Confessions of an Apple store employee

The corporate world of Apple is clouded in secrecy. But what is it like to actually work there? Popular Mechanics has an amazing article based on an interview with an apple store employee which gives us a really good insight as to what it is like to work there. It's something he describes as being somewhat like a "cult".

He admits that he hides from tech news and only watches Apple keynotes to avoid getting any information he shouldn't have. It would seem that Apple employees like to live in ignorance until Steve Jobs says otherwise to avoid getting fired, adding further fuel to the fire of speculation that describes Jobs' management style as that of a "control freak genius".

You can get into serious trouble if you speculate—especially to a customer. I am asked five times per day about the next iPad or iPhone, and I quite simply don't know. But I would be in huge trouble if I said something like "The next iPad is going to have a camera." I actually avoid the technology section of the newspaper so I have no points of view to accidentally comment with or drop into conversation. I'd rather just be dumb about it. 

Some highlights from the interview include dealing with drug dealers and Chinese hagglers, selling the "impossible to sell" MobileMe, and corporate mantras such as "Apple is our soul, people are our soul" are all part of the day in the life of an Apple employee.

Attending an Apple Store interview can only be described as a surreal experience; you are cheered into the area and made to watch a video about the company, and all the while, staff are observing you to see how "enthusiastic" you are about the company. Apple products, as we all know, are held to an exceptionally high standard, working for them is definitely not for everyone and seems to be one experience that some may be fortunate to avoid.

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I'm gonna go for an interview at an Apple store, take out an iphone and chuck it on the floor saying that it sucks etc...

MistaT40 said,
I'm gonna go for an interview at an Apple store, take out an iphone and chuck it on the floor saying that it sucks etc...

LOL they won best mobile device I don't think anyone would give 2 hoots about what you say

Of course no one knows how long Steve Jobs will last but these type of images point towards months rather than years. http://bit.ly/emQDjq

I would expect much of the Scientology style recruitment to be replaced with a more run of the mill approach along with many other Apple elitist practises when the time comes.

almost tempting to go get a job there just to get fired breaking all the outrageous employment rules then take them to employment court for lulz.

This is pretty stupid though really, anyone who buys into it has to be a moron.

Confessions of a former fastfood employee: gang, get ready for this - sometimes it's just faster to pick the dropped burger up off the floor, drop it back on the grill real quick for added sanitation, then serve it as normal. Enjoy!

Soulsiphon said,
Confessions of a former fastfood employee: gang, get ready for this - sometimes it's just faster to pick the dropped burger up off the floor, drop it back on the grill real quick for added sanitation, then serve it as normal. Enjoy!
News at Ten: Idiot restaurant employee endangers public health out of laziness. We've heard it before, and yes, it's disgusting - anyone who does it should be more than just ashamed. But it's kinda off topic.

Russell Belk, who made The Cult of MacIntosh has said this about Apple: "The Mac and its fans constitute the equivalent of a religion...This religion is based on an origin myth for Apple Computer, heroic and saviour legends surrounding its co-founder and current CEO Steve Jobs, the devout faith of its follower congregation, their belief in the righteousness of the Macintosh, the existence of one or more Satanic opponents, Mac believers proselytizing and converting non-believers, and the hope among cult members that salvation can be achieved by transcending corporate capitalism."

Cultural anthropologists conclude that religion is a belief system that helps people make sense of their world. Apple has always picked up on this notion; helping people make sense of the world of technology and shaping a lifestyle brand that creates a community. Unfortunately, they and the Mac community also foster zealous devotion, fierce criticism of outsiders, and the eschewing of any criticial thinking abilities. These are classic signs of a cult.

None of this is really surprising. I work at a Big box electronics store and well, you are paid to sell stuff that is way over priced, push financing and most of the other stuff this guy complains about. Welcome to retail sales guys.

Apple hiring Apple lovers. Guess it makes sense, even if it does sound a little weird to an outsider.

First of all it may seem a little extreme ,but i work for Ford motor co, if you don't drive a ford u have to park in a different section usually the furthest away, if u don't u could be towed, Second your just a number there too, wake up people welcome to big business , Also it would make sense that if a company pays u wouldn't you support your own company by using their products ? I would never buy a honda , toyota etc....

At the end of the day this works, the apple stores are pretty much mobbed during the day everyday, the apple staff and friendly and helpful. I've yet to go into another store and have the same level of service.

"We usually have to tell them that if they unlock their iPhone, it won't work. That it's going to be like a $700 paperweight, and that the antenna will fry itself on T-Mobile. "

ROFL! The antena will fry it self? I wonder if people believe this: O

My bad for starting to read the article with incorrect assumptions. Working at an *Apple store* and working *for Apple*, to me, are totally different things.

I'm much more interested in knowning what a typical day at Apple HQ is like than hearing from a *salesguy*, who could be selling Macs and iPods today and refrigerators tomorrow at his next job. I mean, nobody interviews the BestBuy employees...

All the people in an Apple store I went to looked at me like a plague victim when I got my Sony Vaio laptop out of my bag onto the counter, so the Apple "Genius" could look at my iTunes settings.

Despite the fact the Vaio could race circles around any Mac laptop in that store.

Go into a apple interview half way through pull out your wp7 answer a call and say how **** sad and pathetic the interview is call the iPhone crap and just doing it get a job, then see which hospital you wake up in!!

oh. i also want to add this..

apple stop trying to ban jailbreaking... should we all do a classaction suite against you in regards to the alerms not going off a few weeks ago?

from what i read, the jailbreak community offerd a fix way b4 you did apple

clldc said,
oh. i also want to add this..

apple stop trying to ban jailbreaking... should we all do a classaction suite against you in regards to the alerms not going off a few weeks ago?

from what i read, the jailbreak community offerd a fix way b4 you did apple

So what you're saying is that you don't want Apple to touch "your" iOS. Enjoy no updates then.

Everyone who has seen pirates of silicon valley movie get a glimpse of the reality between the two companies, and specially about their leaders. I guess all companies are like that, the person who now is a CEO in his youth probably was a wreck less teen/pre-adult.

Gabureiru said,
Everyone who has seen pirates of silicon valley movie get a glimpse of the reality between the two companies, and specially about their leaders. I guess all companies are like that, the person who now is a CEO in his youth probably was a wreck less teen/pre-adult.

From 2005
Employees offer mixed reactions to Apple corporate life
http://www.appleinsider.com/ar...o_apple_corporate_life.html

"There is a definite lack of emphasis on customers," said the employee, who holds a senior management position. The employee wrote that there is "a significant fear factor perpetuated of the CEO" by "empire building dinosaurs who operate in antiquated modes and only promote their favorites." The same employee said it's a company policy "not to take notes in meetings," which can make it "quite daunting" to try to operate under such "impossible circumstances."

Meanwhile, a product manager stationed at Apple's home-base in Cupertino sums up Apple as the average conservative company, which works its employees "to the bone" without enough compensation. "When I started it felt like Apple knew my name and what I did," the employee wrote, "but now am nothing more than employee XXX."

These sentiments were echoed by several employees responding to questions on salary and incentives. While those employees higher up in Apple's corporate hierarchy seemed pleased or content with their pay, a significant number of other employees complained about a lack of bonuses, raises, and stock options. Said one Apple product manager, "$59k a year with a 60 hour work week minimum. No bonuses. No stock options. No cell phone expense. Not what I would consider industry standard."

Obviously you're not much of a salesman if you tell customers to wait for the next generation of products. I doubt an Apple Store is the only place where you would get fired for that...

what i like to know.

1. why the doj not doing anything about what apple is doing?.

2. why is the fbi not doing anything aswell?.

the way i see it is apple should not be allowed to run a biz like this. the fbi & the doj should be doing somthing about this asap....

clldc said,
what i like to know.

1. why the doj not doing anything about what apple is doing?.

2. why is the fbi not doing anything aswell?.

the way i see it is apple should not be allowed to run a biz like this. the fbi & the doj should be doing somthing about this asap....

What laws are they breaking?

clldc said,
what i like to know.

1. why the doj not doing anything about what apple is doing?.

2. why is the fbi not doing anything aswell?.

the way i see it is apple should not be allowed to run a biz like this. the fbi & the doj should be doing somthing about this asap....

I DON'T LIKE IT SO THE GOVERNMENT MUST STOP IT! DO IT NOW!!!!!!111!1!111ONE!1!

clldc said,
what i like to know.

1. why the doj not doing anything about what apple is doing?.

2. why is the fbi not doing anything aswell?.

the way i see it is apple should not be allowed to run a biz like this. the fbi & the doj should be doing somthing about this asap....

...they need to be doign something?

Interesting article but this doesn't just sound like people who work for apple, this sounds awfully like apple fanbouys too (except that they probably look at rumours as to the next apple devices)

this is just the type of type **** that builds and builds over many years of employment, then one day they go postal.

Every company makes you sign a confidentiality agreement, big whoop. A majority of large companies have introductory sessions where you have to watch videos and learn how to interact to customers, team mates etc, basically learn how the company sets itself for public image and conform to it. This is really nothing out of the ordinary, in fact, this story sounds highly exaggerated (dare I say, made up) to me.

I`m going to keep my eye out for any jobs that may come up in an Apple store. I don`t need it but it would be good to go to the interview and when they start clapping and cheering i`d take off my coat to reveal an "I`m a PC" t-shirt.
Wonder if i`d get to watch the video

Riggers said,
I`m going to keep my eye out for any jobs that may come up in an Apple store. I don`t need it but it would be good to go to the interview and when they start clapping and cheering i`d take off my coat to reveal an "I`m a PC" t-shirt.
Wonder if i`d get to watch the video

I think they will make you watch it after they *modify* ur shirt.

Honestly I thought people knew this about Apple already. In their corporate offices in Cupertino, they have an internal Gestapo team that spies on one another to ensure that people aren't leaking information out of the company. You're not allowed to have a blog, post pictures online, post thoughts online, etc. You can't talk about Apple in public or with your friends. And on top of all that, they pay really poorly compared to Google, Cisco, Microsoft, and other tech firms in the area.

You really have to drink the kool aid if you want to work there, and it's also why Apple can't hire the best engineers because the best engineers ASK QUESTIONS and challenge the status quo.

Hercules said,
Honestly I thought people knew this about Apple already. In their corporate offices in Cupertino, they have an internal Gestapo team that spies on one another to ensure that people aren't leaking information out of the company. You're not allowed to have a blog, post pictures online, post thoughts online, etc. You can't talk about Apple in public or with your friends. And on top of all that, they pay really poorly compared to Google, Cisco, Microsoft, and other tech firms in the area.

You really have to drink the kool aid if you want to work there, and it's also why Apple can't hire the best engineers because the best engineers ASK QUESTIONS and challenge the status quo.

This is gonna come sounding biased, as i really like Microsoft in the new millennium, but just checking the HUGE online community MS developers and engineers have (the official blogs and all, the tweets from head of developments etc. that is not just a staged "we are happy" ****), Apple looks EXACTLY like what they try to tell people what theyre not like.

Anyone remember the over-hyped 1984 commercial, where they portrayed everyone else like Big brother (esp. IBM) and "broke the chains" ? Well, after reading all this (and a lot more from crapple blog) I gotta say, Apple is EXACTLY what BB is. It's so familiar with the shady way they both manipulate I kind of feel scared.

I never liked apple, but after reading all this, i kind of despise it now.

Jub Fequois said,
Then again, how authentic is his story, etc...

Probably the bad writing is a testament of its authenticity.

Lexcyn said,
One does not simply walk into an Apple store.

So, you are chloroformed, blindfolded, transported and dumped in the Apple store?

ir0nw0lf said,

So, you are chloroformed, blindfolded, transported and dumped in the Apple store?

LMAO! Funniest thing I've heard all day

Lexcyn said,
One does not simply walk into an Apple store.


Surprised noone else got this as a LOTR reference lol

"One does not simply walk into Mordor"

Maybe that is another reason Job's likes to have the Chinese build is products.
He see's himself as another "chairman Mao-Jobs" LOL
I always thought the Apple employees were like a cult, this just proves it

Holy crap. Why exactly would anyone want to work there???
The second they'd try and make me clap and cheer I'd be getting my ass out of there.

WAY too cultish for me.

ahhell said,
Holy crap. Why exactly would anyone want to work there???
The second they'd try and make me clap and cheer I'd be getting my ass out of there.

WAY too cultish for me.

Cause they pay something like 17$/hour here in Canada. It's between 3 to 7$ more than about any other store. Even the SAQ (public liquor store) pay less.

Cheers, this was a good read. My favourite so far was:

'The only thing I could do was a ‘personal set up' which involved me sitting next to someone and watching them open the box like a 5 year old and then, I **** you not, I had to CONGRATULATE them on their new iPhone 4'

Oh and apparently the fella that wrote this had to do these 'Personal set ups' the day of the iPad launch despite the fact that he got a call that his GF was in hospital. His managers reply to this was:

'This is the iPad launch. This is the most important product launch in ‘Apple History'. You are required at the store and you can't go, especially since we don't know what's wrong with her, it might be nothing. Wait until you hear from the hospital.'

What a pack of douchebags, if my Boss said that to me he'd be getting told where to shove his job!

Hollow.Droid said,
Cheers, this was a good read. My favourite so far was:

'The only thing I could do was a ‘personal set up' which involved me sitting next to someone and watching them open the box like a 5 year old and then, I **** you not, I had to CONGRATULATE them on their new iPhone 4'

Oh and apparently the fella that wrote this had to do these 'Personal set ups' the day of the iPad launch despite the fact that he got a call that his GF was in hospital. His managers reply to this was:

'This is the iPad launch. This is the most important product launch in ‘Apple History'. You are required at the store and you can't go, especially since we don't know what's wrong with her, it might be nothing. Wait until you hear from the hospital.'

What a pack of douchebags, if my Boss said that to me he'd be getting told where to shove his job!

I would do the same thing.

I've been reading through that site and it seems so surreal. I couldn't work there, I like to be in the 'loop' when it comes to tech and I'm terrible at outright lying to peoples faces.

FrostAM said,

I would do the same thing.

I've been reading through that site and it seems so surreal. I couldn't work there, I like to be in the 'loop' when it comes to tech and I'm terrible at outright lying to peoples faces.

Agreed. I suck at lying in general and I feel so much better about myself when it comes to the truth. If I ever worked for Apple I would be truthful regardless of the consequences then if they fire me over it I'll sue them for it.

you are cheered into the area and made to watch a video about the company, and all the while, staff are observing you to see how "enthusiastic" you are about the company.

haha. really?

I had an interview for an Apple store in London.

It's basically exactly as the above says. They cheer, clap and make you watch some company videos. The people were cool but I don't know how real that was after I walked out.
It was almost like one of those triangle schemes. Very staged in my opinion.

emzino said,
I had an interview for an Apple store in London.

It's basically exactly as the above says. They cheer, clap and make you watch some company videos. The people were cool but I don't know how real that was after I walked out.
It was almost like one of those triangle schemes. Very staged in my opinion.

How is this different from other places exactly? I could name many places that have crazy sorts of rules. At the end of the day though, I don't think any of them are as bad as the rules Disney puts on their employees at the amusement parks.

dead.cell said,

How is this different from other places exactly? I could name many places that have crazy sorts of rules. At the end of the day though, I don't think any of them are as bad as the rules Disney puts on their employees at the amusement parks.

The point is that were not talking about Disney were talking about Apple!