Anonymous 5m 1,174
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Everyone seems to have one, everyone loves them, and by far, they are some of the best products out there. I have a few products myself and I do love the products this company offers, but working for them, as great as it is, has its benefits and complaints. Their products (best usb c docking station) are probably overpriced, but they are quality (sd card adapter for mac), and everyone loves them. I am an employee at an Apple Store.
I get anywhere from 32-40 hours a week. Availability of the schedule varies depending on that week, who calls out, whose on vacation, etc. I wish it were a more stable schedule so I could plan my life better. There seem to be a lot of employees at every Apple store, so if Apple has done anything great for the economy, aside from getting people to spend, they have employed lots of workers of all different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, religions, etc.
I walk around the simple yet gorgeous store all day long and assist customers with products. I am on an hourly wage and I don’t receive any commission for selling any Apple products. This really sucks when Apple releases a new product that they want you to push. There is certainly a bright side to this, because at least I am not on commission-based only salary, which I’ve heard some people are forced to work on. Talk about a corporation taking complete advantage of its employee. Apple certainly does treat its employees well with a guaranteed paycheck, health benefits, a 401k, and a discount on Apple products. The other incentive and motivation is the hope that you can get promoted to supervisor or higher, maybe even work at the Genius Bar, but there is no guarantee.
A major complaint that I have is that, people come in, tell me about their Apple iPhone, iPad, or even their Macbook… they dropped it, it broke. Everyone expects to get a free product because of their carelessness of dropping it into the toilet or on the ground. Seriously, if you broke it, you bought it. I don’t write Apple’s policies, but malfunctioning software is covered, hardware that just cuts out the screen is covered, but if your screen got smashed, it was probably your fault. Apple seems to have gotten more lenient on this and will replace your product for a reduced price now.
There are also people who come in with stolen Apple products and try to resell them, stating that they want to trade it in for something else. There are also those who have fake licenses or stolen credit cards that try to buy Apple products.
You probably didn’t realize it, but walk into any Apple store, and you will be greeted by at least one Apple store associate, but there are usually at least ten people working in the store, whether they are visible or not. There is also security, who often looks like an Apple store associate, may even approach you asking if you need help, but really is just checking you out to see what you are about, and what you’re doing in the Apple store.
Things that tend to annoy me, other workers, and customers is when people come in and start blasting music, or literally spend hours, sometimes my entire shift in the store, looking at products, using them, but never purchasing anything! I am not sure who has that much time, but I sure would not be spending more than an hour in an Apple store, even if I didn’t work there.
One thing I hate is answering phones. There are a few workers assigned to the phones every shift, who answer technical support calls, sales calls, etc. Sometimes people want to complain about their Apple products, acting as if I broke it, or that Apple is not as great as they claim, yet they want a free replacement. Here’s how it is for Apple: You either like them or you don’t. Apple is a business out to make profit, not give away anything for free. Apple’s markup is like 300% so they are pricey because they are making a profit off of everything you buy. Any company that has a majority of their labor force in China is going to make their profit. The headphones you buy for $30 in the Apple Store can be purchased for $1 or $2 in China. If you have an issue with their products or feel that is unfair, then stop buying them. There are also those people who want you to tell them about every product you have on the shelf and then let you know they are not interested “at this time.” Then you have some other people who just want to call the Apple Store and tell you about their life and how awesome Apple products are.
There are also those people who, I will insist that they get the three year AppleCare insurance, because it will cover them for three years, and save them a lot more money in the long run. I own a Macbook Pro and one time, before I was an employee at the store, had three year AppleCare that was about to expire, and took my Macbook Pro in for repair.. the USB port stopped working and it was just slow. So they replaced my entire Macbook motherboard and battery for free. Well worth the price. But they won’t get the AppleCare insurance and then something will break, and they will come in and complain about having to pay more to fix it because they did not listen to me in the first place, and there is nothing I can really do about it.
People will come in asking about how to download iTunes music for free and complain that they don’t want to pay. they will ask about unlocked iPhones, which we at Apple, are not allowed to discuss at all. It is against policy to deal with anyone who has an unlocked phone.
Overall, the Apple Store is not a bad place to work and sure guarantees a great atmosphere and a great level of comfort. The employees are nice and you can make some good friends. Sometimes you will get those high strung asshole co-workers who are competitive, out to get you, and you will find yourself just as competitive as well, attempting to earn brownie points or kiss ass to hopefully “rise up the hidden chain” and “join the ranks.”
Sometimes during their training sessions, it feels like they are trying to brainwash everyone, telling us that we need to change our personalities and make “Apple our soul.” I understand that everyone who works out front on the floor needs to have a personality that can deal with customers, but it’s not hard to walk up to someone with a smile and try to sell a product, or at least, answer questions about it, and promote other products as well. Come to think of it, many Apple products sell themselves.