Does this adapter work if I want to connect a 2012 apple thunderbolt display to a 2016 Apple 12" MacBook? The apple store employee said it would work, but I had no success when I purchased the Apple adapter and tried to connect the two devices.
The single port on the 12" MacBook is USB-C, not Thunderbolt. So no, you can't connect a Thunderbolt display. You might have better luck with one of the older DisplayPort displays, but I'm not certain that will work either.
The computer needs to have Thunderbolt. If it doesn't (none of the MacBooks do, only the MacBook Pro does) then there is no solution. You need to look at a replacement for your Thunderbolt display. There are some great USB-C ones out there.