When I signed on to Apple it was like stumbling through a doorway into a party. My initial interview went from applying for a part time job to cover Xmas expenses, to a full blown poaching from my current career for a manager’s position at an undisclosed store location. The process was exciting but I got notice I didn’t get the job, all contact with that store’s HR person was cut (the rejection email left nothing to be questioned). 24hrs later I got an offer for part time work at another location. You can see how stumbly it was. Whatever their process, it worked, like some weird hack on an iPad.
I took the job because I like the product. I’m not a raving fanboy, I can see the faults and blemishes Apple has – anyone can. Let me tell you, when you get behind the big aluminum door at the back of the shop, there are a few areas they could improve upon, but the tenets of their management system is pure altruism. I utterly respect that.
Know that I can’t go into details. I signed a contract saying I wouldn’t. Just know that I’ve never had a job like it ever before. The staff at the store I worked at were eclectic, energetic, geeky, nerdy and hip. Even the older guys had solid personalities and while not technically savvy like the kids, had an air of product confidence that Apple exudes (which I was lumped into but happy to have someone around who knew a thing or two about the “real” 1980s). I think they hire based on a sliding scale of “funky”.
The one mantra of the store is “people building relationships” and we were drilled from day one we’re not there to just sell computers. We were taught to engage and interact and enjoy. However (and this is my only complaint) at the store I was assigned, in the middle of a tourist mall, we were so busy that even getting past first names was taking up too much time. The store is always horrifically busy which kills any hope for building any kind of relationship other than HOLY CRAP THERE ARE TOO MANY PEOPLE IN HERE MUST FLEE OR BE TRAMPLED!! Also, half of the people I served at my time there were from either mainland China or Brazil. Not to crap on anyone’s English skills but try to explain the workings of a microSIM card and 3G network activation to someone who’s vocabulary runs no further than “iPad, Please! 32 Giga!” (Anyone not from North America says “gigah” instead of “Gigs” when referring to “gigabytes” – it’s cute!)
I could rant about the customers, but I can’t. They were your typical retail experience: the happy (“I want an iPhone so bad I may have to line up with all those jack-offs at 6am!! HAHAH!!”), the angry (“This doesn’t work.” “Can I ask what’s-” “This doesn’t work.” “What is wrong-” “I SAID THIS DOESN’T WORK!”), the weird (“I. Need. A. *twenty second pause* Caseformyiphone!”), the misinformed (“The camera on the iPad has digital zoom, right?”) to the so-technical-they’re-in-their-own-category (“I installed Ruby on Rails and the database can’t access the server due to Terminal issues.”). Do know that the last hour of my shift last night had the manager and security guard shooing away a guy wearing an East Indian wedding garb who had hoarked up a loogie and dropped it on the floor behind a display, in front of a lot of witnesses. When confronted he said “I don’t remember if I did that.”
If the shop was less crowded I might have stayed longer. With the death of my father, I need to de-stress my life for a while. They have offered for me to return at any time to reclaim my old part time job. Bless! And I may, in the spring, when I get past Xmas and the vacation. Hm. I may need to.