How Steve Jobs scammed Apple for free lunch

Steve jobsJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSteve Jobs had a trick to get lunch from the Apple cafeteria.

While at Apple, Scott Forstall was in charge of developing the software that runs on iPhones, and he was a close friend of late CEO Steve Jobs.

Jobs has a famously deserved reputation as a difficult person to work with, but during an on-stage talk at the Computer History Museum on Tuesday, Forstall said Jobs also had a great sense of humour.

Scott forstallJustin Sullivan/Getty ImagesFormer Apple SVP Scott Forstall.

Apple is well-known in Silicon Valley for making its employees pay for coffee and food from its cafeterias, in contrast to companies like Google that provide meals for free.

But even though the lunches were inexpensive — around $US8 according to Forstall — multi-billionaire CEO Steve Jobs still found a way to get around paying for them. 

Here’s the story in Forstall’s words: 

“He and I would go to the cafeteria at Apple all the time, and he would insist on paying. I was like, you’re paying me enough that I can afford the $US8 lunch, but he’d always, if he got his food before he’d wait at the line for me to get up there and he’d pay. And he made it so you could pay with your [Apple] badge. So you’d come up there and you’d badge in, and it would be directly withdrawn from your paycheck. Somehow, I was like, ‘Why are you, really, go sit down, I feel like an arse when you’re sitting up there waiting for me and I can’t get any long-cooking food,’ and he said ‘No, no, no, this is great. I only get paid $US1 per year. I don’t know who’s paying every time I badge!’ He was a multi-billionaire scamming Apple!” 

This funny little anecdote was only one of several never-before revealed stories that Forstall told about working at Apple during the Jobs era and the invention of the iPhone.

The entire video is worth watching for any Apple enthusiast. Forstall’s interview starts at 1:07 and the lunch story is at 1:56. 


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