "happy" and always complain that they are always broke.

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Posted

Would you get fired from an Apple store if you told a customer that the Microsoft Surface was awesome?

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Posted

I worked at dell in lebanon,tn..on the build.. it was the first real job I had and the worst. I was treated like crap and I only made 9.50/hr and worked 12 hour days and sometimes more. I went 3 weeks without a day off. I was fired for being accused of crap I never did. couldn't collect unemployment either. working there is way worse then working at apple. trust me. SITTING WAS TREATED AS A CRIME there. my supervisor was the typical crabby old lady x9001 that hated other women and would air her dirty laundry about her husband and sister in front of others and those who didn't care for her crap would get treated worse then those who gave into her drama and got involved. i would rather work at an apple store then work at dell again.

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Posted

Though this is a great strategy. Make your employees feel like they are doing something important and you can get them to work for peanuts :)

Shop floor staff making almost 60k a year? Come on. No way. If that's the case, I should give up designing for a living ;)

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Posted

Another conspiracy theory: They chose that particular image to project the impression that Asians are more like brainwashed zealots than anyone else and/or are more susceptible to this sort of indoctrination.

Or maybe the editors thought that they looked more alike, and better promoted the "brainwashed zealot" concept. :/ .

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Posted

For a Verizon store employee to earn anywhere near double, they must be at the top of their page scale, be receiving maximum bonuses and have to sell a hell of a lot of products to get a high commission. You make it sound like a new employees just walk into a $60,000 a year job.

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Posted

Another conspiracy theory: They chose that particular image to project the impression that Asians are more like brainwashed zealots than anyone else and/or are more susceptible to this sort of indoctrination.

Or maybe the editors thought that they looked more alike, and better promoted the "brainwashed zealot" concept. :/ .

some people are bred-to-the-bone haters... ignore them...

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Posted

Training commences with what is known as a

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Would you get fired from an Apple store if you told a customer that the Microsoft Surface was awesome?

Not sure, I've often been told to get things from a different store like bags or cases because they said to me "It's much cheaper over there, they're a rip off here"

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Posted

Shop floor staff making almost 60k a year? Come on. No way. If that's the case, I should give up designing for a living ;)

If you are not making more than $60k a year designing you are doing it wrong buddy or you are not charging properly. I made over $100k just designing websites when I was starting out. Granted, I was mostly working with agencies (contract work) and not a full time salary. Full time salary is ALWAYS a grind and a ripoff for designers (unless you are Creative Director/Art Director but you really can't have that title until you have worked/managed teams and have years of experience under your belt).

Hell, at the very beginning I was making sites for $2-$3k a site and I did about 2-3 a month and was still making far more than $60k a year.

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Posted

Weird. Sounds like something a cult would do.

While I agree that it's a strange ritual, it's actually more common than you think. I remember when I was first looking for a job, I came across several businesses that had the exact same clapping and chanting routine every morning. Of course I ended up avoiding working at those places in favor of something a bit more normal.

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Posted

tons of people i know would be (and are) happy with $30 k a year. The only people that aren't happy with that are people with super huge high expectations out of a temporary thing called life. Typically no matter how much money they end up making they are never "happy" and always complain that they are always broke.

People happy with that sort of wage are people that are still in school.

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Posted

The standing ovation thing is extremely excessive, but the bit about telling employees that they are enriching people's lives is standard company fare. I worked at Walmart while I was in college, and they were all cheerful during the hiring process, and they told us over and over again that we were a family, and that we were doing something more than fetching stuff for people. We were really helping people save money so that they can live better lives...while trashing our own.

There is more role-playing at Core training, as it

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tons of people i know would be (and are) happy with $30 k a year. The only people that aren't happy with that are people with super huge high expectations out of a temporary thing called life. Typically no matter how much money they end up making they are never "happy" and always complain that they are always broke.

I think the point here is that Apple is one of the richest companies in the world right now. The least they could do is pay their employees who serve their customers above average salary and not go with the lowest they can get. But that's just me I guess.

I don't know any ex-Apple employee (be it engineer or who works in support) that has good things to say about Apple. They are grateful that they had a chance to work with other great/smart folks there and learn but as far as their corporate practices, not a single good thing and I guess that's the reason they left. Just like article says, you are brainwashed to believe you are making a difference but after a few years you realize you are being destroyed and abused and they leave. The thing is that people have been lining up to get abused because media really didn't cover this much at all and one of the reasons IMO was because they were scared of Steve Jobs.

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