Worker Secrets: What Really Goes on in an Apple Store

It's like a 'cult' in there, says anonymous employee

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 18, 2011 8:58 AM CST

(Newser) – Working at an Apple store can be like working for a “cult,” an employee tells Popular Mechanics: Pamphlets say things like “Apple is our soul, and people are our soul.” The anonymous insider reveals more of what goes on behind the scenes:

  • No worker knows about future products, and employees are explicitly barred from speculating about what's coming next—it's a fireable offense—though customers inquire “about five times a day.”

  • Customers can get really, really upset: “They scream, cry, curse. Sometimes it's like working at McDonald's, with better pay. I've never been treated so badly in my life.”
  • And working the phones is like working "a suicide hotline": People "treat us like we're their therapists. Or we have women who want help with their computers as they try to prove their husbands are cheating on them." His solution? “Usually I just transfer people to AppleCare.”
  • Employees tell customers who want their phones unlocked that it won’t work—it’ll kill the phone. “Of course, that’s not true.”
  • Working at an Apple store “makes you power-hungry.” You see others’ sales metrics, and you get competitive. The goal: becoming an Apple “Genius.”
Click for more revelations ... about drug-dealer customers and undercover security guards.

Pedestrians walk past an Apple Store in San Francisco, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
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