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There are obviously quite a few Apple retail store employees and ex-employees around, many of whom are happy to share details of what it's like to work for the company, but a new "confessions" report published by Popular Mechanics summarizes some of the more interesting points and dispels a few rumors about what employees do and do not know and how their performance is judged. Among the highlights:

- Apple retail store employees know nothing about future product releases, and find out about them only as they are publicly announced. Speculating about future products is severely frowned upon, particularly in the presence of customers.
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.
- Retail store employees have to deal with a wide range of customers each day, including "evil" customers who scream or curse their way into replacements at the Genius Bar, "drug dealers" trying to buy iPhones with fake IDs and credit cards, gray-market exporters trying to load up on iPhones for export to other countries, and non-customers who visit Apple stores to post Facebook updates, send out live webcasts, and listen to music.

- Retail store employees are expected to sell significant numbers of add-ons such as AppleCare and MobileMe as they close sales on hardware products. The so-called "attachment rate" is very high for AppleCare, but MobileMe is reportedly generally a tough sell.

- Apple's training and motivational materials can make the company feel like a cult, and while employees aren't paid on commission, their sales performance is publicly shown to all store employees and low-performing employees are taken aside by management to attempt to find ways to increase their productivity.

All in all, there aren't any real surprises revealed in the report, but it does offer an interesting look into what it's like to work at an Apple retail store.

Article Link: Apple Retail Store Employee on Product Launches, Store Culture, and Customers
 

shartypants

macrumors 6502a
Jul 27, 2010
922
60
Interesting but nothing too surprising. I think if the employees did have advanced information a lot more would leak, so makes sense.
 
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litmag01

macrumors 6502
Jul 16, 2009
320
221
Metrics. Metrics. Metrics.

It is all about the tiny box (APP/MobileMe/ProCare) add-ons.

Most employees are some of the best people you'll ever find. Most of the management would rather you give up a vital organ than not sell an attachment.
 
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Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
It was so embarrassing sitting at the Genius Bar with customers coming up with new products and you're like, "One second I need to take this in back (to the Genius Room) to do diagnostics.) and once you get back there like ravenous wolves people hover around the product.

A lot of secret "Apple Eyes" do not disclose knowledge of this issue or resolution to the customer. That was a big bother to me. Like when the Macbook heatsink problem first developed. We knew about but had to turn people away and tell them nothing was wrong until Apple came out with the new heatsink.
 
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wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
7,563
34
When the person called about a lost proto-type iPhone and Apple told them its probably a fake ... I'm not surprised here.
 
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martygras9

macrumors 6502
Aug 13, 2007
264
73
I worked at the Virgin Megastore in Union Square about 7 years ago. The store manager was worried about sales and called a mandatory employee meeting at 8:00am on a Saturday. He informed everyone that in three months, the doors would be closing and that afterward, we would all be out of jobs. Everyone was freaking out. The guy then says, "But am I serious? Those of you who worried about your future and not the future of this company, should leave. Everyone else, let's get this store back on track!"

There are no surprises in retail stores. The only surprise would be if management wasn't a bunch of a$$holes.
 
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sorepheet

macrumors member
Oct 27, 2010
92
0
East Coast
+1

Another interesting viewpoint.

http://crapplestore.blogspot.com/

Haha, that site was down for a bit, glad to see it going strong again! I <3 my :apple: gear but know they aren't the end all be all. "To err is human", right? I'm just happy with the experiences I've had with workers at my local Apple Store. Working in CR all through High School and College I know that the ol' "Customer is always right" crap can wear ya down. I can only imagine how annoying 'custies' as I fondly referred to my old customers, must get near anticipated product refreshes.
 
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Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
It was so embarrassing sitting at the Genius Bar with customers coming up with new products and you're like, "One second I need to take this in back (to the Genius Room) to do diagnostics.) and once you get back there like ravenous wolves people hover around the product.

A lot of secret "Apple Eyes" do not disclose knowledge of this issue or resolution to the customer. That was a big bother to me. Like when the Macbook heatsink problem first developed. We knew about but had to turn people away and tell them nothing was wrong until Apple came out with the new heatsink.

It is all about the tiny box (APP/MobileMe/ProCare) add-ons.

Most employees are some of the best people you'll ever find. Most of the management would rather you give up a vital organ than not sell an attachment.

So amazingly true. The worst was when "Personal Shopping" was developed. Now you had a Procare, Applecare, Personal Shopping, .Mac (MobileMe), and Accessories metric to hit. Don't forget to ring it up at EASY PAY TOO!!!!
 
Comment

Nebrie

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2002
591
108
"Apple's training and motivational materials can make the company feel like a cult"

I have yet to see ANY corporate training or motivational material from any company that was not produced by a cult.
 
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litmag01

macrumors 6502
Jul 16, 2009
320
221
So amazingly true. The worst was when "Personal Shopping" was developed. Now you had a Procare, Applecare, Personal Shopping, .Mac (MobileMe), and Accessories metric to hit. Don't forget to ring it up at EASY PAY TOO!!!!

LOL! The not so Easy Pay!
 
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Alexs45

macrumors member
Jan 14, 2005
52
1
does anyone really care about this? I am sure Apple will figure out a way to track this guy and fire him.

Let's refocus on new MB PROS!
 
Comment

kenypowa

macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2008
697
25
somewhere
"Apple's training and motivational materials can make the company feel like a cult"

I have yet to see ANY corporate training or motivational material from any company that was not produced by a cult.

Apple is by far the worst. All you have to do is to attend their interviews and see the fanboys/fangirls who want to work there. I went to two rounds of interviews and I have never seen so much fanboyism in the prospect employees. I swear to god some people would want to work for Apple for free; all they want in return is free Apple products. :p
 
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Mattie Num Nums

macrumors 68030
Mar 5, 2009
2,834
0
USA
"Apple's training and motivational materials can make the company feel like a cult"

I have yet to see ANY corporate training or motivational material from any company that was not produced by a cult.

Apples is HARDCORE. I was a little shocked when I had my first of 2 weeks of Genius training. I noticed a lot of Genii at that time sat on a high horse and had power trip issues because you are really hyped up. You are special because you know Macs and you are a GENIUS! Things changed once they picked anyone and anybody to become a Genius as expansion started happening rapidly. I did enjoy my time at Apple I just look back on it and go... yikes that company was interesting.
 
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Digital Skunk

macrumors G3
Dec 23, 2006
8,035
718
In my imagination
All pretty much what most people had realised anyway.

Correct indeed. I think there are enough ex-Apple employees chiming in on these forums alone to give a much better outlook/perspective on working Apple retail than any paper could muster. Even if such paper interviewed 20 current and 20 ex-employees.

Being able to talk freely about working there was my greatest reward for quitting.

It is all about the tiny box (APP/MobileMe/ProCare) add-ons.

Most employees are some of the best people you'll ever find. Most of the management would rather you give up a vital organ than not sell an attachment.

It indeed was, and for a small time, employees were threatened with termination for not hitting their metrics. The managers at my particular store showed extreme favoritism as well as being douches when it came to metrics.
 
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StoneyG

macrumors regular
"Particularly in the presence of customers". [expletive]ing wow! This is precisely why I could never work for Apple retail. When else would it matter, other than when customers are involved????? And even then, cram that kook-aid up your rectal aperture 3.0. I work for a reseller, and I am completely honest and tell people all the time to hold off, as something new is coming (like MBPs). They appreciate it. Wouldn't you? In the end you're (usually) helping them, and they'll be back when the time comes. [Expletive] me.
 
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notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
I think that every single person should spend some time working in retail (whether it's at Apple or McDonald's, it really doesn't matter). You learn a lot about dealing with annoying and demanding customers and hopefully the experience helps you not to be one :p

I worked in a hardware retail store (Canadian Tire) one summer a few years ago. The sense of entitlement some people had was just ridiculous. They expect you to be complete product experts whilst simultaneously looking down on you because you make minimum wage instead of earning the mega bucks as a business executive like them. Hey guess what? You can't have it both ways. Overall it was fun though, I learned a lot, and find myself having a lot more sympathy for store workers now than I used to (and, conversely, I can tell the difference between someone who's trying but having difficulty versus someone who really should know better).
 
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ConnorTurnbull

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2010
374
0
United Kingdom
I love these types of article. They're really interesting and it's interesting when you spin these points to the employees in store.

CrApple Store is just like the name suggests, rubbish, but proper articles like this are awesome!
 
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shurcooL

macrumors 6502a
Jan 24, 2011
934
104
Hmm.

I'll just order my first MacBook (when the next gen comes out) from Apple Online Store. Just to avoid walking into the retail store and buying nothing but the hardware.
 
Comment

powers74

macrumors 68000
Aug 18, 2008
1,852
14
At the bend in the river
sales

working for any large corporate entity is super weird and cult-like. My wife tried it and after about a month had had enough. I work in a small corporate environment and that's weird enough for me.
 
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