If you've ever been to an Apple retail store, you know how friendly and helpful the employees can be, but how locked-down their comments are when it comes to asking about any future Apple product or Apple itself. The company's notorious veil of secrecy is really a vise of secrecy, so it's quite something that one store employee (anonymously) dished to Popular Mechanics (yes, Popular Mechanics!).
In "Confessions of an Apple Store Employee," we learn that "sometimes the company can feel like a cult. Like, they give us all this little paper pamphlet, and it says things like — and I'm paraphrasing here —'Apple is our soul, our people are our soul.' Or 'We aim to provide technological greatness.' And there was this one training session in which they started telling us how to work on our personality, and separating people into those with an external focus and an internal focus. It was just weird."
Now, this is NOT a renegade employee. He or she describes their personality as generally "pretty low-key, but when I'm at the store, it's all sell, sell, sell! I wanna work my way up, get promoted and eventually get to the Genius Bar —which is where you want to be. Who doesn't want to be a genius?"
But welcome to the world of drug dealers, whiny customers, undercover security guards and spouses who want help trapping cheating mates:
On drug dealers:
We get a lot of drug dealers who try to buy iPhones with fake IDs. You can tell them instantly just by how shady they act, and they know you know, but you obviously can't start accusing them of being drug dealers — they are customers, after all. But when they try to check out, they'll use what are obviously fake IDs or fake credit cards, and it often turns out they're using a dead person's Social Security number or something. And when you call them out on that — then, they run.
On whiny customers:
It's amazing how badly behaved some customers are. I have seen customers have complete meltdowns and get phones exchanged that were like two years old. They scream, cry, curse. And it works. People can be horrible. Sometimes it's like working at McDonald's, with better pay. I've never been treated so badly in my life.
On security guards:
There are security guards everywhere. They are undercover, so you can't tell who they are. A lot of them are retired cops, and they get paid really well. They have to deal with people doing things like wheeling in strollers and trying to use them to roll off with Time Capsules and iPods.
And spouses wanting to catch their cheating mates:
The worst is when we have to work the Phone Room, which is where calls to the store are answered. The other day, I felt like I was working a suicide hot line. People sometimes call us up and 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.
The employee's solution for that? "Usually I just transfer people to AppleCare so I don't have to deal with them."
— Via Techmeme
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