An anonymous Apple store employee pulled back the curtain behind the company’s impressive retail operation. He or she talked to Popular Mechanics about what it’s like to be an Apple footsoldier on a day to day basis.Here’s what we learned:
- On product launch day, all store employees watch the Keynote together. They don’t know anything ahead of time, of course.
- Customers can be very rude. (Welcome to retail.)
- Drug dealers and Chinese resellers like their iPhones and iPads. They will use fake IDs and fake credit cards and all sorts of tricks to buy Apple products.
- Sales people aren’t paid on commission, but they’re still encouraged to sell hard. Each employee’s sales number is put up for the employees to see where they rank, and selling is a way to get a promotion.
- Apple store employees dream to be a genius. The coolest thing is to be at the Genius Bar, and the other Apple store employees work hard and sell hard because they want to be made a genius.
- Showing up to work late won’t get you fired — talking off hand about the next iPad WILL (even though you don’t know anything about the next iPad).
- People will use the public computers for all sorts of stuff. Teenagers will blast Britney Spears really loud and start dancing. Homeless people come in all the time, and sometimes start playing death metal really loud. And of course pranksters keep changing the Macs’ language to Korean or Russian.
- Employees lie to customers. They tell consumers that unlocking their iPhone will brick them and that T-Mobile will fry the antenna.